Review: Toon Boom Harmony 14 - What I learned in 21 Days

Toon Boom Harmony is widely considered the industry standard for primarily 2D animation. You don't get to be that if your software isn't exceptional.

However, industry standard and exceptional usually translates to steep learning curve and probably contains more features than I'll ever use. So, in reviewing the latest version, Harmony 14, I'm setting out to answer two questions; How easy is it to learn the basics and is it software an independent artist/animator, like myself, should seriously consider as their go to, 2D animation studio of choice?

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 7, Pro Only Videos 14-21

After a little bit of a break it's time to continue working my way through Moho's Pro Video Tutorials (which were actually created for Anime Studio Pro 11). After watching the next batch of video tutorials I've done a bit reorganization to my initial order of the videos, as my initial guess, based on the video titles, wasn't quite right.

Cool Froyd Gets a CrazyTalk Animator 3, G3 Character Makeover

Cool Froyd was originally created and rigged in the first version of CrazyTalk Animator. Now that CrazyTalk Animator 3 has added its all new G3 line of characters it's time to update Cool Froyd to take advantage of this more flexible (literally), single angle, character rig.

Froyd was never designed to be an animated character. He's taken from a painting that I thought would be fun to animate. Which is largely what attracted me to CTA in the first place as, to this day, Reallusion still promotes CTA as a way to bring paintings to life.

Review: Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 - Taking a Step Back to Move Forward

GRRR Dog by TET.
Can I animate this guy in
CrazyTalk Animator 3?
CrazyTalk Animator 3's bold claim is 'The One-for-all 2D Animation'. Does it deliver? Could it be your 'go to' 2D animation tool of choice? Before I explore those questions I feel a bit of backstory is necessary.

I've been using Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator since its original incarnation that promised quick and easy, 2D animation creation. An idea that was relative depending on what kind of animation you wanted to do. Since my focus has largely been on original character animation my experience with CTA is relative to that.

If you wanted to create animated characters from your original artwork, quick and easy didn't really describe the time and effort involved. There was a lot of preparation and considerable time spent rigging its G1 characters.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 6, Pro Only Videos 7-13

Continuing to work my way through Moho's Pro Video Tutorials (which were actually created for Anime Studio Pro 11) I must admit the training is becoming a bit of a grind. There's a lot to take in, with much of it being things that it's nice to be aware of but aren't entirely essential to know.

As well, many of these videos rehash things already covered - which is not a bad thing and certainly helps each time I pick up from where I left off (particularly this time when it's been nearly three weeks between training sessions)

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 5, Pro Only Videos 1-6

Right now I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on Moho Pro 12 after having completed all the Anime Studio 11, Debut and Debut/Pro video tutorials. However I still have 45 videos to go for features that are Pro only (and I haven't even started on the What's new in Moho videos yet!)

With so much more to learn, let's dive right in...

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 4, Debut and Pro Videos 11-26

In my last entry I was part way through the second batch of Moho and Anime Studio (Both) video tutorials. Twenty six videos in total, of which, I completed the first ten.

This post I work my way through the remaining sixteen and discover some pretty sweet, time saving effects in the process.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 3, Debut and Pro Videos 1-10

After learning the basics of Moho Pro 12 from SmithMicro's 15 Anime Studio Debut video tutorials in Part 2, I'm now moving on to the 26 video tutorials that cover features in both the Debut and Pro versions of Anime Studio (if you're wondering, these video tutorials are just rebadged Anime Studio tutorials included with my Moho 12 Pro purchase).

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 2, Debut Videos 1-15

Alvin Owl: Bones Rig.
In part 2 of my journal blog documenting my progress with learning Moho Pro 12 I dive head first into the first batch of video tutorials covering the basics of Anime Studio Debut.... wait, what?

In Part 1 I described how the video tutorials I purchased with Moho Pro 12 were in no particular order and made for a confusing mess. As well, most of the video tutorials are really for Anime Studio 11, which has all the same basic features minus whatever new features have been added.

Cool Froyd, Episode 3: Gardening - Animated Short by TET


My latest animation is the third installment of my Cool Froyd the cat series titled, Gardening.

In this episode Froyd explains how cats garden and recounts a story of some fairly odd gardening practices from TET (i.e. me). Watch the video below then continue on for background information about what inspired the video and detailed highlights from how it was made.

Review: Gunnar Gaming Eyewear - MLG: Phantom Specs

Gunnar MLG: Phantom Specs.
As someone who stares at screens virtually all day I can safely say my vision isn't the best. I'm completely fine reading monitors but I do struggle a little with my mobile phone screen.

So when I heard about Gunnar Computer Eyewear, specs that supposedly reduce eye strain, dryness, glare and increase sharpness and brightness of vision I thought these might be worth a try.

I must admit I ended up with the MLG: Phantom specs because they were the cheapest model I could buy through ebay and have in my hands within a few days. Honestly, I didn't want to spend too much because I was a little skeptical that they would be of great benefit.

Random Testing Unit - Can you believe what Police are testing for now?

Police forces in many places around the world perform roadside, random breath tests to catch out drink drivers.

More recently, in some parts of Australia at least, Police conduct random drug tests in response to growing concerns of people driving under the influences of other illicit substances.

In a spark of silliness, I got to thinking what else could Police forces start randomly testing for on the roadside? That's how my short animation, Random Testing Unit, began to form.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 1, Introduction

This week Smith Micro released the latest version of it's animation software, Moho Pro 12, which is actually the latest, completely revised and updated version of Anime Studio Pro 11 with a new name, kind of. As I understand it Anime Studio used to be called Moho in the beginning and this is a return to the original name.

I firmly believe in this software as a professional animation tool, as evidenced by the fact I've kept upgrading every time they release a new version, despite never having the time to even scratch the surface learning how to use it properly.

