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

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

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

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

Create 2D Animated Characters with 3D Character Creator Tools and Artistic Filters

3D CC3 TET Character, based on my Oppa Doll Avatar, used as the base for a 2D CA4 character. One of my favorite things to do is to create characters with any type of Avatar/Character creator app. In fact the first test I usually try with these tools is, can I make an avatar of me (or at least my The Extraordinary Tourist persona). Previously I've used 2D character creators like Oppa Doll as a source of artwork for some characters I've made for Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 animation studio but 2D character creators are limited to... well 2D. 3D Character Creators While you may think 3D character creators have no place in creating characters for 2D animation there are quite a number of advantages including: No drawing skills required. Render characters in any style. Use an art filter or even hand trace into line art. Need to animate the character in a specific pose or angle? Render out an image of the character in the required angle and animate it in 2D. Quicker to crea

Artbreeder - Using AI created Character and Background Content in your Animations

A selection of User/AI generated images from Artbreeder. If you're looking for an endless supply of 2D character and background images for your animations then Artbreeder , an online Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generates image mash-ups you can tweak as much as you like, could be the ultimate content library. What is Artbreeder? Artbreeder is free to use though there are various paid plans, that give you additional features, such as higher resolution download images or more settings to play with. All images created on the site are Public Domain (CC0 License) and can be used in commercial projects. Using Artbreeder's online app you can generate head shot portraits, full body characters, landscapes, and other scenes simply by choosing two or more existing images to mash together then, using a series of sliders, to select which traits from each image you wish to lean toward in the final image. Photo Comparison - Top is my original uploaded photo. Bottom is Artbreeder's ap

Creating a G3-360 Head From a Single Photo in Reallusion's Cartoon Animator

Source Photo from Generated Photos . Ever since Reallusion introduced the G3-360 Character Head into Cartoon Animator 4 I've wanted to see if their 360 Head Creator tool could be used to create an animated head using a photo. Part of the reason I've never given this a shot, until now, is that I just assumed it would be difficult, and require a lot of photo editing to blend out the sprite edges. It turns out, creating a photographic G3-360 head is not that much more difficult than creating a cartoon head, and can be done using a single photographic image using my own G3-360 head rigging system . While this article isn't intended to be a full tutorial, I'll run through the basic steps of how I achieved my photographic G3-360 head, shown in the comparison below, of a Cartoon Animator Morph-based head on the left, and my G3-360 head on the right. Pros and Cons Cartoon Animator's morph-based head system is ideal for animating photographic faces. It uses a semi 3D wire me

How to Create Caricature Faces From Photos Using Krita - Tutorial by TET

I was looking around online for an app that can 'cartoonify' a photo of a person, kind of hoping for a 'one click' solution. There are a few out there but none worth highlighting. Then I came across a video tutorial by Pixivu for Cartoonifying faces in Photoshop and wondered if I could do something similar in the free, open source drawing app, Krita ? While Krita isn't quite as elegant as Photoshop it does have some comparable features that make it very easy to create cartoon caricature faces from photos that you could use as illustrations or in your animations. They're particularly useful for using as Morph Based character heads in Cartoon Animator 4 (as shown below). Example Caricature Faces use as morph character heads in Cartoon Animator 4. While the actual steps to create heads like those shown above (and, yes, that character on the right is based on a photo of me that I snapped on my webcam) is not something you're just going to stumble across yourse

The Christmas Animation Rush - Five Apps to Create Your Last Minute Animated Holiday Messages

Merry Christmas from Animation and Video Life.  It's the most wonderful time of the year... well not yet. The Nightmare Before Christmas is not just the animated Tim Burton movie, it's also the nightmare of trying to make your own animated holiday messages in the week before Christmas. Animation takes time. Why didn't you start those in November?! If this sounds like your nightmare, here are five free or low(ish) cost apps to help you back to sharing the joy of the season with animation, so it truly will be the most wonderful time of the year. Cartoon Animator 4 (or iClone7 ) Reallusion Marketplace search 'Christmas'. If you're already a power user (or even know your way around it a little bit) you'll know CA4 is one of the fastest ways to make completely custom animations. The Reallusion Marketplace has a bunch of Christmas content you can utilize, just don't be too ambitious. Drop in a background, throw in a Santa character, record a short message f