Skip to main content

Understanding my Absence and Updates on my Projects

Lil' Peepz TET... I miss you.
For some time now I've only been sporadically posting to this blog, which has been personally disappointing, as I've tried to make this and my Writing About blog something that I consistently update with new content on a weekly basis.

Whilst I've been more prolific on my Writing About blog, I don't have the same broad scope to write about almost anything I choose here. This blog is devoted to documenting my personal animation projects and things that relate to my work, such as reviews of software I'm using, tutorials, animation tips and, occasionally I'll feature other animators work that I've discovered too.



Typically, I post more often when I have an active project on the go. Unfortunately I haven't really had an active project on the go for months because of my commercial animation work. It's the same story of freelancers everywhere. When you get busy professionally, all personal projects fall to the wayside.

I've also been floundering around a little because those projects I have been working on for quite some time have grown stale and I've been purposely avoiding starting anything new because, I'd really like to finish something long term for a change.

To be honest, I think I do need to start something new as well as keep chipping away at the existing projects. Statistically speaking I should finish some of these projects eventually.

So, lets review where I'm at since my last project update...


JAC Cat
CrazyTalk Animator 2


JAC Eye creation.
When I last reported on the development of this CTA2, G2, fully customized character I was in the process of creating all the eye expressions before moving on to the mouth and whatever else was left to do with it.

This project has pretty much gone nowhere since then and I think I just have to admit defeat.

Even though it seems so close to being finished it's still so far away. I just don't care anymore. Creating full custom characters for CTA2 is just not for me. I want to tell stories. I don't want to spend weeks of my life drawing hands and eyes, many of which may never even get used in any animation ever.

Froyd.
However, there is enough of JAC finished that I can feature the character in my own animations, possibly with my CTA1, G1 character, Cool Froyd... I think I have an idea forming...


Hoot Game Creating


This Hoot Game has become a real bane of my existence. I have some really cool graphics and folders of ideas for game play from both myself and TheseStars (who is the whole reason the project came into being in the first place) and I'm still stuck with a broken control system for the Hoot character.

What's worse is I have a 'proof of concept' version of the control system that works but when I try to bring it into the game, it just doesn't.

I've worked on this project as recently as a couple of weeks ago and still can't get the thing to work how it supposed to. It's a real shame because I just know this game would be successful as there's just nothing else like it in the mobile, word gaming space.

I'll keep trying with this one because it really is so close to a break through and I'm really excited to move forward when that happens.


Learning, Learning, Learning...


I mentioned previously that I taught myself how to use Silo 2, a 3D modeling application. Still done nothing with that.

In my last article I documented my trip through learning Reallusion's new CrazyTalk 8. Still done nothing with that.

I've even learned Reallusion's new Character Creator for iClone 6 - which I should review in this blog but it's not nearly as exciting as Reallusion wants you to think. Sure you can make an infinite variety of characters easily but they really need to release a bunch more compatible outfits that can be added and customized inside the character creator... maybe I'll leave that thought for a review. Let's just say clothes are just as important to character design as faces and body shapes.

Oh... and remember I was going to learn Anime Studio Pro 11. Yeah still haven't done that. I know it's really great software. It's powerful and is a great low cost alternative to some of the higher end packages but I just can't get excited for it.

The included tutorials are functional but uninspired. The free video tutorials are all over the place and don't seem to follow any kind of learning path and... the demo animations, whilst I appreciate how good they are, look nothing like any kind of animation I'd want to produce. Just not my style at all.


Hand Drawn Animation Software


Recently I've really wanted to try some ye olde style hand drawn animation but in a paperless, digital environment using my WACOM graphics tablet. My go to for this has been Plastic Animation Paper (PAP) but this won't work on my new desktop computer system for reasons best known to its self.

Looking around for an alternative I discovered FlipBook 6 which looked really promising until the free trial version didn't work how the tutorials said it was supposed to. I'm not game enough to pay for it just to get a working copy because it doesn't look like the software's creators really support it anymore and I'm not sure it works how I want it to anyway.

The next logical step was to look into ToonBoom's Harmony, which is an industry standard tool that I can't afford except as a monthly subscription. To buy a perpetual license is close to US$2000.00 because I'd have to have the top of the line Premium version... why? Let me tell you why...

I downloaded Harmony Essentials free trial version which is the cheapest and most cut down version of the program you can buy. After sitting through a series of the shittiest video tutorials I've ever had the misfortune to sit through for such a high quality product I never want to hear the phrase "this (insert feature here) is not available in the Essentials version of the software" again. A phrase that you just should not hear in tutorials that are labelled specifically for the Essentials version of the software.

That is why I've always gone for the top of the line fully featured version of any software I've purchased. Invariably you'll watch video tutorials and be hit with the reality that your version of the software doesn't work the way you've just been shown because that feature isn't in your version.

Anyhow, I hate subscription services for software with a passion. It's the reason I won't even give Adobe Flash (now known as Adobe Animate CC) so much as a glance. Sure it means you always have the latest version but it's like my drivers license... a pain in the ass, annual expense, that I have to plan ahead for only way more expensive.

I really prefer one time payments because the software still works even if the company has released newer versions before I chose to upgrade... and I don't get locked out simply because I didn't renew a subscription.

Yeah... so Harmony is really nice software, but the Essentials and Advanced versions are crap and the Premium version is too expensive so I probably won't be going that option.

I'm thinking, at this stage, I might be able to improvise something with Manga Studio to draw my cells and use my Springboard Storyboarding software to at least create animatics. Then I may be able to finish things off in Anime Studio perhaps?


I've rambled on enough now. I hope, for anyone that may read this blog you now know why I get in these ruts of not posting for quite some time. With any luck you've found my updates in this post interesting.

I do have some new ideas for projects which I hope to do some work on and document over the next few weeks but I can't promise that will happen.

In the meantime, just know that I'm still here. Why not consider leaving me a comment or suggestion? It would really make a change from the spammers who think their pseudo relevant, disingenuous, back link comments are acceptable blog etiquette.

Comments

  1. Great to see you are still around. I always learn learn from this blog so I hope you continue with it. The mere fact that you you have mentioned programs that I have never heard of before is a great help in seeking new ways of doing things.

    We all seem to lose interests in projects from time to time and sometimes give up on them, so, no problem with taking breaks. We all need them. I Love reading your blogs and look forward to more of them in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your support Johnny. Hopefully I can post a bit more frequently with new behind the scenes work. Seem to have a little more time lately to experiment.

      Delete

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

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

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