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Showing posts from 2022

I Tried Sketch Genius and Avatar Builder, Two Easy, Animated Video Makers, So You Don't Have To

Are you tempted by the promise of easy to make, animated sketch videos, and perfectly lip synced, customizable, 3D animated Avatars? These days almost everyone is into producing video content. Whether it's to promote a business, teach a course, or just to share your creativity on YouTube and other social media.  Producing great quality videos takes time to learn. It's even more challenging if you either don't want to or just aren't comfortable with being on camera. That's when 'done for you', template style video makers start to look like an attractive solution. Sketch Genius and Avatar Builder are both owned by tech entrepreneurs/marketers, Paul Ponna and Sid Diwar . Both video makers have been marketed on FaceBook as complete video creation solutions you can use for personal and commercial projects for a low, one time, payment. Both video makers offer some quite unique features that seemingly make them worth the low introductory prices. Be warned, buyin

Illustrating Dystopian Future Poems with Stable Diffusion and Dall.e 2 AI's - Comparing Directed with Non Directed Output

Her addiction was the feeling of scoring a bargain. Image by Hugging Face Stable Diffusion Demo based on a prompt by David Arandle (TET). Far from being fearful of AI image generators like Dall.e 2 and Stable Diffusion I feel a new skill set is emerging for artists who embrace the technology. Chiefly among those skills is the ability to write 'quality' text inputs, and the ability to curate the best outputs i.e. images, if they are being fed into a bigger project or art piece. Case in point. One of my FB friends shared an article by Jesus Diaz,  AI was made to turn David Bowie songs into surreal music videos , in which YouTuber aidontknow fed the lyrics of Bowie's Space Oddity into Midjourney AI and then curated the resulting images into a video clip for the song (embed below).  While aidontknow says they used minimal changes to the lyrics, such as to clarify characters being spoken about in the song, from my experience you don't get quite that cohesive range of i

How to Rig Your Dragon - A Look at My Process of Rigging Quadruped Characters and Making them Talk in Cartoon Animator

My second entry into this years Reallusion, Animation@Work competition came about because I wanted to animate a dragon.  Dragon's are my go to, notepaper 'doodle', since I was a child, that I'll draw whenever I'm stuck in a boring classroom lecture or long meeting and want to keep my mind busy. I find them interesting because, while most dragons have features in common, you can come up with so many different variations, and combinations of features, and still know that what you're looking at is a dragon. So that's where my Red Dragon for my animated short (and competition entry), George the Knight in Run Away! , started out, as a completely new designed character for Cartoon Animator. Standardized Templates Top: CA4 Dummy Cat Template. Bottom: My initial Dragon design. Notice how it closely follows the physique of the cat template.  Cartoon Animator has three standardized character bone templates for quadrupeds; Dogs, Cats, and Horses. All have the same basi

Plot - Online Storyboard Creator: Write, Draw, Collaborate, and Export - Get Started for Free

Plot - the fastest way to create and share Storyboards . Get 25% off your subscription, use code 'PARTNER25'. Storyboard applications are very underserved for creators who have no use for 'pretty' storyboards. Which is not to say you can't make highly finished storyboards with Plot but, if you're like me, and you prefer to hand draw quick thumbnail sketches, and want to have the ability to quickly cut and paste elements between frames, then Plot could well be for you. After making animations for seven years Adrian Thompson, the founder of Plot, was frustrated with how tedious it was to edit a basic storyboard template. He believed storyboarding should be quick and easy, enabling you to focus on what's important, the story. So he set out to create a better application. Plot is an online, browser based, storyboarding application, that is ideal for lone creators and teams. Its surprising simple user interface and shallow learning curve mean

Is Your Next Design or Writing Partner an AI? A Look at Artificial Intelligence and the Creative Arts with DALL-E 2, Jasper, and Rytr

DALL·E + TET - "A photorealistic image of an intelligent, futuristic android robot sitting at a writing desk using a very old typewriter in an old fashioned office study that is illuminated by candle light." Where do you get your ideas from? Chances are you didn't ask a computer but, with advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), your next writing or design partner could well be a machine. Originally this article was going to just be about writing AI's. But then I finally got access to DALL-E 2, after a month or so wait, and it was the perfect opportunity to generate an image of a robot writing a script (see the feature image and caption at the top of this article. Completely AI generated image based on my prompt). If you're not familiar with these 'creative' AIs they don't sit around waiting for inspiration to hit - which would raise questions of are AI's alive?  Generally they're complex algorithms that can interpret natural text (i.e. text w

Murf.ai - Text to Speech, AI enabled, Real People, Online Voice Generator and Video Studio Editor

Most of us are not talented enough to perform verbal gymnastics with our voices, easily imitating people of different ages, genders, races etc. Which is real problem for solo animators with little to no budget. How do you voice multiple characters in your animations? Developments in human sounding, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Text to Speech (TTS) voices is making them an increasingly viable and affordable alternative to hiring real actors (or convincing family or friends to help out). Murf.AI is an extremely impressive online, AI voice generation service that sounds like real people. Not just a TTS service, their online studio offers a range of tools that include editing and adding AI voices to entire video projects, converting your own recorded audio to an AI voice, and uploading scripts to be converted into AI voices, and more. A selection of the 120+ available voices. Within Murf's studio you get up to 120+ AI voices in 20+ languages, as well as a library of royalty free musi

Digiarty's VideoProc Vlogger - An Easy to Learn, Free, Powerful Video Editor For Independent Creators

VideoProc Vlogger for Creators. I thought I'd seen virtually every free video editor application out there until I was introduced to Digiarty's VideoProc Vlogger . VideoProc is a full featured, powerful, yet easy to use, application that is ideal for independent creators and, as the name implies, Vloggers. Launched three years ago, VideoProc is available for Windows and Mac (no Linux as yet). When I saw the feature list I was expecting to be blown away, and this would become my new video editing application. Unfortunately it wasn't the case but that's not to say VideoProc isn't for you, or isn't as great as it looks. This was just my experience. Editing the Final Cut of Mia and the Tourist - Droid Seat I was all set to use my preferred, free video editor, ShotCut , to edit my animated short, Mia and the Tourist - Droid Seat that I've been working on , when I discovered VideoProc. This video editor looked so amazing I immediately decided to switch over and g

Mia and the Tourist: Droid Seat - Animated Short Work in Progress... So Far

Over the past few months I've been working on a new animated short, Mia and the Tourist: Droid Seat , showing the behind the scenes of the project and reviewing the applications I've been using as I go. Since the animation has taken a bit of a back seat to the reviews I thought it was time to do a quick recap of the project so you can see all the work done so far. The Idea In this blog I covered my process of creating G3 character rigs for Cartoon Animator using Avatars created with the mobile app, Oppa Doll . Two characters I created were based on my own original characters, Mia and the Tourist, who are interdimensional space/time travellers (basically Doctor Who types). Very loosely based on myself (or at least my The Extraordinary Tourist persona) and my partner, Enigma, they first appeared as Anime style characters, with their replica, sentient, R2-D2 droid in a GoAnimate Short, The Star Wars Fan  (definitely one of my better GoAnimate efforts with all the voice work done b