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Crazy Talk Animator 2 and iClone 5.51

3D motion for 2D characters in
Crazy Talk Animator 2.

Crazy Talk Animator 2

I'm very excited at the release of Crazy Talk Animator 2 from Realusion. So excited that I bought my copy on pre-order as part of a pre-visualization bundle with iClone 5.51. I bought over $1000 worth of software for 70% off and got Crazy Talk Animator 2 for free, thrown in.

The down side is I won't get Crazy Talk Animator 2 until it's released some time in December 2013. The upside is I'm now the proud owner of so much 3D animation software I could just about make my own Toy Story movie (or maybe a sequel to The Invincibles since Pixar won't get their act together).

Regular readers of this blog will know I have the original Crazy Talk Animator. You can see pretty much the sum total of my efforts with it in this blog post on animating Cool Cat, Froyd. I just haven't had the time to really dive into it.

However, aside from all the new 3D features for 2D characters in version 2, what's really got me excited is the new feature of being able to draw your own characters to a specific template that you can then import and have your character take advantage of all the new 3D features. That's hugely exciting to me. Previously characters were much harder to animate in three dimensions, involving a lot of swapping of different views of body parts to achieve the desired effect.

Character Templates.

There's also a new, built in, character creation system that looks like it could be a great addition to my animation business. I'm hoping it'll allow me to create custom characters quickly so that maybe I can finally offer Crazy Talk Animator videos as part of my explainer video business.

Rather than me run through every feature, take a moment to watch the demo, sneak peek video below. If it doesn't get you excited then you must be a hand drawn animation purist or something.



iClone 5.51

3D digital actors in iClone.
At this point I feel like I've bought the entire iClone catalogue of tools. Just yesterday I bought extra plug-ins for it despite not yet having even used the program since installing it a week ago. 

I've got the main program along with the Avatar Toolkit, the Monster Avatar Toolkit, the MoCap Device Plug-in, the pop video converter plug-in, 3DXchange (for converting models made with other 3D software), the Toon Maker Plug-in and a whole bunch of other content and training materials. All up I spent about $425.00 because all of it was bought on special (this software isn't usually this cheap!)

When I started out in computer animation, 3D animation is what I wanted to do, after being inspired by the cut scenes created for the very first Tomb Raider computer game. However I never had a computer powerful enough. I still don't really, but my humble Toshiba laptop can just about manage, especially after I bought an extra 4GB of RAM.

With everything I bought for iClone I can now realize that dream but my main focus is more 2D animation these days - hence my excitement for CTA2.

I can't tell you much about iClone, having not really used it yet. However I do know the interface between CTA2 and iClone follows the same basic layout, making it very easy to switch between the two. If you want to get into 3D animation with a tool that makes it relatively easy then see if iClone is for you by watching the video below. 

I'm sure at some point in the future I'll be posting about my efforts with both CTA2 and iClone so be sure to keep coming back.



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