Color Monkey CrazyTalk Animator 3 G3 Characters Now Available for Your Next Production

Reddy the Color Monkey. Now available.
Reddy, the Color Monkey, is now available to buy in my Reallusion Marketplace store for your next CrazyTalk Animator 3 production.

It's been a long journey that began way back in 2011, when I first tried to create him as a CTA, G1 character. Then again in 2014, I attempted to create him as CTA2, G2 character.

Each time the process or life in general got the better of me, but with CTA3's G3 character rigs the process of creating characters has become a lot more achievable and, most importantly, less tedious (though I'd say it's still challenging if you want your character to be fully featured)..

Review: Motion Den - DIY Video Intros and Slideshows

Motion Den claims to be the world's simplest video maker of intros and slideshow style animated videos. I needed an animated slide show to promote my etourist Skateboards online store, which I planned to make myself with one of the many video editing applications I have, but, after being directed to Motion Den by a spammy, completely unrelated comment on this very blog (which I've since deleted), I thought I'll give them a try.

The site is free to sign up and make videos with. Any published videos will have the Motion Den watermark. If you wish to remove this you can purchase individual videos or sign up for one of their plans, which give you a certain amount of credits each month to purchase videos with. Note that you can't actually do anything with a published free video other than view it in your account. There are no share options and you can't download it (making the watermark almost pointless).

Creating a G3 Monkey Character for CrazyTalk Animator 3 (Part 3)

Reddy the Color Monkey.
My new CrazyTalk Animator 3, G3 Character, Reddy the color monkey is both finished and still a work in progress. Previously I thought I might have a demonstration animation completed for this post but, after receiving some sought after feedback on Reddy with some very good suggestions I decided to refine him even further.

Most of the changes were to the line work around his joints so when his limbs move the join is less obvious and looks more natural. The more obvious change is that I added some shadow to him to make him look a little more three dimensional (so he'd match better with Garry Pye's excellent characters, props and backgrounds, which do have shadows and I will probably use quite a bit with Reddy).

Quickly Create a CrazyTalk Animator G3 Character From Original Art

See how I turn this free
CrazyTalk Animator 3 Character.
Creating a character rig from original art can seem like a daunting task in CrazyTalk Animator 3. Especially if, all you really want to do is put together a quick animation with characters you may never even use again.

Here's how to rig a CrazyTalk Animator 3, G3 human character, with the fewest components, whilst still being compatible with G3 character motions, and having a face capable of lip syncing and character expressions.

You should be able to do this in under an hour - assuming you have your artwork ready to go.

Creating a G3 Monkey Character for CrazyTalk Animator 3 (Part 2)

Reddy the Color Monkey
A CTA3, G3 Custom Character.
Last post, I wasn't sure I'd get this far so soon, but, as it turns out, creating a CrazyTalk Animator 3, G3 character is a much easier and relatively more enjoyable task than creating the previous G2 Characters.

In just under two weeks I've completed Reddy, the Color Monkey, my very first, fully Rigged G3 Character

By fully rigged I mean he has all the sprites needed for a full range of facial expressions and hand positions. He also has an extra foot sprite so you can position his feet either facing forward or sideways.

Course Review: The Rogue Animator - Learn How to Create Animation from Idea to Finished Animated Short

The Rogue Animator.
Premium Training by 2D Animation 101.

Don't miss the special discount offer at the bottom of this review.

2D Animation 101's Premium Video Course, The Rogue Animator, aspires to teach you how to create your own 2D animated short in ten days. To do this, course instructor, Mark Diaz, takes you through his entire process of creating one of his animated shorts, then, helps you through the same process using your own idea for a production.

The course is targeted at beginner to intermediate animators (or anyone struggling to achieve an efficient work flow), who are generally one person teams, looking to get their own ideas into the world through video sites like YouTube.

Creating a G3 Monkey Character for CrazyTalk Animator 3

This sketch only took about 10-15 minutes. Using a
symmetrical ruler meant I only had to draw
the left side of the image. 
Last post I mentioned my intention to develop an animation series based around my color monkey characters.

Recognizing that just saying something won't make it happen, today I started work on actually drawing and rigging the color monkey characters themselves.

It's definitely a task that comes with some trepidation and a definite sense of déjà vu as I've been here before. A few years back I attempted to rig this same character in CrazyTalk Animator 2 as a G2 character. It was a lot of work that I ended up being overwhelmed by.

