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Showing posts from 2023

Resident Dragon: Christmas List - Behind the Scenes on TET's 2D Animated Christmas Short Made with Reallusion's Cartoon Animator 5

A scene from Christmas List a short by TET. I released my end of year holiday short,  Resident Dragon: Christmas List , staring my avatar, TET, Red the Dragon, Cool Froyd the Cat, and Grrr Dog. You will be seeing more of these original characters in the future as I'm developing a six part series . Watch the holiday short below. Since it's been a while since I've done a behind the scenes deep dive into one of my own productions, I thought this animated short would be ideal to share some of my takeaways for what I learned or did that I think may help you in your own animated projects. Resident Dragon: Christmas List was completed over the space of around three weeks, working mostly a couple of hours in the evenings, then maybe 4-5 hours over the weekends. Here are my thoughts on the process. Writing the Script Excerpt from one of  AI Storywriter's Generations. I've been experimenting a lot with AI for writing scripts and I've come to the conclusion AI doesn't

Ready Made Characters, Props, and Scenes For Your Last Minute 2D Christmas Animations - Cartoon Animator

The Resident Dragon Team visit Santa to discuss their Christmas Lists. O ne of the great strengths of Reallusion's Cartoon Animator is you can create short, message based, animations within hours. Especially if you save yourself time by not creating all the artwork yourself and simply purchase ready made characters, props, and scenes from the Reallusion Content Store or Marketplace . With Christmas fast approaching I thought I'd highlight some of the best 2D holiday assets available, from Reallusion Marketplace Developers, that you may like to use in your own seasonal animated messages.  Note that I'm not affiliated with any of the developers listed and I did not approach any for permission to include them here. These packs are just what caught my eye and offer just that little bit extra. Be sure to check each highlighted developer's store as many have a whole range of Christmas themed content and would love your patronage. Santa & Prancer by Clay Triche Santa &am

The Lazy Animator Versus Garry Pye - Comparing Character Animation Workflow in Cartoon Animator

Before you get all excited and start yelling 'Fight! Fight!' that's not what's happening here. There is no long running feud coming to a head at this moment with an 'Animation-off' (if that's even a thing?). Garry Pye , Cartoon Animator Content Legend, and Reallusion's 2D Community Manager, recorded an excellent hour long webinar (excluding question time) called, Bring 2D Characters to Life with Cartoon Animator  where he demonstrates how he goes about detail animating character faces for more dynamic performance. Click to go to Garry's Webinar replay . His demo animation, featuring his character, Jane Danger, showcases how he uses many Cartoon Animator features to breathe life into a 2D animated character. What you'll notice from Garry's webinar is that he manually key frames almost everything. He doesn't even use Cartoon Animator's automatic lip syncing feature for close up animation. Garry makes multiple passes through his animatio

Using Avatar Maker with Cartoon Animator - Free Vector Cartoon Avatar Creator with Four Art Styles

I'm always on the lookout for cartoon avatar makers of any kind, whether it be ones that 'cartoonify' your photo, or ones that let you build a cartoon likeness from a library of individual features.  Free Avatar Maker  falls into the latter category and can be used for making head and shoulder cartoon avatars. While it doesn't have an extensive library of character features (you may struggle to get a good likeness), uniquely it will make your avatar in four different art styles concurrently, allowing you to save the one you like most, or even all four.  I wasn't overly impressed how my TET avatar looked in the first two styles, but style three is quite possibly the coolest looking version of my avatar I've ever seen in a third party avatar creator. It's a very contemporary style. Style four, line art, is also not too bad. Avatar Maker's User Interface. Switch between the four different art styles shown across the top at any time. I particularly like the

The Family Guy Method - Animating Talking Hand Gestures in Cartoon Animator

Once you start getting into character animation you learn pretty quickly that people don't just speak with their mouths. Hand gestures and movements play a pretty important part of how people communicate too. The problem is, animating hand gestures and movements is extremely time consuming... and who knows what gestures and movements should be used and when? In Reallusion's Cartoon Animator I use pre-animated talking character motions that I chop and move gestures around so the arm and hand movements 'feel' right based on my own understanding of body language (and I also act out dialogue to get a sense of what arm and hand movements I might make with what's being spoken). Recently I came across a video by the creator of Culpamland Extra , an online animated series, in which they briefly outlined how they animate talking using the Family Guy Method. I'd never heard of this, and if you try to search for it online you'll be hard pressed to find anything. So I&

Featured Animator: Harrison Killian Fuses Sculpture, CGI, and Stop Motion to Blur the Line Between Animation and Reality

Harrison Killian sculpting a character head for his animated short, Rider on the Storm. Residing on a mountaintop in Liberty, located in the Catskill Mountains of New York, and primarily self-taught, Harrison Killian is a musician, sculptor, animator, and the founder of Grateful Motion Studios  which is currently producing an independent animated short film, ‘Rider On The Storm.’  The film uses Harrison's, groundbreaking, animation technique that fuses the artistry of stop-motion with the precision of CGI, creating imagery that blurs the line between reality and animation, leaving audiences questioning if what they saw was animated or real. 'Rider On The Storm' is culled from a feature-length screenplay written by Harrison that received high industry scores, landing it on the Red List on Coverfly . Written to evoke emotions and inspire imaginations, the story is about a boy named Rider who is orphaned at seven and endures a childhood of bullying by other orphans and abuse a

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

Six AI Audio Cleaning and Transcription Resources for Video and Animation Content Creators

While AI applications may have been receiving a lot of bad press lately in the visual arts, there are definitely times when AI is a game changer, in a good way, for more mundane applications like audio cleaning and transcribing. Maybe there's some militant audio engineers or transcribers out there who just love what they do but the ability to give an audio file to an AI, and have it automatically improve the quality of sound or transcribe an hour or more of speech in seconds, is pure magic. Sure the AI doesn't always get it right, particularly with transcribing, but it's pretty good. Plus, correcting a few short falls is certainly better than doing all the work yourself. I recently recorded a thirty minute video with audio that was borderline awful. It was clear enough to understand but I hadn't been able to filter out the static noise of the microphone, and it would distort on the louder sections, just enough to notice, even though the levels were well under the clippi

Eleven Mostly Free Comic Book/Strip Resources For Your Next Motion Comic

Created with Comic Maker. One really exciting use for Cartoon Animator and other animation software is to assist in the production of creating motion comics. If you're not familiar with motion comics just think of them as a kind of video comic book that typically features (but not always) all of the dialogue in each panel read by voice actors along with limited animation to make the still images more dynamic and visually interesting. Below is a demonstration motion comic I made many years ago when I reviewed Smith Micro's Motion Artist software (which has since been discontinued but, if you can find a copy, its entire purpose was to create motion comics and other motion graphics). Follow the link to the review if you want to see how this was made. The great thing about motion comics is that they're much easier to animate than an animated cartoon short. Often much of the animation will be moving a a static image of a character, panning the camera across a scene cre