Project Updates: The Comedian / Random Testing Unit

I haven't posted to this blog for nearly a month because Animation4Business projects have been monopolising my time.

As well, I prefer to write about actual projects I'm working on over writing fill in posts like reviews (of which I have a couple I've been meaning to do).

The last week or two I've had some time to get back to my Random Testing Unit short animation project so I thought I'd give you an update on that as well as my Comedian animated short.

From Traditional to Digital Sketching - My Journey.

TET. Mobile Phone Sketch.
There was a time when I would sit in front of the TV on an evening, sketch book in my lap, doodling away turning lines and shapes into all manner of characters and quite a few dragons too. With the rise of social media and advances in mobile phone technology my sketch pad has been replaced with Facebook, email and other social app checking.

So my lack of creativity is basically your collective fault for distracting me with Likes, comments and other blips of information that really don't need to be checked every few minutes... well not really. I could just put away my phone and pick up a sketchbook again but...

Jump Fail Animation and Gary Pye's Comic Faces

Jump Fail Animation


The only way to get better at animation is to actually do some. I figure I can't keep sitting around waiting for time to complete full projects.

So the other day I fired up iClone6, after having watched an iClone tutorial on creating action scenes, to try and create a short action sequence of my own.

Random Testing Unit - Work In Progress Animated Short

Screen Shot from 'Random Testing Unit'.
Towards the end of last week, inspiration hit with an animation idea I could create relatively quickly in Muvizu (so I thought). Over three days I wrote a script with the working title of 'Random Testing Unit'.

I can't go into great detail about the script as it would spoil some of the initial humour. I can tell you, the basic premise is a comedy sketch featuring a Police, Random Testing Unit, road stop and a driver who is stopped to be tested. The finished animation will run for around 3 minutes.

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Comedy Contest and The Comedian

Reallusion's Comedy Contest.
Reallusion, the creators CrazyTalk 8, which makes animating 2D or 3D talking heads easy, launched their latest animation competition, The CrazyTalk Comedy Contest.

The competition closes on June 24th, 2016, which is plenty of time to learn CrazyTalk and submit a 60 second comedy animation created with the software.

Even better, if you don't own CrazyTalk 8, you can still enter as Reallusion is making a special free edition available for download from the contest page. Making this the ideal time to give it a try and possibly win over $1000.00 in cash.

Of Course I'm Entering...

Muvizu Revisted, Silo2 3D Modelling Bat Ears and Bat Storm 2.0

Bat Storm. 
I've reviewed Muvizu before and recommended it to friends as a low cost entry point to 3D, drag'n'drop, animation. It's very much like a simplified version of Reallusion's iClone6 and, at just over AU$50.00 for the full licensed version, which includes commercial use, hard to pass up.

As easy to use as Muvizu is, it can also grow with you as your skills improve. As you get more familiar with the software you'll discover just how customizable everything is.

Plotagon Revisited - Type Your Next Animation

Plotagon TET Avatar.
Plotagon, the free, type an animation app for PC, Mac, iPad and iPhone, has undergone a complete transformation since I last reviewed it in this blog. Gone are the more realistically stylised 3D characters and scenes in favour of a more friendly, 3D cartoon style.

It's a style I really like so it prompted me to see what's new in Plotagon version 2. Note that I'm using the PC desktop app so this review pertains to that specifically.

Book Review: Lonely Planet's Best Ever Video Tips

Lonely Planet's Best Ever Video Tips is a pocket book guide to video creation for beginners and intermediate video creators alike. It may also have a few ideas for video creators used to filming in one specific area or style looking to branch into other areas.

Using CrazyTalk 8 and iClone 6 to bring Cartoon Characters to Life

The Comedians - by TET. 
Over 20 years ago I had the idea to create a comic strip that was based on the stand-up comedy of three fictional comedians. It was one of those bursts of inspiration that never got any further than headshot drawings of the aforementioned cast before being filed away.

One of the reasons I bought the latest version of Reallusion's CrazyTalk 8 is that the promotional videos showed it being used to create 3D, talking head versions of cartoon characters. Something I thought might be an easy way to put my own characters into animation.

Clip Studio Paint EX (formerly Manga Studio EX) Now Includes Digital Cell Animation

Creating Animation with
Clip Paint Studio EX.
In a marvellous piece of serendipity, SmithMicro released a free update to Clip Studio Paint EX (formerly Manga Studio EX) that included Digital Cell Animation.

Clip Paint Studio EX is my preferred illustration tool and, in my last blog post, literally a day before the update was released, I talked about figuring something out with Manga Studio in order to create digital cell animations of my own.

Understanding my Absence and Updates on my Projects

Lil' Peepz TET... I miss you.
For some time now I've only been sporadically posting to this blog, which has been personally disappointing, as I've tried to make this and my Writing About blog something that I consistently update with new content on a weekly basis.

Whilst I've been more prolific on my Writing About blog, I don't have the same broad scope to write about almost anything I choose here. This blog is devoted to documenting my personal animation projects and things that relate to my work, such as reviews of software I'm using, tutorials, animation tips and, occasionally I'll feature other animators work that I've discovered too.

Software Review: CrazyTalk 8 Pipeline by Reallusion

Reallusion released the newest version of its CrazyTalk software during December 2015 and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a free copy CrazyTalk 8 Pipeline version after buying a truckload of Reallusion content in order to get the special deal.

If you're not familiar with CrazyTalk it's basically specialized software for creating and animating talking heads quickly. CrazyTalk 8 extends the original capability of creating a semi 3D head from a 2D image to creating true 3D heads that can be imported into iClone and Reallusion's new 3D Character Creator (Pipeline version only).

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