This time I'm rigging the character in CrazyTalk Animator 3 as a G3 character. It's less work but still not a complete cakewalk. Unlike multi-angle G2 characters, G3 characters are only single angle. In theory you could draw and rig one from scratch inside a day (including all the additional hand and face sprites)

Reddy, Super Bluey, and The Great Greensbury. I've got an idea...

One of my biggest stumbling blocks in moving forward with my own animation has been coming up with ideas that I can get excited about.

Even with using time saving animation software like CrazyTalk Animator 3 creating animated shorts is still a lot of work that you need to stay motivated for. As much as I want to earn a living from creating my own animated shorts, the higher priority is to enjoy creating them... you know, if you enjoy what you're doing you'll never work a day in your life - that kind of thing.

When I got back into creating animated shorts in 2008, after discovering GoAnimate, I was clearly having a lot of fun in the years before that site transitioned from allowing anyone to create animated stories to a business explainer video creation tool. I made somewhere around 180 animated shorts over the space of about 4 years - roughly 3 animations per month.

Course Review: The Art of Aaron Blaise - Anatomy, and Character Design

I recently purchased two online drawing courses created by former Disney Animator, Aaron Blaise, including How to Draw Human Anatomy, and Character Design. Both courses were included in Aaron's Figure Drawing and Character Design Bundle, pack deal.

My own drawing style is heavily influenced by early Disney animated classics (think pre digital animation), which you can see in the more rounded lines of my characters - as opposed to the more angular character design lines you find in Marvel and DC comics etc.

I wasn't sure how much I'd learn from either of these courses, baring in mind I've already studied both topics in detail in Art School, and have been designing my own characters since I was in primary school, but Aaron's a veteran and easily out classes my animation skills.

Disney Releases Star Wars Forces of Destiny - TET Makes Cross Face >:-[

Star Wars, Forces of Destiny
Episode 1, Sands of Jakku.
Disney recently began releasing episodes of its animated shorts series, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, which focuses each short story around one of the female heroes from the Star Wars Universe.

At the time of writing four episodes were available on the Disney Youtube channel and they're okay. The stories are fairly simple and likely targeted at a younger audience in the 7-12 range. The animation style is fairly typical of modern, Saturday morning cartoons, with the characters being fairly faithful cartoon versions of their live action counterparts.

The reason I'm making a cross face is because the first two episodes feature Rey protecting BB-8 from various nasties on Jakku. Specifically with BB-8 and Rey being chased through the desert before she finally puts a plan into action.

Course Review: Create Animated Series for YouTubers in CrazyTalk Animator 3.1

Learn to animate your own characters in
2D Animation 101's CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 course.
Although CrazyTalk Animator is a relatively easy animation software to start creating in right away it becomes apparent, very quickly, that creating great animation with it requires much more in depth knowledge of the application.

2D Animation 101's course, Create Animated Series for YouTubers in CrazyTalk Animator 3.1, is by far, the best course available to lead you to those great results. Initially the course was free for anyone who purchased CrazyTalk Animator 3.1, however if you missed that offer the course is available both through 2DAnimation101's website and Udemy.

TET Project Updates 14th June 2017

TET Moho Avatar.
It's nearly 2 months since I last posted to this blog so I thought it was way beyond time I made the obligatory 'I'm not dead, check in with anyone wondering where I've been and what I've been up to' post.

Looking back at my two last update posts, the first from March 2016 and the second from July 2016 I'd like to say the reason for my lack of posting is different but no, still Animation 4 Business client projects have been a factor.

Review: Parblo Coast22 21.5" Graphic Drawing Tablet Monitor

The Parblo Coast22 21.5" Graphic Drawing Tablet Monitor is the largest sub AU$1000.00 pen display monitor I could find that met all my other criteria. When it comes to drawing surfaces I believe the bigger the better, hence my choice. I know there are bigger displays but my budget didn't stretch that far.

I also know WACOM pen display tablets are generally better quality products but I didn't want to settle for the 13.3" screen of the Cintiq 13HD, the only one of their tablets in my price range.

It should be noted that this is my first Pen Display monitor. Prior to this I was using a WACOM Intuos 4 Drawing Tablet (which is no longer available but is similar to the Intuos Pro Tablets). This was a factor in my choice not to stick with a smaller WACOM display tablet. I figure, what I don't know I won't miss. Even if a WACOM 13HD is better for drawing - I'm not going to know.

