Life's Tough, Wear a Helmet

My latest CrazyTalk Animator 2 short is a variation on a video I created several years back called Where's Your Helmet? That video was inspired by the quote Life's Tough, Get a Helmet that I wrote an article about in my main blog.

This time instead of stick figures on a white background, my new animation is set in an office and uses Reallusion's G2 Power Tools characters and props. Watch the animation below and then read about the behind the scenes stuff afterward.



This animation was made over five days from writing the script to uploading it to YouTube. With it only being one scene I was able to make the entire thing inside CrazyTalk Animator's studio.

As with my previous CrazyTalk Animator productions the actual animation is still very unnatural in places. The result of trying to mash predefined character motions with my own adjustments to get something closer to the movement I actually want. I could probably create much better character animation if I created the movement from scratch but some of my goal is to get good at making animations quickly using the predefined motions.

That said, I still paid attention to details like blinking eyes and moving pupils around so the characters look at each other and appear more life like.

I will say that some of the pre-defined motions are a little too exaggerated. For example the final scene where the characters are talking face to face uses the same predefined talk motions with no changes on both characters. You'll notice their hands seem to move rather more than necessary as they speak.

Character Comparison.
Something else to note is that the characters in this animation are not standard G2 Power Tool characters. I took some time to modify them so that their heads, forearms and lower legs are all oversize. I was hoping the larger heads would make them easier to see when the characters are shown with no black outline.

An unexpected side effect of the bigger head and longer limbs is that the characters movement feels a lot more like that of marionettes. I'm not overly sure I like it but it was worth trying something different.

Aside from the script, I did all the voice work and I created the yellow helmet and wastepaper basket props (using DrawPlus X6).

All sounds came from freesound.org and the music came from freepd.com

I'm definitely getting more confident using CrazyTalk Animator. I still find I'm looking around for things every now and then but for the most part I'm getting to the point where I can really start trying to produce better quality work.




Reallusion Animation @ Work Crazy Talk Competition


Reallusion, the creators of Crazy Talk Animator, are holding a competition titled Animation @ Work with cash prizes of up to US$1000.00 for the top three best videos as chosen by the judges. Other prizes include software, gift cards and magazine subscriptions. There are four main categories; Business & Training, Infographics, Comedy/Parody, Animated Comic. Entries must be submitted via the competition website before May 5th 2014.

The competition had five early bird prizes for entries submitted before March 31st which I attempted to try and score with my entry to the Business & Training category below.



Unfortunately it was not to be and I missed out on a free copy of Reallusion's soon to be released content pack, G2 Power Tools, Volume 2.

Although I really did want to win the content pack this particular entry was more an exercise in seeing if I could create a business explainer video within my usual 14 day turnaround time for an explainer video created with GoAnimate.

For the most part I achieved that goal however you may have notice the animation on the Arnold Schwarzenegger character is particularly awkward (and my Scientist guy makes a really odd hand movement in his second appearance that I'm sure I didn't key frame.

As far as Arnold goes I had a few issues where I would animate him later in the video and the key frames would mess up key frames from earlier scenes. I'm not sure why but I didn't have the time to resolve the issue.

With a month to go on the competition I'm considering making a second entry for one of the other categories. We'll see how things go and, of course I'll write about it here if I do.


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