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Showing posts from April, 2014

State Plus - The Interim Legacy of Xtranormal

Remember Xtranormal? The site that said "If you can type, you can make movies." Although its online studio was very limited it was still pretty good for making short, dialogue driven videos with visually interesting 3D characters and backgrounds.

Here's a reminder with one of my best Xtranormal videos using some of their Star Trek based characters.



I enjoyed Xtranormal quite a bit but its pay as you publish business model and the need to purchase themes made it expensive. Particularly if you graduated to the downloadable desktop version, State, which gave you more functionality, increased possibilities and an even lighter bank account.

Last year, around mid 2013, Xtranormal closed down its website with a promise to rethink its business model and maybe make a come back. As it turns out Xtranormal is no more. Its intellectual properties were liquidated and, early this year, sold to a new company called Nawmal. Presently Nawmal is still in the process of assessing how best…

Plotagon - Story Telling for Everyone... not really.

I've briefly reviewed Plotagon's Animation Tool before as part of my Six DIY Animation tools post and wasn't very impressed. At the time I hadn't really looked very deep into what Plotagon could do. Now that I have had further chance to really explore the software I can safely say that Plotagon will likely be frustrating for anyone with any film training at all.

I say that because, even if you'd had the most basic training in the art of film making, Plotagon is going to frustrate you with it's rigid placement of actors locked camera choices and step by step interpretation of your script.

But let's back up a bit and look at what Plotagon is attempting to do. Plotagon simplifies the film making process by linking what happens in your movie directly to the act of writing your script.

Scripts are set out pretty much in the standard screen writing format. Choose a scene, place up to two characters at any of the predefined locations within the scene and start wr…

New from Animation 4 Business: Premium Explainer Videos

Animation 4 Business Premium is a new service I'm offering as part of my Business Explainer Video Service, Animation 4 Business. To launch the service I've created the short video below that explains why you might use my Premium service over solutions like GoAnimate and Powtoon. The video is also entered into Reallusion's Animation@Work contest too.

Essentially it's for those situations where you need characters to perform specific tasks unique to your business but you don't want to go to the full expense of creating a custom character from scratch. Visit my site or email me if  you'd like more information.



This blog however is more concerned with the behind the scenes stuff of how the above animation was created. So lets get into that.

From start to finish this animation took three days including writing the script, designing my new Animation 4 Business logo, animating the characters and scenes and adding sound effects and music. Note that I didn't storyb…

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 m…

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…