Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2019

Creating a Complex G3, 360 Character Head in Cartoon Animator 4 - Tips and Recommendations

Creating G3, 360 character heads in Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 is something of a daunting task if you are working with a more detailed character head design. Your first attempt is bound to be a lot of trial and error. Mine certainly was and, in this article, I'm going to share with you what I learned.

That said, this is not a tutorial. It's a run down of my experience creating a head for my own character. I've linked to Reallusion's video tutorials below.

I chose to use a redesigned version of my G3 Desert Scavenger, Rey, Star Wars, parody character. Since the biggest part of her redesign was a completely new look head I thought now was a good time to try a more complex 360 head than my previous Color Monkey heads.

The process of setting up a 360 head is not hard but there is a lot to take in. To prepare myself I went through Reallusions first eight video tutorials which cover almost every aspect of the 360 head creator (which you'll find in the character…

Blender 2.8 Amazes with 2D Animation Features. Might Be the All-in-One Animation Studio for You

There are a number of animation apps that like to promote themselves as the one tool for all your animation needs and, while many are certainly very powerful, I think Blender 2.8, released earlier this year, may be the closest yet.

If you're not familiar with Blender it's been almost the go to tool, since at least 2002, for anyone wanting to learn 3D animation on a budget - and nothing is easier on the budget than completely free.

With the release of 2.8 not only is Blender a complete 3D animation tool, it's now also a complete 2D animation tool. That's right you can use it to create 2D, hand drawn animation, motion graphics, and bone rigged 2D characters. As well, it has plugins that can give 3D animation that 2D look.

Hence my suggestion that Blender 2.8 is truly the one tool for all your animation needs (because Blender is also very capable at VFX - think of any 'live action' movie that uses CGI to create almost anything in a scene that wasn't there dur…

My First attempt at 360 Character Heads in Cartoon Animator 4 Featuring The Great Greensbury!

One of the biggest selling points of Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 was the new 360 Character Head feature for G3 characters. Personally I haven't really explored the process of creating a 360 character head in depth but for my first attempt, the obvious character choice was my original G3 color monkey characters.

What I like about the process of creating a 360 head is that much of the effect is achieved simply through masking and distorting the character sprites you've already created.

I know if you really take a deep dive into the process you can replace entire sprites during the head turn for even smoother results and a wider turn but you can still do a lot with what's already there.

The 360 head turn I created for my color monkeys (which is actually more of 145 degree turn from side to side) is achieved entirely with the character's existing front facing sprites. It took me about 30-45 minutes of tinkering to get it to this point and I think it looks relative…

Animation at Work - Enter Reallusion's 2019 Cartoon Animator 4, 2D Animation Contest

Nothing gets the word out like a contest which is why I suspect Reallusion is running it's Animation at Work contest only a year after the last one (previously there's been at least a 2 year gap). Nothing wrong with that.

Cartoon Animator 4, released earlier this year, is a great application for creating 2D animation quickly and easily, with a first prize of US$2000.00 up for grabs in each category, that should attract plenty of new users.

Entrants have until October 31, 2019 to submit a 2D animated short into one of four categories, Business, Comic, YouTuber, and Education, for a chance to win. Each category has specific entry requirements so be sure to read the rules for details.

Prizes are the same in each category with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes of US$2000, $1000, and $500 respectively. As well there are additional early bird prizes (and probably more eyes on your entry) if you're within the first 150 entrants.

If you don't own a copy of Cartoon Animator 4 you'r…

Tutorial: Lip Syncing Hands with Cartoon Animator 4

Most people accentuate almost everything they say with their hands, if they aren't consciously making an effort to keep their hands still, such as TV presenters often do.

Generally the more excited we are the more expressive our hands become. If we're really excited we might wave our hands in the air for example.

At other times our hands may reinforce a mood with actions that support our feelings, maybe if you're really sad you might rest your head in your hands, or wipe away tears.

In animation your characters can really seem more alive if you pay attention to what their hands are doing as they speak, creating gestures that support their dialogue. In other words, lip syncing your character's hands with what they are saying.

Unfortunately there's no auto hand syncing function in Cartoon Animator 4 but getting your characters hands talking doesn't have to be painstakingly laborious. You don't need to key frame every action if you take advantage of predefine…

Review: Renderforest Whiteboard Animation Toolkit - Fast Cloud Animated Video

For a while Whiteboard Animation became a thing, particularly when the YouTube meme Draw My Life started to circulate.

Though, technically drawing on a whiteboard isn't animation any online video employing that style of technique is usually referred to as Whiteboard Animation.

The popularity of Whiteboard Animation saw the process of creating them become automated with simulated whiteboard animation. In a simulation a still, photographic image of a hand holding a marker, is moved around an image as it is 'drawn' on a usually white background.

Generally, if the image being drawn looks hand drawn, and the hand actually follows the lines as they are being drawn it looks almost as interesting as an actual real hand drawing on a whiteboard. However the illusion can be ruined if the hand is speed drawing perfectly formed lettering in a non hand drawn font, or worse is speed drawing photographs.

Renderforest's Whiteboard Animation Toolkit is one such simulator that I thought…

Water Valet - Funny, Animated Short About Robots, AI, and the Future of Office Automation.

