Crafting a character with text-to-speech.

In my first year at WdKA, we got the opportunity to try each of their 3 practices (commercial, social, autonomous) over a course of 6 weeks. At the end of the 6 weeks, we were tasked with creating a freeform presentation which would provide some insight into how we position ourselves in the design practice.

I knew I could have some fun with this presentation—unconventional presentations are embraced dearly at WdKA. Keeping this in mind, I decided to follow through with an idea that stuck in my mind:

Can text-to-speech (TTS) voices rap?

I position myself as a commercially-oriented designer—designing for people and problem-solving in the field of UX is my bread and butter. I created a character which is torn between being a commercial designer and an autonomous artist. This allowed me to voice my love for analytical design, while also conveying an autonomous streak of independent critical thinking.

Creating the script, putting it through TTS, and autotuning the result to a trap beat I made in FL Studio was extremely fun in terms of simply fooling around and playing with ideas. I accompanied the audio with a mix of green-screen footage and hand-drawn frame-by-frame animation. The animation could take the viewer through a journey inside the character’s thought process, and do justice to the bit of edginess in the autonomous mindset via visual metaphors. Meanwhile, the green screen footage grounds the presentation and reminds the viewer that this thought process goes through the mind of an actual person.

Final Animation