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Skate Monkey (Part 2) - My first Crazy Talk Animator Multi-Dimensional Character

Last post I started creating my Skate Monkey, Multi-dimensional character for Crazy Talk Animator 2. This post I thought I'd give you an update on where I'm at. It's been a slow process and there is still much to be done.

Below you can see my DrawPlus character template now has all ten views of my skate monkey completed. Well almost.

DrawPlus Template with 10 views
of my skate monkey.

If you click on the above image to see the larger view you'll notice all the character views appear to have random purple dots spread all over them. These are the pivot points (or joins) for where each body part will attach to the next. So far I've only positioned them for the very first view.

I mentioned in my last post that I didn't really like drawing in DrawPlus, which is part of the reason this character has developed so slowly. I've been completing 1-2 views per day, on the days I have sat down to work on the character. After that I've usually felt so tired working on it that I literally start to nod off in front of the computer.

It's not just the drawing I find tedious. With each new view I have to manually go through and change the name of each body part to match with the name of the view that it appears in e.g. 'Left_foot_top' needs to be changed to 'Left_foot_bottom' etc.

Once all the drawing, naming and pivot point positioning is complete I can actually import the character into CTA2 and see how it moves but that isn't the end of it. Next I'll have to draw the eyes and mouth for up to 16 different facial expressions (and I'll have to draw enough mouths so the character can be lip synced to speech.

Oh and I have to add a tail too.

It's a lot of work to do just to create a character I feel. I can't see myself doing this for every character in my animations. I suspect a better way to go will be to create partial characters with just the body components that actually will appear in my animation. The only time I'd do a full character like this again is if it's a character I plan to use in many animations (which I am planning to do with this monkey).

Hopefully by my next post I'll have this skate monkey character complete, and maybe even staring in a test animation.

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