Back in 1987 I saw English Actor/Comedian Kenneth Williams on television make a quote about medical specialists that has stuck with me ever since as an idea for comedy.
It's frightening to think with modern medicine and all the techniques available to them... they can't really help you. In the old days, you know, you were better off because nowadays, they are all specialists. Everyone's becoming better and better at less and less... Eventually someone's going to be superb... at nothing. - Kenneth Williams, Aspel & Co 1987
In consumer robotics it's a very relevant concept that appears to be working in reverse. We're seeing more and more consumer robots released that perform one task really well (robot vacuum cleaners for example) but we're kind of working towards the robot butler/maid/assistant, a single robot that can perform many different tasks.

An early example is the AI used in home speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home where you can automate a…

Cartoon Animator 4 Tutorial - Secondary Animation - Jelly Bees and Elastic Motions

If you've bought Reallusion's Spongy Moves, Elastic Motions and Jelly Bees Emotion Props Combo Pack for CrazyTalk Animator 3/Cartoon Animator 4 you may be wondering how those little Jelly Bees are making their little bubble top knots bounce around like they do in the promo video?

Well grab your copy of CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Cartoon Animator 4 and follow along with my video tutorial below for how to make those bubble top knots bounce!



The secondary animation in my tutorial is should not be confused with the principle of animation known as 'Secondary Action' - which is a second action that supports the main action a character is performing.

The principle my tutorial demonstrates is actually known as 'Follow Through and Overlapping Action'. Actions that are caused by the main action dragging something else along with it, that then follows through and continues to move momentarily after the main action has stopped.

An obvious example is if a long haired characte…

Should You Buy or Upgrade to MOHO 13? *Spoiler* Yes. Yes You Should!

Smith Micro released MOHO 13, their all in one, 2D animation studio, this week. The question is should you buy or upgrade to the latest version? Obviously I've already spoiled this in the title, so the actual question is why do I think you should buy or upgrade?

To be clear, I'm only talking about MOHO 13 Pro. If you're considering MOHO 13 Debut be aware that you're missing out on some of the new features, and a lot of existing features that are only available in the Pro version. Debut is fine if the budget doesn't stretch to Pro, but, if you never want to be disappointed about not having a feature, it's Pro or nothing!

The other thing I need to be transparent about is I'm not, by any stretch, a frequent MOHO user/animator. However I took the time to learn MOHO 12 Pro fairly extensively, blogging about my process and sorting out 104 free MOHO training videos into a logical viewing order in the process. I think I have more than enough insight to let you kno…

A Better Way to Export Clips From a Single Audio Dialogue Track in Audacity

As an Independent Animator you may often find yourself recording all the dialogue for every character in your script yourself.

Or, if you work with multiple voice artists, you may get a single audio file from each artist containing all of their character's dialogue only.

If you intend to use either of those recordings to trigger an automatic lip syncing feature such as the one found in Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 you're going to need to split the audio up into smaller clips.

I use Audacity to edit my audio and, if you do too, I'm sure you've probably done the laborious, manually select each clip, and export to a separate audio file.

It's a process that's fine, it works, and it gets the job done. However you're probably doing it that way because, like me, you've never really bothered to deep dive on Audacity's very powerful features.

There is a more efficient way to split a single track of audio into smaller clips and that is to use Labels. …

The Bendies - Quality Characters for CrazyTalk Animator 3 and Cartoon Animator 4 by Garry Pye

Ever since winning Reallusion's Animation@Work competition back in 2014 Garry Pye has been a strong supporter of, and leading content creator for, CrazyTalk Animator 2, 3, and now Cartoon Animator 4 (A.K.A. CrazyTalk Animator 4).

So much so that Garry's Online store Garry Pye Creations is quite possibly the second biggest store for CrazyTalk/Cartoon Animator content after Reallusion's own Content Store and Marketplace.

Garry's Little Mates Characters for CTA 3 have been hugely successful with more than 60 different characters available.

Since then Garry has followed up the Little Mates with a new character series, The Bendies. Initially created for CTA3, all bendies released after the launch of CA4 in April have been designed with the new 360 head system, and facial puppetry compatibility (something that hasn't been a feature in the Little Mates range).

The Bendies series differ in that they feature none of the outlines that is typical of Garry's previous crea…

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996.

It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it.

But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs.

Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures, and Toon Hair, designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker.



The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that works as both a male or female pre teen), eleven hair style bases, with thirteen hair additions for further variation.

T…

The Ultimate Independent Animator's App and Resource List 2019 - Animation and Video Life

Being an independent animator is not like a studio animation job. There's so much more to do that is indirectly related to the actual task of animating. Over the years I've sought out many apps, tools, and services that can help me achieve that one single task, expressing myself through animation.

Below is my Ultimate Independent Animator's Resource List for 2019. It started out as a list of free or low cost apps that could help you in every stage of producing either 2D or 3D animation, and then just kind of grew from there.

You may not have been looking for a Time Management App as much as you needed something to get you started in 3D animation but when those commissioned projects start coming in you'll have a head start on maximizing your time.

All the apps and services on this list had to meet two main criteria:

They had to be useful and relevant to an Indy Animator/artist.The base app/service had to be US$200.00 or less.
(In the case of a subscription service that&…
Related Posts with Thumbnails