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

This blog is monitored by a real human. Generic or unrelated spam comments with links to sites of dubious relativity may be DELETED.

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

Inochi2D - Free Open Source 2D VTuber Avatar Rigging and Puppeteering Software (Part 1)

Inochi2D Creator - Free Open Source VTuber Software. If you've been looking for a way to live perform as a 2D cartoon avatar on camera, whether it be for a live stream or for pre-recorded content like educational videos, then VTuber software is a low cost (or even no cost) option worth looking into. In my previous post, How to Become a VTuber - 2D and 3D Software for Creating and Controlling Your Avatar , I took a brief look at the relatively new but completely free and open source Inochi2D  which I thought showed great potential for my own needs of creating a live performance character rig for my own TET Avatar that I use for all my promotional materials. While it is possible to live perform my character using Cartoon Animator itself, Reallusion's MotionLive2D capture system isn't great - with lip sync in particular. More importantly though, I can't exactly teach people how to use Cartoon Animator if I'm using Cartoon Animator to control my Avatar. What is Inochi2D

Wonder Unit Storyboarder - Free Storyboarding Software for People Who Can (or Can't) Draw

Wonder Unit Storyboarder.  As an independent and solo animator I'm always tempted to try and skip storyboarding my animated shorts because they're usually only single scene sketch comedy type jokes. As a result I have many unfinished projects that kind of petered out due to having no clear finishing line. Storyboarding your productions, no matter how small, gives you a step by step guide of every shot that needs to be completed (no planning shots as you animate). It also allows you to create an animatic that gives you a rough preview of the finished production. In short, you shouldn't skip storyboards as they, generally, increase the chance of the project being completed. Disclaimer - I'm Not a Fan of Storyboarder Upfront, Wonder Unit's Storyboarder  is not my preferred storyboarding software. However it's completely free, has a number of very compelling featu

Can You Learn Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 5 for Free Using Their 137 Official YouTube Video Tutorials Sorted Into a Logical Learning Order?

Or you could just buy The Lazy Animator Beginner's Guide to Cartoon Animator . While Reallusion's Cartoon Animator is one of the easiest 2D animation studios to get up and running with quickly, learning it from all of the official, free, video tutorials can be more overwhelming than helpful. With more than 137 videos totaling more than 28 and a half hours of tutorials, spread across three generations of the software (Cartoon Animator 3 through 5) it's hard to know if what you're learning is a current or legacy feature that you either need to know or can be skipped. Many of the official tutorials only teach specific features of the software and don't relate at all to previous or later tutorials. As a result there are many features either not mentioned or are hard to find. To make your learning easier, on this page, I've collected together all of the essential, official, free video tutorials and sorted them into a learning order that makes sense. Simply start at

Dollars Mocap: Full Body Webcam Motion Capture (Including Hands and Fingers) For iClone and Cartoon Animator

Even though I should be further away from the camera Dollars Mocap MONO still does a good job of  tracking my arms, hands and fingers. Ever since I wrote my series on becoming a VTuber , discovering it was possible to do full body motion capture, including hands and fingers, with just software and a webcam, I've been on the look out for any motion capture software that can bring that functionality to Cartoon Animator. Dollars Mocap is a low cost motion capture application with a free trial that I learned about through the YouTube Channel Digital Puppets  and their test video . It can record full body, upper body, arms and hands, and facial mocap from a live video source or pre-recorded video. Investigating further, I discovered not only does Dollars Mocap have a free iClone7, iClone8 character profile file download (look for it at the bottom of the main program download page), so you can use the saved motions with iClone8, they've also got a demo video for how to convert your

Five AI Generative Image to Video Tools For Animation You Can Try Free Right Now

The Emo Girl Character created by Start Animating. A I generative video isn't new but it is the next big thing in the visual imaging space as various development teams work to perfect the generated output.  Just like generating still images AI video sometimes struggles with physics, arm and hand movement, and the general structure of things. However it is getting better and, as is the catch cry of all AI development, this is the worst it will ever be, because it's improving fast. If you're an animator one current potential use of generative AI video is to animate your key frames, as opposed to generating something entirely from a text prompt. Starting with an image helps to keep your characters and art style consistent across AI generations. With that in mind I tried five, free image to video AI generators to see what their potential might be and whether they can handle cartoon style characters well. Note all but the last entry on the list do not create any sound with the

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

July 1992 Edition, CU Amiga Featuring Amy the Squirrel. American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz , (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney , Chuck Jones , Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer , a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter . This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did. There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this,

Animation Paper V5.0 Alpha 2 Pre-release

Animation Paper V5.0 Alpha 2 Pre-release. Animation Paper strives to be the best tool for digital hand drawn animation by not only recreating the traditional animator's table in a modern user interface, but also automating many of the more tedious processes so you can focus almost entirely on drawing. At the time of writing Animation Paper V5.0 is only available as an Alpha 2 Pre-release, and still does not have all of its features implemented, such as the ability to add audio (due to be part of the Alpha 3 release scheduled for the end of May 2020). Animation Paper has been completely redesigned and updated from th hand drawn animation app that was formerly known as Plastic Animation Paper (PAP) which, at the time, was easily one of the best apps for the sole purpose of creating hand drawn digital animation roughs. You can still download PAP completely free from the Animation Paper website . If you look past the extremely dated 90's interface it's still a great tool. I wr