Book Review: Screen Acting - How to Succeed in Motion Pictures and Television

For a book that was last published back in 1987, Screen Acting, How to Succeed in Motion Pictures and Television by international Australian Actor and TV show host Brian Adams is remarkably not very out dated at all.

Except for a few organisation names which may or may not still be the same and actor salary tables the majority of information in this book is still as relevant today as it was back in 1987.

Review (Kind of): iSK CRU-1 USB Studio Condenser Microphone

iSK CRU-1 USB Studio
Condenser Microphone
If you're serious about animation or video and plan to record your own voice for narration or characters, sooner or later you're going to want to upgrade from those cheap, $12.00 gaming mics, that you can buy from most variety stores.

I'll admit I don't know what makes for a good microphone having nothing for comparison than the $12.00 cheapies - and I'm too lazy to actually visit a real audio/music equipment store to test equipment out. Which is why this is only a 'kind of' review.

The way I see it, almost any professional microphone is an improvement on what I've been using so it's hard to go wrong.

Project Updates - Where Have I Been and What Am I Doing?

TET all dressed for the
Peanuts Movie.
It's been almost a month since I last posted in this blog largely due to a family matter that involved travelling back to Western Australia from South Australia to actually be with my family over there. Rest assured I haven't forgotten about this blog and things are still happening on my projects.

Animation 4 Business iClone Promotional Video

In my recent updates I've been teasing a new Animation 4 Business Promotional video created with Reallusion's iClone 6. It's taken me longer than expected because I've only been able to work on it for a couple of hours each day - part of my new schedule that enables me to work on many projects concurrently.

Finally the animation is finished and, although I've already debuted it on the Animation 4 Business website, Facebook and YouTube, here is the only place you can read about the behind the scenes creation process.

Muvizu: Drag'n'Drop 3D Animation

Muvizu.
Muvizu Play is an easy to use, 3D, drag'n'drop animation software that's been around for a while but I hadn't come across it until now. It's free to download and, if you pay for a license you'll be able to access more features, content and remove the Muvizu watermark from your creations.

Book Review: The Animator's Survival Kit, Expanded Edition - Richard Williams

If you're serious about becoming an animator in any style from traditional hand drawn animation to 3D computer generated animation and everything in between (even cut out or stop motion... brickmation even) this book is a must have. Not just on your book shelf but well within reach of your work space.

The Animator's Survival Kit, Expanded Edition by Richard Williams is considered to be the animator's 'bible' for good reason. It's simply the best book on the craft of animating I've ever read (and if you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know I've read a few).

Project Updates - What's happening on my desk?

Buddy's World TET at his desk.

I'm busier than I ever have been working on animation projects. The trouble is, most of what I'm doing doesn't make for very interesting blog posts. Half my day is spent learning about animation or animation software. The other half is spent doing the grunt work on projects, drawing hands... well paws, so many paws and key framing... so many key frames. There's also that game app I'm working on. So here is a quick run down of what I'm doing since I last posted some Project Updates.

Book Review: Aliens and Alien Societies - A writer's guide to creating extraterrestrial life-forms

Aliens and Alien Societies - a writer's guide to creating extraterrestrial life-forms by Stanley Schmidt is another book that I originally bought almost 20 years ago and never got around to reading.

However, now that I have a regular reading schedule I'm powering through books... comparatively, as opposed to not reading much at all... and I was really looking forward to reading this one. Science Fiction being one of my creative interests. Especially the possibility of creating my own unique worlds and populating them with any kind of alien I can dream up.

Diving Back Into Crazy Talk Animator 2 Character Creation (Part 5)

JAC
Continuing on with the creation of my first CrazyTalk Animator 2, G2 character, Happy Cat JAC, I'm happy to say that I've had a major break through with setting up this character, specifically, how to add a tail.

Before moving on, if you'd like to catch up on previous posts before continuing, here are the links for Part 1, Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.

Last update I had imported my DrawPlus Character template into CTA2 and discovered a number of issues.

Project Updates - Things I Either Am, or Have Been, Working On

TET, hard at Work.
I've been particularly busy lately working on various projects. Scheduling my time much better so I work on several things for just an hour or two each day. I thought I'd give you a quick run down of what I've been doing of late. Starting with JAC the Cat character...

Diving Back Into Crazy Talk Animator 2 Character Creation (Part 4)

JAC
Last time I posted about the creation of my first CrazyTalk Animator 2 G2 character, Happy Cat JAC, it was just a progress report to say I'd completed a second view of the character in my DrawPlus X8 template and a commitment to say progress had accelerated to daily work on the project.

If you'd like to catch up on previous posts before continuing, here are the links for Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

I'm happy to say I've stuck to the daily progress commitment and can report that today I finished the last of all seven views in my DrawPlus template. Which you can see below.

World First: X-Ray Animated Travel Story Using Full-Sized Airport Luggage Scanner

Club Med and BAFTA nominee and Art Director/Creative Lead at animation studio 3.81, Matt Oxborrow, have teamed up to answer the question "Is your luggage having more fun than you when you go on a holiday?" Find out in the delightfully unique animation, Sun, Sea and Scanned: A Flip-Flop Family Holiday (below) created using a full-sized airport luggage scanner.

