Indieview #7: pixipui, Animator & Streamer

Welcome to the seventh week of Indieview! Indieview is an interview series where I speak with a special guest who works on personal or business projects related to games, whether they’re an artist, a composer, a streamer, a writer, or otherwise.

This week I’m joined by pixipui. pixipui does a lot of things — animation, streaming, YouTube videos, you name it! She has also worked with various companies to represent them at events, sometimes as a mascot performer, so maybe you’ve met her and hadn’t even realised it!

Mitch: Hi pixipui! Can you tell me more about yourself, and what you’re currently doing?

pixipui: Yeah, so I’m a video game demonstrator/costume character 3D generalist who streams on Twitch! At the moment I’m working on a “lil cutie” animation (lil cuties are 3D models created of subscribers which are also printable sculpts!)

I’ve got 2 of those lined up, and I’ve also got a Fiverr job involving modelling and texturing. I’m also creating Sims 4 mods, creating tutorials for my YouTube channel pixified tips and creating content for my gaming YouTube channel pixipui.

Mitch: The first thing I’d like to talk about is your lil cutie product line. Can you tell me more about that?

pixipui: Yes, of course! So lil cuties can be described as 3D chibi’s based of the subscriber who ordered one! You can see a list of all the lil cuties I have created over my time on twitch here, https://sketchfab.com/pixipui/models. Originally they started as a way to expand my modelling and animation sills, and later as it became more apparent that people really liked them too, it became something that Twitch streamers can use for their Twitch panels and alerts .The people who use lil cuties on their Twitch streams to date are: Geekycassie , Cjreigns, Nami_chan095, Klb_Media, Pride3Zero, queendomeofgalaxy, bronzegoddess.

As I was inspired by amiibo, I wanted to push them a little further, and I have created a way for people to buy a physical copy of their own lil cutie! You can find that here https://i.materialise.com/en/shop/designer/pixipui.
I plan on having a new lil cutie available to buy every month!

Honestly, it’s been really nice to see how well received the lil cuties have become, and I didn’t think it would ever have gotten to this level. Heck, the time I made the first Animal Crossing lil cutie to give to the ever so sweet Streamer pocketchu, it made my month!!
https://twitter.com/pixipui/status/1238925392934821889

Mitch: They’re super cute! I’m happy to hear that they’ve been well-received, and that other streamers use them. Talking about streaming, you stream often! In fact, we’ve even worked together when I was at SEGA! What genres do you most enjoy playing?

pixipui: Yas!!! Small world hehe.
I’m a jack of all trades when it comes to fun genres in games…

First, I would say Rhythm games!! Like Bust a Groove (2), and Space Channel 5, even the arcade rhythm games that used to be in Trocedero like ITG/DDR, and Groove Coaster!

Then open world games, games where I can get fully sucked in (or used to when I had more time), like The Witcher, Assassin’s Creed, Breath of the Wild, and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Being able to explore a whole new world and become someone new is always awesome.

Visual novel and puzzle games like Ace Attorney and Professor Layton.
Action adventure games like Resident Evil (5), Oni, Dark Cloud, Rogue Galaxy, and Yakuza.
Strategy games like Darkest Dungeon, Warsaw, and Final Fantasy Tactics.
Arcade games like Sonic the Hedgehog (2&3 as my big sis and I grew up on co-op playing that!), Streets of Rage, Overcooked, and Out of Space.
Fighting games like Tekken, Virtua Fighter, Soul Edge, Soulcalibur, Street Fighter, and Bloody Roar.

Mitch: Honestly, there’s little I wouldn’t do for a new Bloody Roar game. What equipment do you use to stream?

pixipui: The camera I use is a Logitech c920, the greenscreen is a Neewer Photography Background screen, and the mic is an Audio Technica AT2020 with a Behringer 302USB input mixer. I stream with streamlabs obs, and the chatbot I use is streamlabs chatbot. To stream my PS2 and other older consoles, I use Aver media LGP Lite, and to stream the newer consoles I use Elgato HDs. I made a beefy computer from these parts here! https://pcpartpicker.com/user/pixipui/saved/!

Space Channel 5 Part 2

Mitch: I’ve known you as an animator for a long time. What inspired you to create art?

pixipui: Ah now that’s a story… So growing up my parents were (and still are) gamers who liked anime, so my sister and I were surrounded with games and beautiful art all the time. My mother was also a Life artist so as kiddies do, we monkey saw monkey did, and copied her!

