Skip to main content

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.



Popular posts from this blog

Featured Animator: Christian Haynes - 'Zack In Time' An Original, Independent, Animated Series on the Rise

Christian Haynes - Zack In Time.  If you've ever wanted to create an animated TV series staring your own original characters and stories then Los Angeles based writer, director, and animator, Christian Haynes is taking those next steps of putting together a team, developing a pitch/trailer for their series, Zack In Time. Featuring professional studio quality animation, they hope the show will get picked up by an animation studio for an official series. The path he and his team are taking is one you could easily follow as they deal with real life commitments, and building a following on Instagram and Tik-Tok showcasing their work behind the scenes. TET: Tell me a little about yourself. Who you are, and why you started animating? My name is Christian Haynes and I've loved animation ever since I was a kid. I would constantly be drawing cartoon characters from TV shows and movies and making my own little homemade comic strips.  As I got older, I became a lot more interested in st

Reallusion Releases Cartoon Animator 5 - One Version, More Features, Lower Price!

If you're serious about producing 2D animation as quickly as possible, while still achieving professional results, Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 5 makes the most compelling case yet as your animation studio/tool of choice. Cartoon Animator's point of difference has always been its ease of use and accelerated workflow. Creating fast, 2D animation using puppet, bone rigged based characters and props, on a stage with 3D depth for easy scene parallax effects. As it has developed Reallusion has incorporated more advanced features like motion capture for both face and body as well as being able to export scenes to post production tools like After Effects with the addition of plugins. After moving away from Flash based vector image support for a few years, Reallusion is back with full .SVG (scalable vector graphics) support for resolution independent graphics. They've also added Spring Dynamic physics and Full Form Deformation tools, both of which make it ridiculously easy t

Shotcut - Free Open Source Video Editor for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Shotcut Open Source Video Editor. I've been on the hunt for a while now for the best, free, open source, video editing application out there. In Shotcut , by Meltytech , which has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux, I think I may have found a real front runner. This won't be a feature filled review, rather it will be my first impressions after having used Shotcut on a few of my YouTube videos so far. One of my key criteria for a video editor is the ability to import any video format directly into the project. This may seem like an odd focus initially but having convert video to something your video editor can use is annoyingly time consuming, and it creates a new generation of footage, potentially with a loss in quality if you don't really know much about video format specs (that's this guy right here!). Shotcut will happily work with my OBS recordings (.FLV), and .MOV, .MP4 files that I get from two different cameras. Not only that but Shotcut doesn't hold me up

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

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,

TimeBolt: Fast Video Editing for Anyone Creating Online Courses, Podcasts, or Vlogs.

I resisted making tutorial videos for a long time because I don't like editing. Specifically I don't like editing me teaching as I step students through a process during a screen record. I have a tendency to insert long pauses not just in the middle of sentences but between multiple words in the middle of sentences as my pace matches what I'm doing onscreen. This makes for very long and very slow paced video tutorials. To counteract this I have to edit out all the pauses. This can take hours, or even days on particularly long tutorials. For example, when I created my main course, The Lazy Animator Beginner's Guide to Cartoon Animator , I literally injured the thumb on my right hand, operating my mouse, as I spent weeks taking out all my pauses (seriously, I had to wear a thumb brace for a few weeks to fix the pain). Recently I came across TimeBolt , a very affordable, fast editing application with the featured purpose of removing all the pauses from your video (and even

Review: Headshot Plugin for Reallusion's Character Creator 3

Headshot for CC3. Quite possibly the best 3D Avatar I've made of myself in any 3D application. 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