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Showing posts from 2013

Featured GoAnimator: Enjoyinglifeinseoul (ELIS) - Witches of Misery!

GoAnimator enjoyinglifeinseoul is the December 2013 winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. Enjoyinglifeinseoul has had his account with GoAnimate since March of 2011 and in that time has amassed 3346 followers and published 49 animations. This is his second win of the contest. Read his first winning post here.

Enjoyinglifeinseoul chose to feature his animation , saying...
Well, it took me some time to decide which of my animations to have featured. I considered some of my older ones like “Prince of Persia” or “Turtle Shell! Turtle Shell!” and the latest ones like “Demon Fire!” and “Witches of Misery!” In the end I went with “Witches of Misery” because most of the challenges and special techniques I had used in the others were covered the last time I was featured here.   Some fresh problems popped up this time and I thought that the solutions I came up with might help some of your readers. The other reason I choose this one, is because, I had so much fun makin…

Blabberize - Get your images talking

One of the best applications for making your face images talk is Reallusion's CrazyTalk. However if you don't want to buy such an advanced piece of software and just want to throw down a quick talking head to make someone smile then the online application, Blabberize, might be just what you're looking for.

Blabberize will get your images talking in more of an old style, ventriloquists dummy, kind of way by adding a lip-synced lower lip and chin to your face images. Not great for realism but perfect if you're going for comedic effect.

You can trial the service but won't be able to save your work until you create an account. It's free so you may as well. From there it's a simple five step process:
Upload an image (front on images work best).Crop the area of the image you wish to use.Define one or more mouth areas.Record or Upload up to 30 seconds of audio.Preview and save.  Once you have your video you can share the link or embed the animation anywhere that a…

Animation: The Star Trek Fan (TSWF 2)

The Star Trek Fan is the second installment of an earlier animation I created back in March of 2013 called The Star Wars Fan. If you haven't seen it I would recommend you view it first as The Star Trek Fan is a kind of continuation of the dialogue but in a new subway location.

Once again the Tourist, his travel companion Mia and their R2D2 unit are minding their own business when they are approached by a metro cop who inquires about their droid.

The Star Trek Fan (TSWF II) by etourist on GoAnimate


With it being such a long time since the first installment I don't think I managed to get Mia's voice sounding the same or get any real difference between all of the character voices. Also the voices aren't consistent because I just wanted to get the animation finished, since it had been sitting in my GoAnimate account for months as I tinkered away on it between business animation clients.

However I think it still works and the script is strong enough for people to overlook my…

Crazy Talk Animator 2 and iClone 5.51

Crazy Talk Animator 2 I'm very excited at the release of Crazy Talk Animator 2 from Realusion. So excited that I bought my copy on pre-order as part of a pre-visualization bundle with iClone 5.51. I bought over $1000 worth of software for 70% off and got Crazy Talk Animator 2 for free, thrown in.

The down side is I won't get Crazy Talk Animator 2 until it's released some time in December 2013. The upside is I'm now the proud owner of so much 3D animation software I could just about make my own Toy Story movie (or maybe a sequel to The Invincibles since Pixar won't get their act together).

Regular readers of this blog will know I have the original Crazy Talk Animator. You can see pretty much the sum total of my efforts with it in this blog post on animating Cool Cat, Froyd. I just haven't had the time to really dive into it.

However, aside from all the new 3D features for 2D characters in version 2, what's really got me excited is the new feature of being a…

Featured GoAnimator: TheseStars - Hoot and the Yellow Canary

GoAnimator TheseStars is the November winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. TheseStars has had her account with GoAnimate since April of 2010 and in that time has amassed 965 followers and published 21 animations.

TheseStars chose to feature her animation Hoot and The Yellow Canary, saying...

I choose this video to be featured in this article for several reasons. The first being that I strongly feel it is my best production thus far as an armature animator working within the GoAnimate Studio. The second reason for my choice is that I would like to share this particular spotlight with the other people who contributed to the success of the production. And lastly, I choose this video because I strongly believe in the message the story line serves to tell others. That they too can create a little magic in their own life. This video production tells the story of how I literally found a yellow canary on the same day that I told a canary breeder in a pet sto…

Six D.I.Y. Video Animation Tools

Can't draw or animate to save your life but want to create cartoons or explainer videos? Here's a list of six do it yourself animation sites/tools that are worth a look and you can try for free - no drawing skills required.

Before we start I will admit I've barely used any of these sites except for GoAnimate, so don't expect in depth reviews. The best I can do is give you my initial impression, ask you to watch their video and then go and try them all for yourself. I may do proper reviews at a future date.

GoAnimate I'm a big supporter of GoAnimate which has been around since 2008 and allows you t create short, 2D cartoon animations using their library of thousands of characters, props, backgrounds and more. It's the leading site in its field and is being continuously refined with improvements.

