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Review: Renderforest Realistic Book Promotion Video Template - Fast Cloud Video Creation

Promoting physical books using video is becoming increasingly popular. Despite ebooks and digital copies of physical books gaining ground, people still like the simplicity of a physical book in their hands.

As such DIY Video creation site Renderforest can help you make a promotional video featuring a mock up of your book that looks very convincing as a real book with their Realistic Book Promotion Video Template.

I've reviewed other video templates by Renderforest including their 3D Animated Explainer Toolkit, and their Whiteboard Animation Toolkit because I really like what Renderforest offers as a DIY cloud video creation service (#notsponsored but this article does contain my affiliate links). Their template editor is really easy to use, and I've yet to find a template that wouldn't lift any amateur video production to a more professional level.

The Realistic Book Promotion Template, while not actually showing your specific book, could be a great way to give people a q…
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Review: Headshot Plugin for Reallusion's Character Creator 3

Creating a realistic 3D human avatar is a whole lot easier with Reallusion's new Headshot Plugin for Character Creator 3. The plugin is an AI powered extension that can generate 3D digital humans from one photo. Which sounds like an amazing proposition but, in practice, if you're trying to achieve a specific likeness to an actual person, Headshot will give you an excellent base to work from.



Headshot has two modes, Auto and Pro.

Auto Mode Auto is well worth a try if you have an ideal photo of a front facing person that is properly lit and posed to Headshot's optimum requirements. It's also the only mode that will take a crack at generating a hair model.

I grabbed an image of Harrison Ford, dragged it into Headshot without changing any of the default settings (other than specifying 'male' and selecting an 'old male' setting) and this is what I got on auto mode:

As you can see the face texture and shape is not too bad. I'm not sure I'd recognize …

TET Animation Project Update for 2020

It's the start of a new year which means it's a great time to run down my own personal animation project plans for this year.
Patreon Before the end of January I hope to be launching my Patreon Membership Account. I've been largely reluctant to go the Patreon route for funding my animated projects but it appears to be the best way to fund projects that only the smallest of audiences have any interest in.

While the majority of the work on my animated projects will still be done by me, the main goal of the Patreon is to raise funds to pay for voice artists. I don't have the vocal range to voice all of my characters. Voice changers and Text to Speech Apps aren't at a quality that sounds professional, and I want my productions to be elevated in a way that only real voice actors can.

As much as I have friends who would gladly volunteer time to voice characters, that's not a reliable system, as people get busy, and the quality of recording can vary a lot depending o…

Which Animation App is 'Professional' and What Does 'Professional' Mean to You?

There is an ongoing debate in animation circles about what animation tools are considered 'Professional' and capable of producing 'Professional Quality' animation? Can only tools with the status of 'Industry Standard' be considered professional and by extension be the only tools that can produce professional quality animation?

Is it the target market of an animation tool that makes it professional? Is it the skill of the person using it that determines whether a tool is capable of professional quality output or the specs of the app?

What Animation Tool Should You Learn? In a discussion in the Cartoon Animator Users Facebook group a member noted that they had been learning Cartoon Animator (CA4) for four months, only to find out that the application isn't used by professional animators (based on asking 30 professionals on LinkedIn). The consensus was that learning Toon Boom Harmony or MOHO was the better option because both those applications have track rec…

Animating Warwick Hays Skateboarder Ed Character for Cartoon Animator - Can Ed Kickflip?

Warwick Hays has built quite a sizeable collection of characters, props, and backgrounds for Cartoon Animator that I've yet to really explore, however, being the tragic skateboarder that I am, it was surely fate that I would buy his Skateboarder Ed G3 character as my first purchase.

Now I don't know a lot about Warwick but, based on the design of the skateboard prop that comes with Skateboarder Ed I'm fairly certain Warwick doesn't know much about skateboarding, and/or probably didn't use a good reference when designing his skateboard.

To be fair, Warwick's holding up a tradition of animators who clearly haven't seen a skateboard or noticed how skaters actually ride them. Just check out Bart Simpson's flat plank of wood with wheels from the opening intro of The Simpsons. Skateboards didn't even look like that in 1989 when the show first aired.

Bart also has a very unique riding style and is somehow able to get a lot of air time without popping the …

Water Valet 2 - Funny, Animated Short About Robots, AI, and the Failure of Office Automation.

I never particularly planned a sequel to my animated short, Water Valet, but after purchasing some of Garry Pye's all new All Star G3 Characters for Cartoon Animator 4, I needed something to test them out.

As with Garry's Bendies Characters, the first thing I did was customize an All Star to look like my TET avatar. Once that happened I thought, why not do a second Water Valet animation? People seemed to like the first, and it's a great, short project, I can do in a weekend (you think I would've learned that it would take longer than a weekend from the first time).

It helps if you've seen part 1 but it's not essential. All you need to know is this office has a robot water cooler valet whose primary role is to push the one button on the water cooler that fills your cup with water. Watch part 2 below and then read the behind the scenes of how it was made.



Behind the Scenes Everything started with me creating my All Stars TET avatar, which is a mashup of All Star…

The Evolution of Bat Storm - Muvizu to iClone (Part 2)

Three days before writing this post I had a light bulb moment for how to create my Batman parody character, Bat Storm, in iClone so that he would look almost exactly as I imagined him. There he is right in the main image of this post, in all his 3D toon character style glory.

Along the way I learned a few things about using Reallusion's Character Creator 3 for iClone 7.

Before I get into that I wanted to take a quick recap of the evolution of this character and how long it has taken to get here.

Note: If you're interested, Part 1 to this post is here. It's not required reading and the same article is linked to again later.

In the Beginning
Bat Storm started life in 2010 as a Batman parody on the then named GoAnimate (now Vyond). His design was based purely on what was available in GoAnimate's Comedy World Theme Character Designer.

In their designer there were male and female superhero outfits all featuring the double lightning bolt crest (which I believe represents '…
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