Skip to main content

How to Import Vector Images (SVG/WMF to SWF) into Reallusion's Cartoon Animator without Adobe Flash

How to Import Vector Images into Reallusion's Cartoon Animator without Adobe Flash Video Tutorial.

Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 4 used to support vector images in a big way back when it was launched as CrazyTalk Animator 2. So much so that they built into the application a Render Styles system that made it simple to recolor vector images if you took the extra few steps to create vector color groupings for your G2 vector characters and props.

Unfortunately G2 Vector characters proved to be too difficult for the average user to make, and it also required access to Adobe Flash (now Animate CC) for which many users weren't willing to invest in a subscription. Things haven't been helped by Flash being phased out as a web standard format in December 2020 either.

While CrazyTalk Animator 3, and now Cartoon Animator 4, have surged ahead focusing more on high resolution bitmaps to create quality characters and props, the Render Styles system and support for vector images still remains. Except the only vector file supported is Adobe's SWF format.

Reallusion's Ignores Requests for SVG Support?

While I've been asking Reallusion to add support for the more universal vector SVG format (that pretty much every vector illustration app supports) for years, it doesn't seem like they're planning to add this any time soon. It's a shame because the Render Styles system is really great (and you can actually make G3 characters from vector images if you're willing to import sprites manually, one at a time, in the character composer).

As a result I've spent the last couple of weeks scouring the internet for a file converter that can convert an SVG file to an SWF file. As it turns out there are a few apps that claim to do this but their SWF output isn't compatible with CA4 - often creating an image that appears invisible when imported.

Finding That One App That Can Convert to SWF

Fortunately I found one fairly old app, that is now freeware, that can convert from WMF (Windows standard vector file format) to SWF like a charm (if you can get it working - more on that in a moment). While it's not SVG, most vector drawing apps (including the free app I use, Inkscape) can export illustrations as WMF files since it's a standard Windows format that has been around for years.

The application is called Kvec by KK Software. As mentioned it's freeware. The Windows version has both a graphical user interface (GUI) and a command line version. All other versions for Mac and Linux are command line only. I would highly recommend using the GUI Windows version, if you can get it running - even through an emulator on a Mac or Linux - as it is the simplest option for ease of use, and you'll be able to experiment with other things Kvec can do (like trace bitmaps and export them as vector images).

Not All Plain Sailing

The Windows GUI version worked brilliantly on my laptop however, when I came to install it on my desktop PC, while it installed fine, it would not open any images. Instead I'd get an exception error. At first I thought it might be because I don't have Adobe Flash installed on my desktop - my laptop has an old version of Flash installed to run some Flash based software I have. So I decided to try the command line version. This worked perfectly on my desktop PC... so I guess it's not the lack of Flash?

Using the command line version is not difficult, but it does require a bit more setup, and is not as elegant as just opening a file you want to convert, converting it, and then saving it out.

Video Tutorial: How to Import Vector Images and Add Render Styles

Anyhow to cut a long story short. Below I've created a free video tutorial that shows you how to save vector images from Inkscape as WMF files, convert them to SWF with Kvec using both the Windows GUI and Command line versions of the app. Then I show just how easy it is to make your vector images compatible with Cartoon Animator's Render Styles system - you're welcome!

The tutorial is also available from my Art Time Gumroad Store as a paid download in which you get the video below and all the image files I used in the tutorial, including my finished Render Style prop. I've also included all versions of Kvec for your convenience (also just in case the Kvec website disappears as it looks very unsupported due to it being an old app). You're not paying for Kvec. Download it free from their website if you'd prefer, and if don't want my image files and video.

I really love Cartoon Animator's Render Style system. Particularly how it makes recoloring vector props so much easier when you want to mix and match props from different scenes. In Cartoon Animator if you see a prop or character with 'RS' in the top corner of its icon in the Content Manager that stands for 'Render Style' compatible.

Imagine being able to create day and night versions of the same scene without having to export everything to Photoshop. Also imagine having perfectly sharp props that don't pixelate no matter how far you zoom in on them for a close up.

