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New from Animation 4 Business: Premium Explainer Videos

Animation 4 Business Premium is a new service I'm offering as part of my Business Explainer Video Service, Animation 4 Business. To launch the service I've created the short video below that explains why you might use my Premium service over solutions like GoAnimate and Powtoon. The video is also entered into Reallusion's Animation@Work contest too.

Essentially it's for those situations where you need characters to perform specific tasks unique to your business but you don't want to go to the full expense of creating a custom character from scratch. Visit my site or email me if  you'd like more information.



This blog however is more concerned with the behind the scenes stuff of how the above animation was created. So lets get into that.

From start to finish this animation took three days including writing the script, designing my new Animation 4 Business logo, animating the characters and scenes and adding sound effects and music. Note that I didn't storyboard this animation as it really was simple enough to skip that step.

All of the characters are either customized G2 Power Tools Pack characters or ones that came with CrazyTalk Animator 2.

The Goodies
"We do anything anytime."
Interestingly it was the ideas for this video ('any action any time') that prompted me to make three customized G2 characters based on U.K. Comedy trio, The Goodies that were popular in the nineteen seventies and eighties in England and Australia.

You'll notice from the image that the 'Graeme' character appears in the video.

By far, the most time consuming part of creating this video was the opening scene with Graeme performing all the different tasks. The entire scene had to be key framed from scratch. I spent a full day on that scene.

In particular you'll notice Graeme's right hand is fully animated and appears to type... well sort of. I realize his hand isn't really connecting with the keys. This is due to the desk and computer being layered in front of the character. With a bit of thought I could probably have made his hand connect but I felt it was animated enough to demonstrate the point.

Another highlight is the items balancing on Graeme's feet. A nice short cut with CTA2 is that you can link a prop to any body part of a character and then, when you move the body part around, the prop automatically follows. Thus these items look a little more precarious just by moving Graeme's feet side to side slightly.

Graeme's face is animated almost exactly like a puppet. All I did was click the record button then move the mouse around to make him look side to side and click the mouse to make him blink.

Unlike GoAnimate and Powtoon's studios, CTA2's camera works exactly like a real camera. When you see the scene transitions, where the camera pans right to the next scene, that is the camera moving and not the props being slid off to the left and new ones being slid on to the right. Makes changing scenes so much simpler.

My new Animation 4 Business logo was designed using DrawPlus X6. I pretty much had an idea for what I wanted, it was just a case of finding just the right fonts. I then saved the logo out as a flash object and imported it into CTA2 as a prop.

The next scene with the three characters performing actions was very simple to create. I just placed the characters and applied motion files that came with CTA2. Same with the logo scene with Graeme walking behind the logo. It's just a motion file called 'walk happy' applied to the character.

All the sound effects were sourced from freesound.org and the music came from freepd.com.

Overall I think I'm really starting to get to grips with CrazyTalk Animator 2. I had no major issues creating this animation. Everything worked pretty much as expected.

My next step will be to get back to my G2 Skate Monkey Custom character that stalled. Partly due to some issues that required me to contact Reallusion's tech support, and partly because these other animation projects came up. However I'm really looking forward to finishing the monkey off and creating another animation series that will feature my own character.

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