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Rise - Demo Animated Short Inspired by Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Teaser Trailer #1

My animated short, Rise, came about because I wanted to showcase my newly redesigned, Desert Scavenger for Cartoon Animator 4. Rather than do some lame demo like I did for the original version of the character I wanted to do something that would actually demonstrate the character's potential.

After seeing teaser trailer #1 for Star Wars, The Rise of Skywalker, I thought it would be really cool to try and recreate the opening scene with Rey, in the desert, facing off against Kylo Ren's Tie Fighter.

My version was never intended to be an exact copy of the trailer. What I set out to do was use the backgrounds I'd already made (which feature the crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku) to create pretty much a shot for shot similar scenario as best I could, within the limitations of my character. Watch my short below then read about how it was created.



Redesigning the Character
The original character has been available in my Reallusion Marketplace store for quite some time and has not…
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Creating a Complex G3, 360 Character Head in Cartoon Animator 4 - Tips and Recommendations

Creating G3, 360 character heads in Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 is something of a daunting task if you are working with a more detailed character head design. Your first attempt is bound to be a lot of trial and error. Mine certainly was and, in this article, I'm going to share with you what I learned.

That said, this is not a tutorial. It's a run down of my experience creating a head for my own character. I've linked to Reallusion's video tutorials below.

I chose to use a redesigned version of my G3 Desert Scavenger, Rey, Star Wars, parody character. Since the biggest part of her redesign was a completely new look head I thought now was a good time to try a more complex 360 head than my previous Color Monkey heads.

The process of setting up a 360 head is not hard but there is a lot to take in. To prepare myself I went through Reallusions first eight video tutorials which cover almost every aspect of the 360 head creator (which you'll find in the character…

Blender 2.8 Amazes with 2D Animation Features. Might Be the All-in-One Animation Studio for You

There are a number of animation apps that like to promote themselves as the one tool for all your animation needs and, while many are certainly very powerful, I think Blender 2.8, released earlier this year, may be the closest yet.

If you're not familiar with Blender it's been almost the go to tool, since at least 2002, for anyone wanting to learn 3D animation on a budget - and nothing is easier on the budget than completely free.

With the release of 2.8 not only is Blender a complete 3D animation tool, it's now also a complete 2D animation tool. That's right you can use it to create 2D, hand drawn animation, motion graphics, and bone rigged 2D characters. As well, it has plugins that can give 3D animation that 2D look.

Hence my suggestion that Blender 2.8 is truly the one tool for all your animation needs (because Blender is also very capable at VFX - think of any 'live action' movie that uses CGI to create almost anything in a scene that wasn't there dur…

My First attempt at 360 Character Heads in Cartoon Animator 4 Featuring The Great Greensbury!

One of the biggest selling points of Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 was the new 360 Character Head feature for G3 characters. Personally I haven't really explored the process of creating a 360 character head in depth but for my first attempt, the obvious character choice was my original G3 color monkey characters.

What I like about the process of creating a 360 head is that much of the effect is achieved simply through masking and distorting the character sprites you've already created.

I know if you really take a deep dive into the process you can replace entire sprites during the head turn for even smoother results and a wider turn but you can still do a lot with what's already there.

The 360 head turn I created for my color monkeys (which is actually more of 145 degree turn from side to side) is achieved entirely with the character's existing front facing sprites. It took me about 30-45 minutes of tinkering to get it to this point and I think it looks relative…

Animation at Work - Enter Reallusion's 2019 Cartoon Animator 4, 2D Animation Contest

Nothing gets the word out like a contest which is why I suspect Reallusion is running it's Animation at Work contest only a year after the last one (previously there's been at least a 2 year gap). Nothing wrong with that.

Cartoon Animator 4, released earlier this year, is a great application for creating 2D animation quickly and easily, with a first prize of US$2000.00 up for grabs in each category, that should attract plenty of new users.

Entrants have until October 31, 2019 to submit a 2D animated short into one of four categories, Business, Comic, YouTuber, and Education, for a chance to win. Each category has specific entry requirements so be sure to read the rules for details.

Prizes are the same in each category with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes of US$2000, $1000, and $500 respectively. As well there are additional early bird prizes (and probably more eyes on your entry) if you're within the first 150 entrants.

If you don't own a copy of Cartoon Animator 4 you'r…

Tutorial: Lip Syncing Hands with Cartoon Animator 4

Most people accentuate almost everything they say with their hands, if they aren't consciously making an effort to keep their hands still, such as TV presenters often do.

Generally the more excited we are the more expressive our hands become. If we're really excited we might wave our hands in the air for example.

At other times our hands may reinforce a mood with actions that support our feelings, maybe if you're really sad you might rest your head in your hands, or wipe away tears.

In animation your characters can really seem more alive if you pay attention to what their hands are doing as they speak, creating gestures that support their dialogue. In other words, lip syncing your character's hands with what they are saying.

Unfortunately there's no auto hand syncing function in Cartoon Animator 4 but getting your characters hands talking doesn't have to be painstakingly laborious. You don't need to key frame every action if you take advantage of predefine…

Review: Renderforest Whiteboard Animation Toolkit - Fast Cloud Animated Video

For a while Whiteboard Animation became a thing, particularly when the YouTube meme Draw My Life started to circulate.

Though, technically drawing on a whiteboard isn't animation any online video employing that style of technique is usually referred to as Whiteboard Animation.

The popularity of Whiteboard Animation saw the process of creating them become automated with simulated whiteboard animation. In a simulation a still, photographic image of a hand holding a marker, is moved around an image as it is 'drawn' on a usually white background.

Generally, if the image being drawn looks hand drawn, and the hand actually follows the lines as they are being drawn it looks almost as interesting as an actual real hand drawing on a whiteboard. However the illusion can be ruined if the hand is speed drawing perfectly formed lettering in a non hand drawn font, or worse is speed drawing photographs.

Renderforest's Whiteboard Animation Toolkit is one such simulator that I thought…
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