What makes GoAnimate stand out from the competition is that it can keep up with your growth as an animator and film maker. You can get some very professional looking res…

Featured Animator: WOW™ - Eve

GoAnimator WOW™ is the October winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. WOW has had his account with GoAnimate since May of 2011 and in that time has amassed 357 followers and published 22 animations.

WOW™ chose to feature his animation Eve, saying...

"I chose this particular animation, because this is such a complex idea that I would like to elaborate for you all. First and foremost, Eve is initially (yes, I said initially) a post-apocalyptic story set in an ice age. I would also like to reiterate that this a dramatic story, because I want to develop realistic characters in a realistic way. There’s a lot of dialog here."
Watch WOW™'s animation below and then read about his inspiration and challenges in creating the video.

Eve-Trailer by WOW™ on GoAnimate


Inspiration You may notice the black and white visuals in the trailer, with a slight touch of colors throughout the trailer. This is loosely inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. When the story …

Featured Animator: Rocque - Baby New Year (Part 5)

GoAnimator Rocque is the September winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. Rocque has had her account with GoAnimate since March of 2011 and in that time has amassed 915 followers and published 78 animations.

Rocque chose to feature her animation Baby New Year (Part 5), saying...

"I chose this animation to feature because I think it is my favorite one so far out of the series that started as Baby New Year then was going into a series titled 2012. It seems so long ago now. This one is special because of the incredible voice acting. I was honored to have Hollywood3514, Latin Fire, J Files Graphics, and RoTV take time out of their busy schedules to lend voices. It was almost 6 minutes long and there were a lot of lines."

Watch Rocque's animation below and then read about her inspiration and challenges in creating the video.

Baby New Year Part 5 by Rocque on GoAnimate


Inspiration...
When 2011 was nearing its end there were so many rumors about …

Business Animation: Your Terrible Script, How to Make It Better

I can't begin to describe how hard it is to work on a business explainer animation that has a terrible script. The script that the client wrote so they don't have to pay me to write it properly, with fewer words and an easier to understand structure.

It's especially difficult when the person creating the explainer video (i.e. me) doesn't understand the product from reading the client's script, even after asking the client questions. You'd think that would send alarm bells ringing for the client that maybe their script just doesn't do the job.

If you do happen to be writing an explainer script for your product or service then it pays to follow a tried and tested structure which is as follows:

1. Define the problem your product or service solves.
2. Introduce your product or service as 'the solution'.
3. Describe how your product or service solves the problem and why it's the best solution.
4. Summarize your product or service and what it does.
5…

Featured Animator: Artem™ - ~Evil Awakening~

GoAnimator Artem™  is the August winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. Artem™ has had his account with GoAnimate since April of 2013 and in that time has amassed 126 followers and published 11 animations.

Artem™ chose to feature his contest entry, ~Evil Awakenings~, saying...

"I chose this animation because it was a challenge that I beat. I was having a lot of trouble with this animation. It was a theme that I never used before and a short amount of time."

This is the first time someone has chosen their winning video to feature so I thought I'd add in my comments as to why this animation was selected to win...

"Attention to detail and great editing, along with a strong script set this apart from the rest. Use of audio to add background noise and to suggest actions occurring off screen was impressive. Then showing a fight scene by not actually showing a fight scene but by using creative editing to imply actions that are occurring was very …

Featured Animator: Balacafa - Super Kent - THE ROBOT

GoAnimator Balacafa is the July winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. Balacafa has had his account with GoAnimate since October of 2012 and in that time has amassed 627 followers and published 20 animations.

Balacafa chose to feature his animation, Super Kent - THE ROBOT, saying...

I chose this animation because I actually spent time getting the effects in exactly the right places instead of just putting them at the start of the scene, I made sure they were at exactly the right times.

Super Kent is actually one of my own characters from my early days on GoAnimate. You can view my own three episodes at Super Kent, Super Kent Returns and Super Kent - Man of Steel.

Watch Balacafa's animation below and then read about his inspiration and challenges in creating the video.

Super Kent - THE ROBOT by balacafa on GoAnimate


Inspiration...

Well, when I was in the forums I stumbled across a forum by Gipsy and I was curious about what it was. So I checked it out and s…

Tools for your Home Digital Animation Studio

There is the Rolls Royce of digital animation tools that any professional animator would probably aspire to but if you're just starting out, animating for a hobby, or just not in any position to get the top level gear then I've put together a few options below to get you started.

Many of the tools I've written about before so I'll provide links to those articles if you want more information. You'll also notice that your software studio can potentially consist of entirely free software.

Hardware. I'm going to assume you already have a computer. One with real processing power is ideal but even most low budget laptops have enough power to get some pretty decent results. Beyond that you'll need either a graphics tablet or scanner to get your drawings into the digital realm.

Graphics Tablet
A graphics tablet is not absolutely essential but it will make your life a whole lot easier. You'll get more out of many animation programs which have tablet support.

The…

Bitstrips - Social Comic Creation - No Drawing Skills Needed.