Then we took to drawing characters from our games, like Bloody Roar characters and characters from the anime we watched like Project A-ko, and then developed our own! (Actually I remade a picture I drew of one of my characters recently here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBOZohenwf6/. Then when the music games came in, seeing how the characters moved and how cool they looked, I knew I wanted to make my own thing come to life. I didn’t know what it was called at the time, but it gave me such joy looking at it, and I was like “yeah I want that!”

Mitch: My parents don’t quite have an interest in games now, but they’re still the ones who introduced me to gaming. Gaming makes for such a great bonding experience with your family! What interests you about sculpting specifically?

pixipui: I think it may be tied to a couple things.
Because I love character design, and always have been more interested in the faces of characters and humans. How the skull must look to make such an interesting or pretty outcome... it’s the ability to create an eye-pleasing subject, usually created from characters or those I’ve seen! (You may not notice it, but if I have my glasses on when I talk to you it means I’m analysing your face, HAH)

So it’s being able to, again, create something from nothing that one could gaze around and feel the grooves/dips on the face and have it feel whole… (Gosh I hope that makes sense, I’m trying to vocalise a feeling, and I’m not sure I can find the words D: )

A lot of my past sculpts can be found here: https://www.behance.net/Pixipui
or on my website here: https://pixipui.wordpress.com/portfolio

Mitch: Oh no! I think you’ve worn glasses when I’ve seen you…
I know you’ve mentioned you’re doing a Citizens of Space sculpt, which is exciting. What other characters are you looking to sculpt in the near future?

pixipui: YES!! (That’s another thing on my desired wish list that I shall get to!! I am well determined!!) A picture used when I was streaming Citizens of Space was this one, and it was my desktop wallpaper for ages: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzGFgW5gHbz/

In future, I want to work on my Johnny Lawrence. My original characters like the one you saw above, Flora and the gang, Samuel, and a few amazing 2D artworks I’ve seen on twitter!

Mitch: Of course, I have to ask, but what program do you use for sculpting?

pixipui: I use ZBrush for sculpting.

Some of pixipui’s ZBrush work

Mitch: Tell me what it’s like doing events work! Those costumes look like they’d be so hot to be in, but they look like a lot of fun!

pixipui: OH!!! Events work is awesome, firstly because of my profession being able to see games before they’re officially out is like candy to a 3D generalist!! Then the events itself… It becomes a fun get together where you, usually, work with the same people who, people that worked along with me, you’ll hear us describe us as “The Ninty Team” as we all met via Nintendo video game demonstration.

Not only that but throughout the 6 odd years we’ve been doing it, we’ve traveled together, been in close quarters with each other as we’d go to many places out of town and stay in a hotel together, and its transpired to a bond that I think we’re all grateful to have and be a part of.

When working at the events, you know you’re the first call which the people will remember as you teach them the games and show them how things work, depending on how you teach them and what experience they have, they’ll remember the game fondly or not. Every time they see or think of that game they’re gonna remember you too, so you feel a push to make it be the best experience they can have!

Now the costumes!!!! Depending on the costume, and how long you have to be in it, and the locations you have to go to, it can be hot, can hurt your back, and you might not be able to see, but you can hear the joy and love that people on the other side are giving you!

In fact, that’s one thing that I love about character costume work — being able to make someone happy makes me happy.

A Lil Cutie for klb MEDIA

Mitch: Wanting to make people happy is one of the best things, and I feel the same way about community management! Meeting people at conventions is the best, isn’t it?

Quite recently you debuted the SUNSTORM series, which sees you play games with your sister. I love that idea, and that you’ve been shining a light on indie games specifically. What’s it like streaming/creating video content with family?

pixipui: Yes! I plan on grabbing sis and recording much more, and I’ve been lucky enough to be given some co-op demos that I think would be amazing to play together like Cosmo’s Quickstop. It feels like home to me. It’s a really comforting place because that’s all we’ve known of games, even when it was a one-player game like Tom Raider and Abe’s Odyssey on the PS1. Mum, dad, sis and I would take turns when the other died!

My parents used to say, “I wish people could see you and your sis play together, you’re so funny”, when we were little, so having us finally come to Twitch and do it feels like a full circle.

