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Showing posts from 2018

CrazyTalk Animator 4 Announced with Name Change to Cartoon Animator 4

Reallusion recently announced the next iteration of their 2D Animation studio, CrazyTalk Animator 3, by unveiling a new name and a work in progress page on their website showcasing some of the new features.

Now known as Cartoon Animator 4, the new name signifies that CrazyTalk Animator has grown far beyond giving bodies to the morph based heads in CrazyTalk and evolved into, as their tagline states, the one-for-all 2D animation software.

CrazyTalk Animator 3 was such a leap forward, and has had so many new features added through periodical updates, that you might wonder if there was anything left to implement that would wow users. But Reallusion has managed to do just that.

Some of the features revealed, which are explained in more detail, with video, on their WIP 1 page, include:
Motion EnhancementAuto IK RigSmart IK SystemMotion RetargetingCustom UI Rig Smooth Head Turn360 Degree Head TurnG4 360 Head CreatorAnimal or Human Live PerformanceWebcam Facial MocapReal-time Lip SyncUpper B…

Review: Design Wizard - Create Impressive Designs Quickly and Easily

If you create any kind of content, product or service online or off, whether you're a social media influencer, running a small business, writing a blog, making online video, or any number of other activities Design Wizard may be the cloud based graphics app for you.

What is it? Design Wizard speeds up the graphic design process by giving you a library of pre designed templates, you can customize, suited to almost any situation.
The process is simple. Choose a template size suited to the type of graphic you're designing. For example a Facebook Page Banner image or a Youtube Channel page image. Select a design along the lines of the style you're going for, then tweak and customize the design with your own text and/or graphics.

There are templates for almost every conceivable graphic design situation from Facebook cover pages right through to DL print flyers and more.


All of the templates and any images in Design Wizard's library are licensed for commercial use, so you&#…

Blog Redesign Complete - Introducing Animation and Video LIFE

With the redesign finished, Animation and Video Blog (i.e. this blog) is now Animation and Video Life to bring it in line with my other blog, which I recently rebranded as The Extraordinary Tourist Life.

Why the New Name? The purpose of the new names (but same URLs) is to kind of distance both blogs from the term 'blog' and to reposition them as more online magazines. Which is really what both sites have always been - where as a blog is more of a diary or journal, at least in its original incarnation.

The addition of the word Life is very appropriate as I'll still be writing about my own projects and life inside animation and video, but it also extends to anyone's life in this field. Making it easier for me to have guest writers, should I choose to do that in the future.

Easier to Read and Navigate on Any Device One of the main goals of the redesign was to make this site more adaptable to any size screen. Whilst the site looks best on a full size screen, it now adapts…

More TET Updates and a Major Blog Redesign this Month

I realize I haven't posted anything to this blog since my last update in August. Largely because I haven't really worked on any of the things mentioned in that post that I was hoping to be going on with.

Instead I've been focussed on completely upgrading and redesigning my main blog (now known as The Extraordinary Tourist Life or TET Life for short) into a more lifestyle magazine look and mobile friendly design. You should follow the link and check it out. It took quite a bit of work but I'm really proud of how it looks now.

This Blog is Getting a Makeover Whilst I'm on a roll with redesigning things (I also gave my TETAnimations Youtube channel page a mini makeover), during November I will be giving this blog a similar makeover and template to my TET Life blog. Though it definitely won't be a matching template this time. I really want my two blogs to have their own identity moving forward.

This post is a heads up for that change which will begin happening pro…

TET Project Updates - What Am I Working On Going Forward?

Since the last time I did a Project Update Post back in April I've become better organised by finally embracing Get It Done which is, in my opinion, the best of the many time management applications I've tried. #notsponsored.

Anyhow I amalgamated all my task lists into that app so, whilst I can't physically work on every project I've started, thought about, got bored of etc. They're all listed, and at least not forgotten.

So what am I working on over the next few months?

Winners of Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3, Animation@Work 2018 Competition Announced

As promised in my post showcasing my own entry into Reallusion's Animation@Work Competition for 2018, this is my post letting you know the winners have been announced.

This time my entry didn't even manage a special mention, unlike my entry from four years ago that won a Best Animation award in its category despite being shorter, taking less time to make, and featuring far less technical skill and actual animation, than my current entry.
The fact is, in four years, awareness of CrazyTalk Animator, and the number of people who've become proficient with it has grown to a more competitive field. Demonstrated by the overall winner from 2014's competition, Garry Pye, coming in at third place with an animation that is easily streets ahead of his work with CTA from four years ago.

Reinventing Bat Storm - Muvizu to iClone (Part 1)

If you've been following my work for a while you'll be familiar with my Batman parody character Bat Storm. The character first appeared as a GoAnimate Comedy World design. When GoAnimate dropped all its fun themes in favor of Business Animations I moved the character into the 3D realm of Muvizu shortly after I purchased a license for it in 2016.

I really love Bat Storm's look in Muvizu. The thing is, as easy as Muvizu's developers claim their software is, I find trying to do any form of character animation with it to be infuriating. Which is why you haven't seen a single Bat Storm animation created in Muvizu so far.

Virtual Reality, Real Time Puppet Animation with Flipside

One of the most exciting things being developed with virtual reality systems like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is creating animated films using 3D virtual puppetry.

Flipside an application dedicated to the entire production of creating an animation using virtual puppets. It is literally a VR studio where you set up your set, lighting, cameras, and puppet your actors all in the VR environment.