Learn Inkscape and Start Making Vector Images for Cartoon Animator

If you're new to vector drawing, or want to get started, I reviewed two excellent beginner courses on how to use Inkscape to create Cartoon Backgrounds and Characters here, no drawing skills required. I actually used these courses to learn Inkscape's vector drawing basics myself.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Ultimate Independent Animator's App and Resource List 2019-2021 - Animation and Video Life

Image created with Cartoon Animator 4. Being an independent animator is not like a studio animation job. There's so much more to do that is indirectly related to the actual task of animating. Over the years I've sought out many apps, tools, and services that can help me achieve that one single task, expressing myself through animation. Below is my Ultimate Independent Animator's Resource List for 2019. It started out as a list of free or low cost apps that could help you in every stage of producing either 2D or 3D animation, and then just kind of grew from there. You may not have been looking for a Time Management App as much as you needed something to get you started in 3D animation but when those commissioned projects start coming in you'll have a head start on maximizing your time. All the apps and services on this list had to meet two main criteria: They had to be useful and relevant to an Indy Animator/artist. The base app/service had to be US$200.0

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

Three Image Overlay Apps. Do More with Your Reference Images While You Work

PureRef's image overlay in action with Cartoon Animator 4. One thing Cartoon Animator 4 still does not have in stage mode is the ability to onion skin previous and next frames.  For those complete animation newbies among you, onion skinning is the ability to see through the current frame to your previous and/or next keyframes so you can see the progression of your character or object's movement as you create and adjust each keyframe. Usually the previous and next frames appear lighter so your current frame remains the key focus. This prompted me to look for a tool that could overlay an image over my work to use as a reference while still allowing me to work on the app underneath the overlay. I had seen, and even used such apps in the past but it had been some time so I decided to see what was out there, preferably free and/or open source, with versions for Mac and Windows. Overlay 2 There are actually a number of apps that do nothing more than overlay an image but the only one

Run Your Favorite Android Animation Productivity Apps (and Games) on Your PC or Mac with BlueStacks

BlueStacks Android Emulator for PC or Mac. There are many free and low cost mobile animation productivity apps for Android in the Google Play Store that would fit right into your workflow if you could access them directly from your PC/Mac  desktop (or laptop) computer. Even if those apps can save their output to the same cloud storage you use with your PC or Mac, just the divide of using a separate device makes them inconvenient and disruptive. Worse yet, what if your Android device is underpowered for the apps you want to use, or worse still you don't own any Android devices because someone convinced you Apple Mac's, iphones, and ipads are 'cool' (they are, but you pay for 'cool'). BlueStacks is a free, open source Android emulator for Windows or Mac (currently only BlueStacks 4 can be installed on a Mac but BlueStacks 5 for Mac is coming soon). If you're not aware of what an emulator is, it's basically a piece of software that mimics another devices

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

Stylish Stick Figures for Cartoon Animator 4.2 - New Characters by TET

Stylish Stick Figures by TET. Animating stick figures is almost a right of passage for any animator who has ever made an old fashioned flipbook or discovered the free stickman animator app, Pivot Animator . There's also the hugely popular viral stick figure animation, Animator Versus Animation  and its sequels by Alan Becker that continue to inspire variations more than 12 years later. Back when Vyond was GoAnimate they had a stick figure theme that was popular site wide despite having many other themes with much more refined Saturday morning cartoon style characters. I even had my own stick figure series, Harry Chalk , on GoAnimate. Long story short, I was looking through the Reallusion Cartoon Animator Marketplace and discovered there really weren't any well designed, traditional looking stick figure characters. That's not to say there weren't any at all but I wanted something similar to GoAnimate's stick figures which included full facial features and male and

Review: CrazyTalk Animator 3 vs Moho Studio Pro 12

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Smith Micro's Moho Studio Pro 12. Which of these 2D animation applications is right for you? Regular readers of this blog will know I'm a strong supporter, and fairly proficient user of CrazyTalk Animator since version 1. It's a great piece of software for producing 2D animations from purchased content quickly and, with version 3, is easier than ever to create animations from your own art. Lesser known is that I first purchased Moho Studio Pro 12 (then known as Anime Studio Pro 9) back in October of 2012 and have been upgrading it to the latest version ever since because I believed in it as an application for creating great 2D animation to TV quality standard. As such, it's a much more complex application than CTA3 that I only got around to learning properly late last year. I'm still in the process of blogging my progress . Despite this I feel I've learned enough of Moho to compare it to CTA3 to help you determ