Skip to main content

Diving Back Into Crazy Talk Animator 2 Character Creation

Happy Cat JAC by TET
It's been a while since I last posted to this blog, having been busy with moving house, organizing the new house and generally not doing anything in the way of my own animation projects to report on.

When I left you I had announced that I was going to dive back into character creation for Crazy Talk Animator 2 by resurrecting the Monkey character that I started and abandoned a year earlier due to technical issues.

I've now had time to re-read all the documentation on creating G2 characters for CTA2 and review the monkey character and... I just can't pick up from there again. I know, crazy right? The character is so near and yet so far from being finished.

The problem is I don't like the drawing style of the character. It's too neat and doesn't feel like something I've actually drawn - even though I did, just not in the conventional way. Every time I look at it I want to start again from scratch so I can get the drawing style right.

Since that's the case I decided to just start clean and try creating a new character instead. After the Monkey the only other multipurpose character I've really created is my Happy Cat JAC character, who has appeared in numerous paintings (see image above) I did when I was selling my art on ebay.

Two Template approaches
for a CTA2 quadruped
character by Ibis.

However creating animal characters that walk on all fours is not what CTA2's G2 characters were really designed for. Generally CTA2's designers had bipedal characters in mind.

However, I was browsing through Reallusion's CTA2 Forums, to see if I could learn any new tips for creating characters from other users, and came across a video by Ibis Fernandez (who I would describe as a leading CTA2 user) demonstrating two approaches to creating four legged animal characters for CTA2.

You can watch the full video and Ibis' methodology here. On the right is a still from the video showing his two different template approaches to quadrupeds.

The top version is the logical approach that I would have gone with had I not seen this video. The bottom template approach is to design the animal as a bipedal character and then create custom motions to make the character walk like a quadruped.

Using the 3D motion editor
to animate the character.
I think the second approach has quite a bit of potential so I thought I'd try it with my Happy Cat JAC character. Since I want this character to look more hand drawn my first step has been to draw the basic sketches for all my different character views in Manga Studio. Below is what I have so far.

Bipedal character template views of JAC
created in Manga Studio.
As you can see I still have my top and bottom views to complete. Once finished I then have the tedious task of importing this sketch into DrawPlus and 'inking' in all my lines so that each body part is on the correct template layer with the correct object name.

At this stage I don't plan to draw every single facial expression or every single paw movement. I plan to create just those that I actually need, then I'll see how I go when it comes time to create more.

But let's not get too far ahead of myself. Creating CTA2 G2 characters is a lot of work. As I've already demonstrated things can get over whelming and there's every likely hood I may give up. However I will continue to write updates here as long as I continue to make progress. Wish me luck.

Comments

  1. Great! Thanks for sharing the information. That is very helpful for increasing my knowledge in this field.

    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

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

Prome AI Sketch Render Tool - Your Tradigital Clean Up and Colorist Artist for Character and Background Design

Random character head, Biro sketches drawn by TET (left). Render by PromeAI (right) using Prome's Sketch Render tool set to 'Comon:Cartoon, Render Mode: Outline'. W hile I don't do New Year Resolutions, one of my plans for the year ahead is to do more of my own art. Specifically character design drawn in an actual, physical sketchbook.  To that end, I have been spending the last half hour of most days drawing a page or two of random biro sketches in my sketchbook and posting the pages to my Instagram account  (this link will take you to one of my posts). These sketches are mostly practicing my skills because I don't really draw regularly anymore. Here is a tip, if you do this kind of sketching, and push yourself to keep doing it, you will see many drawings that could be taken further, even if you don't have anything they're suited for just at the moment. Which is where my second favorite AI Image Tool (after Leonardo.ai )  PromeAI comes into play. PromeAI

Moho 14 Released - Still the Best 2D Animation Software for Indy Animators on a Budget

Moho 14 Released. Regular readers know I am a Reallusion, Cartoon Animator advocate through and through. Hands down I would recommend Cartoon Animator 5 first over Lost Marble's Moho 14 to anyone who is just starting in 2D animation, is a team of one, or just needs to animate as quickly as possible. However, feature for feature, Moho is, arguably, the best 2D animation software for the rest of us who can't justify a Toon Boom Harmony , or Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (and even with their applications Moho is very competitive on features). You can get started with Moho Debut for just USD$59.99 which is a cut down version of Moho Pro but it still has the most essential features needed for 2D animation. While Moho Pro is a whopping USD$399.99 (Cartoon Animator, which only has one version, is just USD$149.00) upgrades to new version numbers come down to a quarter of the price at USD$99.00. Even though Reallusion just released features like Motion Pilot Puppet Animation and

Start Your 2D Animation Side Hustle - Sell Your Cartoon Animator Characters, Props, Scenes, and Motion Files in the Reallusion 2D/3D Marketplace

Have you thought about starting a side hustle selling your original Cartoon Animator assets in the Reallusion 2D/3D Marketplace ? In this article, the first in a series on selling in the marketplace, I'll give you an overview of what's involved, why you should give it some thought, and whether you can earn enough to quit your day job (or at least have a worthwhile side hustle). If you're an artist with any kind of drawing skills, and you're creating your own original characters, props, scenes, and even motion files for your Cartoon Animator projects, then setting up your own store in the Reallusion Marketplace should be a no brainer. You're making content already, it doesn't cost you anything to set up, and Reallusion only takes a 30% commission from each item sold. (If you think that's a lot, I'll address that further down). Don't be put off if you think your art skills aren't up to professional standards. There are plenty of artists with naïve

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't Draw Characters? Create Highly Detailed Characters from Simple Drawings and Prompts Free with Realtime Canvas by Leonardo.AI

Leonardo.ai's   Realtime Canvas. Create highly detailed images from simple drawings. I f you've had an idea for a character but don't have the artistic skill to design it yourself, or the budget to hire someone to do the design work for you, then Leonardo.ai's Realtime Canvas may be your new creative partner. Sure you could use Leonardo.ai's regular text prompt to image generator but that can be very hit and miss, and may take many generations before you finally craft a complex prompt that's getting something close to what you had in mind. Realtime Canvas, on the other hand, lets you craft a simple text prompt and draw a rough image, both of which you can keep refining until you get a final, real time, updated image that looks close to (and probably better than) what you had in mind. Using Realtime Canvas Once you've signed up for a free account with Leonardo.ai  (which will give you 150 free credits, renewed daily), click on Realtime Canvas, from the side