My Entry to Reallusion's Animation@Work 2018 Competition

Reallusion is running its Animation@Work Competition again. I've been away, not writing blog posts, so I could focus entirely on getting my entry done. Now that it's finished, this post I'm going to run through the creation of my entry and highlight some of the techniques I used to create it.

As per 2014's competition I'm entering the Business Animation section of the competition, presumably playing to my strengths, and allowing me to create an animation entirely from pre-existing content store library elements.

This category is judged mainly on story, story tempo, sound design and animation skill. There is a preference for significantly modified content store characters but it's not an essential requirement (which is where my entry is at its weakest - none of my characters are modified at all from their base character).

Hand Drawn 2D Digital Animation - Get Started with These 3 Free Applications

Hand drawn 2D animation, more commonly described as 'traditional' animation, where each character movement is meticulously drawn frame by frame is still one of the most versatile forms of the art. Essentially, if you can draw it, then it can be animated. There's really no limits other than your own drawing and animation skills.

If you already have a digital drawing tablet or pen display monitor and want to get into hand drawn, 2D digital animation then these three applications are a great starting point and they're all completely free.

Reallusion Animation@Work Competition - Try CrazyTalk Animator 3 and Win

Reallusion's Animation@Work competition is back after a four year hiatus in which time CrazyTalk Animator has grown from version 2 to 3 with features making it easier to use, more time saving, and more powerful than ever for 2D animation. Create an animation with CrazyTalk Animator 3 and enter it into the competition for a chance to win up to US$2000.00.

CrazyTalk Animator 3 literally caters to all skill levels of 2D animator from the complete beginner with no drawing skills whatsoever to the power user who loves nothing better than to bring their own original artwork to life with the least amount of effort.

Infinite Monkey Theorem Animated Short - Part 5

Work on my Infinite Monkey animated short is definitely back on track since my last update and my previous part 4 post.

To get things moving again I've decided not to spend time creating a final draft storyboard that uses all the actual props and characters.

This is something that you'd generally do if you were planning to show the storyboard to someone else for feedback. At this point I'm not planning to do that so I'm going bypass it and create and animate each scene as I go, saving a bit of time.

TET Project Updates and Muvizu Animated Vlog (Animation Diary)

It's been a little while since I posted anything to this blog about my own projects thanks to that neck injury I mentioned in my last Animation Diary post update. So, now that my neck is much better,  I thought I'd do a quick run down of what I am hoping to focus on in the near future in terms of creating my own animated shorts.

I have two main priorities, finishing my Infinite Monkey Theorem short, that was only supposed to take 3-4 weeks at the most to complete, and finally doing some Muvizu Bat Storm animated shorts.

Fox Renderfarm: Your Powerful Render Farm for CG Artists Worldwide

Fox Renderfarm is a leading render farm service provider for CG artists all over the world. With more than 70,000 customers, including two Oscar winners, Fox Renderfarm has earned a good reputation for its quality performance, great customer service and flexible pricing scheme.

Fox Renderfarm supports most of the mainstream 3D software and renderers, with the easy to use desktop app, customers can easily drag and drop their project files to upload to our server. The project will be automatically analyzed and rendered by thousands of rendering nodes. The embedded IBM Aspera transmission engine ensure high-speed uploading and downloading.

As the partner of SIGGRAPH, Fox Renderfarm has sponsored the SIGGRAPH Student Volunteers Program to express their strong willing to help CG industry students and creative teams who lack rendering power. By offering free render credits and up to 60% off discount to them, more and more students and creative teams fulfilled their dreams by being part of…

OBS Studio and Infinite Monkey Theorem Animated Short - Part 4

Work on my Infinite Monkey Theorem, animated short has mostly stalled in the last few weeks. Readers of my other blog will know I've been struggling with a neck injury (sometimes referred to as 'Computer Neck') that has made doing any kind of lengthy computer work a literal pain in the neck.

I'm getting through it but, if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, I highly recommend you take five minute breaks, at least every 30 minutes, to walk around and do some neck stretching exercises.

Anyway, to get this project back on track, I'm trying something a little new to create my video diary of my latest work. Recently I purchased a new Logitech HD webcam (my old webcam was a pre HD relic) which I've teamed with OBS studio, a free application staple, used by live streamers everywhere.

Review: Cloud Animator - Create Interactive Explainer/Presentation Videos

Cloud Animator is a new, cloud based, animated explainer/presentation, video creation studio by Reallusion, who are better known for their flagship products iClone, CrazyTalk, and CrazyTalk Animator.

The best I can describe a Cloud Animator Video Presentation  is that it is kind of a cross between a Power Point Presentation, Animated Explainer Video, and a HTML5 application.

As someone who creates animated business explainer videos for a living, I've been a little perplexed as to what Cloud Animator is trying to be, and where I would use the videos created with it most effectively?

Now that I've taken a deeper dive into what it can do, by actually producing a sample presentation myself, I'm starting to understand the benefits of adding interactivity to a video presentation.

Infinite Monkey Theorem Animated Short - Part 3

As far as my Infinite Monkey Theorem animated short goes, I think I'm just going to have to stop stating what I hope to complete by the next post and just be happy with the fact that I've completed something, and that the project is progressing.

Last post I was hoping to have the entire final draft of my polished storyboard finished this week but instead, all I've managed is to create a top down view of my typewriter prop.
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