The videos I’ve made with sis can be found here! https://www.youtube.com/user/pixipui/videos and here: https://www.twitch.tv/collections/cFsz4k3tHRaLqw?filter=collections

SUNSTORM plays Pairenting

Mitch: What other YouTube content are you currently working on? I know you have two channels!

pixipui: So, on my pixified tips channel, I’m making general tips for Maya, Streamlabs, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Sims 4 — pretty much anything I use and have had to learn on my journey! Including requested content like auto-shoutouts(requested by inel) and gif commands (which was able to be made thanks to Nikoheart), Sims 4 hair tutorials (requested by Ninapeita) and more!

I’ve gotten a couple more requests so the next things I plan to have readied up are, how to make a Twitch overlay (for Sam) and how to animate Sims 4 hair (For Ameny!)

As for my gaming YouTube, pixipui, I want to play games that people have bought me, or I’ve been given the keys to but have yet to review them… I’m thinking if I can’t make a long play-through of the games I’ve been given a key for, perhaps I’ll create a video showing off just a snippet of the game, and its fun or shocking moments!

SUNSTORM plays Moving Out

Mitch: What tips do you have for people wanting to get into video content and animation?

pixipui: Start now. With whatever you have, and if you can’t do 3D animation because your computer isn’t strong enough, do stop animation or 2D animation instead, because they are all the same, and the same info applies.
Never let the lack of a program be the reason you don’t begin.

Remember generally you’re as amazing as the amount of hours you put in, so if you start today and did one tiny animation everyday, you’d be incredibly far ahead in 3 months time, compared to choosing to start next year.

You get better from your last starting point. And don’t compare either, but be inspired, yes! But you cannot compare your 0 hours/300 hours of practice to someones 40,0000 hours of practice.

Be kind to yourself.

Mitch: Is there anyone or anything you’d like to give a shout out to? Be my guest!

pixipui: Yes please!! Firstly, I’d like to shoutout my big sister Storm, the best co-op partner I’ve ever had: https://www.twitch.tv/stormyjazzy

To the amazing and hilarious duo I am blessed to know: https://www.twitch.tv/hernameismelula and https://www.twitch.tv/inelious

The incredibly helpful cheery mem man himself: https://www.twitch.tv/nikoheart

To my artist who drew fan art of me one day, and then I was so smitten I had to commission them for more: https://twitter.com/Spicy_Sav

To the amazing artist who I’ve managed to cross paths with on my tutorial journey: https://twitter.com/Ninapieta

The Ninty Crew to name a few: https://twitter.com/pocketchuu , https://twitter.com/ItsJusNimmz , https://twitter.com/zesteelsamurai , https://twitter.com/Bowie_Alexander , https://twitter.com/JobiwanUk , https://twitter.com/JnXC_

And of course my Twitch Family who I, through “random” circumstances, have come to know. These are people who I almost talk to everyday, and who have helped me in so many ways: https://twitter.com/GeekyCassie, https://twitter.com/CJREIGNSyttv, https://twitter.com/NamiChan095, https://twitter.com/KlbMedia, https://twitter.com/EbonixSims,https://twitter.com/starfoxtrinity, https://twitter.com/ClymSmith, https://twitter.com/WriterBlades, https://www.instagram.com/spontaneousmixx/, https://twitter.com/wwonders3,

The ever so generous senpai Thorax, the sassy Chipz2007, the amusing exploiteddragon, and the idea beacon Tailsmelv025. And of course the reason why my streams have amazing scripts and codes, Mr mod of all mods: https://twitter.com/gigaiDX

Hopefully I haven’t missed out too many!

pixipui’s Marina cosplay from Splatoon 2

Mitch: Now that is definitely a very big shout out, hahaha! Where are the best places for people to find you, if they want to follow you and your work?

pixipui: The best place to find me is on Twitch as: pixipui
Instagram: pixipui (and pixipui_productions)
YouTube: pixipui (and pixified tips)
Sims related content: pixified sims (https://pixipui.tumblr.com/)
My website: https://pixipui.wordpress.com/

Thank you so much again for this interview, it was a pleasure!

I hope you enjoyed Indieview #7, with pixipui. I’ll be back with another Indieview soon, so I hope to see you all again then!

Writing a novel | Communications Associate at Funimation UK | Hang around for #Indieview, Otome, and maybe a little more!