I recently discovered Bitstrips, a social comic creation, Facebook application that enables you to create gag cartoons and comic strips staring yourself and your Facebook friends - even if you can't draw.

Whilst Bitstrips doesn't have much to do with video or animation the parallels with GoAnimate's animation studio - that everyone can use, even without drawing ability - is obvious. Bitstrips actually has more flexibility than GoAnimate when it comes to creating poses for characters. Almost any pose, expression and emotion is possible even though the characters are all 2D.

It would be a dream come true if Bitstrips partnered with GoAnimate to turn their content into 'Bitanimations' as well as 'Bitstrips'. They pretty much have all the artwork. They just need the underlying animation application to support it.

The Bitstrips Facebook application seems to only allow single panel, gag cartoons and provides a number of ready made jokes which you can customize q…

Beware the Batman - Cartoon Network's New CG Animated Series Trailer Doesn't Excite.

Cartoon Network released their first full trailer for the new CG animated series Beware the Batman and, although I'm a long time Batman fan - particularly animated and on film - it just didn't get me excited for the show.

It's not that I think the trailer is bad or that the show looks like it's missed the mark on what makes Batman great it just that it's all CG animated and, for some reason, I find that disappointing.



Which is really odd because this show is following in the footsteps of the Green Lantern CG animated series. Although I didn't watch much of Green Lantern, the episodes I happened to catch were really great, and I did like the design of the show. So much so that I have considered buying the series on Blu-ray or DVD - and I'm not that much of a Green Lantern fan.

My problem is I can't get excited for CG animation anymore. Which is a shame because at one time CG animation was something I really wanted to do myself. Still do, in fact, but ba…

Featured Animator: Denom - Miquiliztli Yahochihua, Ep. 13

GoAnimator Denom is the June winner of my GoAnimate,Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. Denom has had his account with GoAnimate since April of 2011 and in that time has amassed 2528 followers and published 239 animations.

Denom chose to feature Episode 13 from his series, Miquiliztli Yahochihua, saying...

I chose this animation because it's one of my best animations and identifies me. Fighting animations are my thing. I tried to make something that has never been done before on GoAnimate. Not just with the animation, also with the voices.

Miquiliztli yahochihua episode 13 by Denom on GoAnimate


Inspiration...

The inspiration came from a Dragon ball Z movie in which the strongest characters of the series fight each other, and the background music I chose.

Main Challenge...

I tried to make an exaggerated fight using very short scenes and several custom effects. The custom effects I used were the back view of one character, hit effects, power of different colors and a circular negat…

Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories - Book Review

Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories by Karen Sullivan, Gary Schumer and Kate Alexander is a book I was looking forward to reading but had my expectations take a beating right from chapter one. From then on it became a chore to read. Despite that, I persevered and breathed a big sigh of relief when I finally reached the last page.

Which was disappointing because I took a long time in choosing what animation book to buy on Amazon as part of a two book purchase that included The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams (a book that is considered an essential in any animator's library).

What I was looking for was a lively book on idea development with interesting insights and examples from the various professional animators interviewed. Something that would show a real passion for short story telling, how different creatives approach finding inspiration and how they develop their ideas into a story for short film.

What I got in Chapter 1 was a history les…

Man of Steel - Super Kent Returns to GoAnimate

The character of Super Kent was one of my first creations on GoAnimate way back in 2008, not long after joining the site. The basic premise of the character is that he is a parody of Clarke Kent with the sole purpose of trying to convince his boss at the Daily Planet that he really IS Superman.

Previously I created two comedy shorts, Super Kent and Super Kent Returns, both with the same format of Kent initially trying to convince his boss of his super powers without success. The boss then sends him to report on a breaking news story.

It wasn't a character I had any plans to return to any time soon as I felt I'd moved on from my early GoAnimate superhero parodies.

However TotallyEpicHD, the winner of my April TET Blog Contest, resurrected the character in his entry to my contest. Which inspired GoAnimator, gipsy, to make a flash version of Super Kent in his Super Suit. When I came across his post in GoAnimate's forum's I asked if he could create a flying action and a h…

Featured Animator: Smirks - Shooting Star (Music Video)

GoAnimator Smirks is the May winner of my GoAnimate, Get Featured in TET's Blog contest. Smirks has had his account with GoAnimate since August of 2011 and in that time has amassed 2969 followers (formerly known as fans) and published 60 animations.

Smirks chose to feature a music video, Shooting Star by Owl City, saying...

I chose shooting star because it's one of my most inspirational video i have made, and because i think it's the best video i have made (skill wise).

Shooting Star by Smirks on GoAnimate


Inspiration...

I was inspired to make it because I've noticed all the people, who are saying that they get picked on and saying that they are worthless (and believe me I have been there), and the song to me felt like it was saying that people can have their chance to shine anytime, so because of that I decided to make it.


Main Challenge...

The main problem making the video was the masking, like at the scene where it shows the 4 characters in the squares, the most diffic…
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