Skip to main content

Put Yourself in Your GoAnimate Video

Ever since the introduction of the the import video feature for GoPlus users of GoAnimate people have thought about the possibility of creating Roger Rabbit style animations, combining live action people with cartoon characters.

I first attempted this when the video import feature was introduced with my animation TET's PA Video Test. In that animation I simply overlaid cartoon elements and characters in front of the video. It worked reasonably well.

However to truly combine live action people with cartoon characters you need to be able to place the cartoon background and characters behind the live action video as well. To do that you need either a blue or green screen to combine the cartoon and video together in a technique known as chroma keying (more commonly referred to as 'green screen' or 'blue screen').

Watch my test video below to see my completed example using GoAnimate. Note that I recorded the video with a really short time frame to get it done so I pretty much just said some words off the top of my head.

Blue Screen Test - Plasma TV by etourist

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

Chroma keying is actually not that hard to do in theory. However the wider the live action area you want to film the harder it becomes to light the scene evenly. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

Before you do anything you'll need some video editing software that supports Chroma keying. I use Magic Movie Edit Pro 10 but the software is now up to version 17 and still very affordable at just US$59.99. It's great as an all round video editor too.

Next you'll need to grab a video camera and record some footage of your actor in front of a blue screen (or green screen, either colour will work fine. Just make sure your actor isn't wearing either blue or green unless you want them to be see through).

In the image below you can see my very, very, very make shift blue screen set up using a bed sheet and a bunch of desk lamps. You'll need this kind of set up if you want to film your actors entire body for your animation.



Note that this set up wasn't really adequate as the desk lamps weren't strong enough to light the screen evenly. Industrial halogen lights work best. When lighting your screen you need to set up your lights so they remove all shadows from your blue screen including the shadow cast by your actor. The lights on the screen should be behind where your actor is standing and angled towards the screen. What you're going for is an even shade of blue over the whole screen.

You will need at least one light to light your actor as the lights on the screen behind them will throw their face into shadow. Any lights on your actor need to be placed to the sides so that they don't cause a shadow to be cast on your blue screen.

If you only need to film a head and shoulders shot of your actor (as I did in the above animation) and you have a large plasma TV then the TV will make a great, evenly lit blue or green screen. This is what I used for my blue screen. I got the idea from youtuber, richw4. His instructional video is embeded below. He also shows you how to use the footage you record in Sony Vegas.



The beauty of this set up is that you don't need any lights for your screen as a TV is effectively just a big light bulb. However you may need an additional lamp or two to light your actors face - which I did. If this is the case then make sure you don't get any reflection from your additional lights in your TV screen.

When I finished filming my footage for my video it looked like this still from my video below - notice how evenly the blue colouring of the screen is. This is pretty much a perfectly lit blue screen.


Using your video editing software and the Chroma key effect you can easily replace all that blue with anything you like, a still image or even moving video etc.

For my video I simply took a snap shot of the Star Trek sick bay background. Imported that into my video editing software then rendered the combined video to a .wmv (Windows Media Video) file. I then uploaded that to GoAnimate and then overlaid the View screen and animated Spock on top of that in the studio.

If, for example, I wanted to have Doctor McCoy come up behind me in the sick bay I would have had to have made a separate animation of just Doctor McCoy in the sick bay walking towards the camera. I'd then have to download that video and import it into my video editing software to combine with my blue screen footage of me. I'd then render the combined footage of me with Doctor McCoy walking up from behind out to a .wmv file, upload that to GoAnimate... hopefully you get the idea.

It all sounds very complex but if you're prepared to do all the work you could make some pretty impressive animations that are bound to make people sit up and take notice - my test animation has received over 14,000 views to date and it's not even that great!

On a similar note, even if you don't have a big screen TV there's plenty of ways to improvise. Perhaps you don't want to film yourself or your friends to put in a video... what about filming toys and combining them with animation?

Below is a really rough video I made using my laptop computer as a green screen and a Lego Knight on a horse. I'll admit it's not perfect by any means but it does show that you can experiment with chroma keying with a bare minimum of equipment.

Lego Knight test by etourist

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It's free and fun!

Comments

  1. this is an excellent ... never thought about using the TV and blue or green screen

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I welcome, read, and respond to genuine comments relating to each post. If your comment isn't that save me some time by not posting it.

Popular posts from this blog

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

The Extraordinary Tourist Classic Coat outfit created using Reallusion's Toon Designer for CC3. 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 w

Create 2D Animated Characters with 3D Character Creator Tools and Artistic Filters

3D CC3 TET Character, based on my Oppa Doll Avatar, used as the base for a 2D CA4 character. One of my favorite things to do is to create characters with any type of Avatar/Character creator app. In fact the first test I usually try with these tools is, can I make an avatar of me (or at least my The Extraordinary Tourist persona). Previously I've used 2D character creators like Oppa Doll as a source of artwork for some characters I've made for Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 animation studio but 2D character creators are limited to... well 2D. 3D Character Creators While you may think 3D character creators have no place in creating characters for 2D animation there are quite a number of advantages including: No drawing skills required. Render characters in any style. Use an art filter or even hand trace into line art. Need to animate the character in a specific pose or angle? Render out an image of the character in the required angle and animate it in 2D. Quicker to crea

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 determ

Artbreeder - Using AI created Character and Background Content in your Animations

A selection of User/AI generated images from Artbreeder. If you're looking for an endless supply of 2D character and background images for your animations then Artbreeder , an online Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generates image mash-ups you can tweak as much as you like, could be the ultimate content library. What is Artbreeder? Artbreeder is free to use though there are various paid plans, that give you additional features, such as higher resolution download images or more settings to play with. All images created on the site are Public Domain (CC0 License) and can be used in commercial projects. Using Artbreeder's online app you can generate head shot portraits, full body characters, landscapes, and other scenes simply by choosing two or more existing images to mash together then, using a series of sliders, to select which traits from each image you wish to lean toward in the final image. Photo Comparison - Top is my original uploaded photo. Bottom is Artbreeder's ap

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.

Three Image Overlay Apps. Do More with Your Reference Images While You Work

PureRef's image overlay in action with Cartoon Animator 4. One thing Cartoon Animator 4 still does not have in stage mode is the ability to onion skin previous and next frames.  For those complete animation newbies among you, onion skinning is the ability to see through the current frame to your previous and/or next keyframes so you can see the progression of your character or object's movement as you create and adjust each keyframe. Usually the previous and next frames appear lighter so your current frame remains the key focus. This prompted me to look for a tool that could overlay an image over my work to use as a reference while still allowing me to work on the app underneath the overlay. I had seen, and even used such apps in the past but it had been some time so I decided to see what was out there, preferably free and/or open source, with versions for Mac and Windows. Overlay 2 There are actually a number of apps that do nothing more than overlay an image but the only one

WeVideo - Professional, Collaborative, Online Video Editor for Free

WeVideo is a professional online, cloud, video editing and project sharing application that works right in your browser. It attempts to compete with equivalent licensed software that you can buy for your computer, such as (in my case) MAGIX Movie Edit Pro . WeVideo is free for personal use and comes with a range of paid plans that give you more features and benefits depending on your needs and how much you want to spend. Check out their video below which gives a great overview of WeVideo's service. In this review I'm going to see if I can use WeVideo to create a typical video for my main YouTube channel, etourist2 , where I mostly upload art and animation demonstration/tutorial videos. Before we start, here's a run down of what a free account offers: 1 GB storage 360p resolution 15 export minutes per month Export to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter 5 invites per project 390 licensed music titles With only 1GB of storage this account is clearly targe