That said, I can still compare the Parblo Coast22 to my WACOM Intuos.

Use Your Mobile Phone as a Sketchbook

As mobile phones become more powerful with bigger screens it just makes sense to utilize these devices as a sketchbook. Chances are, your mobile phone is nearly always within arms reach anyway so, instead of carrying a sketchbook everywhere, why not just use your phone?

My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy S5, running Android 6. It's fairly powerful and has a relatively large screen. Prior to that I had a Nokia, Lumia 720 phone running Windows 8.1. It has a smaller screen but I used it a lot for sketching ideas and characters.

Generally most modern phones with a capacitive touch screen (the kind that you can use your fingers with) should be fine for sketching.

Learn Moho Pro 12 Free Using SmithMicro's Own 104 Video Tutorials Sorted into a Logical Order of Progression

So you've bought Smith Micro's Moho Pro 12 along with the Moho, 10 hour, 104 Video Tutorials Add On pack so you can get learning right away... only you can't. For whatever reason, the video tutorials aren't sorted into any logical order of progression making them hard to follow.

Yeah, I've been there, only I've done what Smith Micro should have done and sorted all the video tutorials into a logical order of natural progression for you. That is, each tutorial builds upon what you learned in previous videos and you won't suddenly come up against some feature you've never used before, unless that feature is what the video tutorial is about.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 12 (Final), New Features V12 Pro Only Videos 1-10

Applying a Smart Warp to a Raster Image.
All of the points can now be key framed.
It's hard to believe I made it to the last nine tutorial videos for Moho Pro 12 but here we are. The final nine.

These videos focus on all the new features added to Moho Pro 12 that you won't find if you bought the cheaper Debut version. So, to find out what you're missing, or to see what you have (if you did or are buying the Pro version) read on. Read the previous post here.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 11, New Features V12 Debut and Pro Videos 1-8

Pin Bones - Moho 12
It really has been a marathon of video watching and at this point I'm down to the final 18 Moho tutorial videos that came with my software purchase. These videos focus specifically on the new features of Moho Debut and Pro 12.

I'm eager to get through these as quickly as possible so, let's get straight to it. You'll find my previous post here.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 10, Pro Only Videos 34-45

Continuing on with my quest to learn Moho Pro 12. Can I get through the final twelve advanced tutorials this post? Will I make a start on the final run of 'What's New in Moho Pro 12?' tutorials? Can you believe my attention span has lasted this long - oooh shiny!

The list below are the tutorial titles that I've completed for this post and my summaries of each follow after that.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 9, Pro Only Videos 28-33

It's hard to believe I'm still going with my quest to learn Moho. It's definitely been an up hill battle but I'm determined to get to the final run of video tutorials that will teach me what is actually new in the latest release of the application.

Unfortunately that's not going to happen with this installment which continues on with the Advanced Moho Pro Tutorials from video 28.

In this installment I've drifted through another six tutorial videos and am finally starting to discover some of Moho's more useful features.

Review: CrazyTalk Animator 3 vs Moho Studio Pro 12

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Smith Micro's Moho Studio Pro 12. Which of these 2D animation applications is right for you?

Regular readers of this blog will know I'm a strong supporter, and fairly proficient user of CrazyTalk Animator since version 1. It's a great piece of software for producing 2D animations from purchased content quickly and, with version 3, is easier than ever to create animations from your own art.

Lesser known is that I first purchased Moho Studio Pro 12 (then known as Anime Studio Pro 9) back in October of 2012 and have been upgrading it to the latest version ever since because I believed in it as an application for creating great 2D animation to TV quality standard. As such, it's a much more complex application than CTA3 that I only got around to learning properly late last year. I'm still in the process of blogging my progress.

Despite this I feel I've learned enough of Moho to compare it to CTA3 to help you determine which application may be suited to your needs.

Learning Moho Pro 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Part 8, Pro Only Videos 22-27

A brief look at 6 more of Moho's Pro Video tutorials in my continuing series following my progress of learning SmithMicro's animation studio.

Of most interest here is the ability to create and import 3D objects. To me that's a little beyond the scope of 2D animation software but if you do want to combine 2D characters with 3D environments it is nice that you can achieve that without having to leave the program.

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