Bat Storm - A Look Behind the Curtain of a Future iClone Project


I recently teased the above Bat Storm image on my Facebook wall stating that it was a future iClone project that I hoped to work on. The image is just a fun test that I put together, in the space of about an hour or so of tinkering, after purchasing a bunch of Superhero content through the Reallusion Content Store and Market Place.

Because the image looks cartoonish you could be forgiven for thinking it's something I drew myself. If you're not familiar with iClone and 3D animation techniques in general I thought I'd draw back the curtain a little and show you how this image was made.

Diving Back Into Crazy Talk Animator 2 Character Creation (Part 3)

JAC
If you've been following the creation of my first CrazyTalk Animator 2 G2 character, Happy Cat JAC, then you may have given up on me finishing, since the last time I posted an update was back in late May 2015.

I don't blame you. I said there was no guarantees I'd even finish when I started. Good news is, I've picked up the tools again and gotten back to work.

Book Review: Scene of the Crime - a Writer's Guide to Crime-scene Investigations

I bought Scene of the Crime, a writer's guide to crime-scene investigations by Anne Wingate, Ph.D. at the same time as I bought Modus Operandi so the information, whilst still relevant, much is more relevant to pre 1996 crime scene investigations. That said, this is an excellent companion to that book. Where as Modus Operandi gives you an overview of types of criminals, Scene of the Crime goes into the specifics of how police work a crime scene.

Book Review: Modus Operandi - A Writer's Guide to How Criminals Work

To give you some idea of how long ago it was between buying this book and when I actually read it, the book makes a reference to the movie Jurassic Park being currently popular in theaters. When I read it, Jurassic World was owning theaters everywhere.

Despite being published in the mid 1990s much of the information in Modus Operandi, a writer's guide to how criminals work by Mauro V. Corvasce and Joseph R. Paglino is still relevant - especially if you're writing anything set pre 1996 and want to be aware of how things were 20+ years ago.

Reallusion iClone 6 - My First Animation (Part 2)

Custom ToonMaker
Character, iClone 6.
Last post I introduced you to iClone 6 and my first full project using Reallusion's premiere 3D software animation tool. My project is a short promotional video for my Animation4Business service.

As explained last time I actually sketched out a storyboard for this video (like actual hand drawn sketches) which is something I rarely need to do using animation tools like GoAnimate where it's just as easy to create the storyboard directly from the actual components that will be animated.

Reallusion iClone 6 - My First Animation

Late last year Reallusion released iClone 6 which was both great and annoying at the same time to me as I'd finally worked my way through the basics of iClone 5 after purchasing that the year before. Naturally I upgraded and promptly discovered my laptop running iClone 5 wouldn't run iClone 6.

Reallusion did release a patch shortly after that enabled iClone 6 to run on my laptop but it basically scaled back the software so that you couldn't use any of the powerful new features.

Book Review: The Cheeky Monkey - Writing Narrative Comedy

I don't know of many books that focus specifically on writing narrative comedy so when I discovered The Cheeky Monkey, Writing Narrative Comedy by one of Australia's comedy legends, Tim Ferguson (international readers my know him better as one third of the comedy trio, the Doug Anthony All Stars), I knew it was a book I'd buy.

Diving Back Into Crazy Talk Animator 2 Character Creation (Part 2)

JAC
Once again it's been a while since I posted to this blog because... well... life happens and it's been tough to get back on track and into creation mode. Fortunately I haven't been totally non-productive and this post is to get you up to speed on where my CTA2 G2, JAC character is at, that I began documenting in part 1 of this series of posts.

Last time I'd drawn my seven final character view sketches ready for importing into DrawPlus for 'inking' and coloring.

Silo - 3D Modeling Zen (Apparently)

iClone Custom
ToonMaker 2 Character.
I've been looking around for a 3D modeling application for some time now after slowly making some headway into the world of 3D animation with Reallusion's iClone. iClone is great for 3D animation but much of the time you're a slave to whatever content you can buy from various online market places and libraries - which is pretty darn extensive I must say.

However the one thing I can't buy is my own 2D character designs re-imagined as 3D characters. I can sort of make my own toon characters with Reallusion's ToonMaker and ToonMaker 2 but it's not quite the same. Whilst I'm not in a hurry to start cranking out 3D animation with my own characters it is something I'm interested in tinkering with now and then and I'd rather build my own characters.

Diving Back Into Crazy Talk Animator 2 Character Creation

Happy Cat JAC by TET
It's been a while since I last posted to this blog, having been busy with moving house, organizing the new house and generally not doing anything in the way of my own animation projects to report on.

When I left you I had announced that I was going to dive back into character creation for Crazy Talk Animator 2 by resurrecting the Monkey character that I started and abandoned a year earlier due to technical issues.

GoHobbyist Forums - Home of the GoAnimate Community

GoHobbyist Forums
Over the last couple of years GoAnimate has evolved from a site for animation enthusiasts who just want to get their ideas animated quickly to a site for businesses of all sizes who want to engage customers through animated video.

As a result the GoAnimate 'hobbyist' community was slowly displaced as more and more community features were removed from the website. The final nail in the coffin was the removal of the old discussion forum at the end of 2014. A forum that had served the community since the site began in 2008.

Resurecting the Monkey: Bored Monkey Character Part 4

Way back in February of 2014 I began working on my very first CrazyTalk Animator 2, Multi-Dimensional character. Formerly known as the Skate Monkey, the character has since been retitled the Bored Monkey in line with a new series of skateboard graphics I'm planning to feature him on.

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