Future World for CrazyTalk Animator

Lost Garden’s free Small World pack of games graphics (Creative Commons — “free to use in both commercial and hobby projects under a standard Creative Commons Attribution license”) converted for CrazyTalk Animator. The pack includes a CTA project made with some of the elements, and also the elements as individual SWF files. Simply drag each SWF file from Windows Explorer to the CTA stage to make it into a prop.

Download here (5Mb, zip file)

“Blu-ray” largely an industry con?

“Blu-ray” is largely a con, or so it seems — according to the findings of a hugely trusted British consumer magazine. A side-by-side study by magazine Which? found “less than a third” of Blu-ray movies demonstrate a noticeable difference, when compared to the equivalent DVD. Huge-budget films (Avatar etc), or those with big-name directors able to demand top-quality products (Gandhi etc) did the best. Admittedly, they only tested 17 films.

Creative Commons vector characters

A quick sampling of vector artwork under a Creative Commons licence. There must be a lot more out there. These might be useful for the new CrazyTalk Animator, with a little work, if only for individual sprites (eyes, shoes, backdrops, etc)… or as templates to work from to create more CrazyTalk Animator -friendly versions…


Night Bats

College Girls and Girls Fun

Anime Characters

Call Centre Guy and Girl

CrazyTalk Animator 1.0 now available.

Now available, the new CrazyTalk Animator from Reallusion…

Pro has a list price of $179.95, or $249.95 for a bundle with the Power Tools content. Significantly too expensive, I’d say, in the current financial climate — even if the big bundle does also come with WidgetCast 2 Pro.

However, as a current owner of Crazy Talk Pro 6 I do get a special offer on CrazyTalk Animator Pro — I can get it for $89.98 until 31st Dec 2010, which is much more of an acceptable price. But don’t forget that Reallusion’s ecommerce vendor will add your local sales tax to that. That’s currently 19% extra in the UK (yeah, I know VAT is only 17.5%, but that’s what Digital River adds), which would bring my price to about £73.50.

Standard has a more reasonable list-price of $49.95. And my special offer on that, once I’m logged in, is a mere $24.98 ($29.35 after tax).

The comparison chart for Pro and Standard is here. Standard is missing the following features:

* Full-body photo fitting (video demo and detailed tutorial)

* Composer system – custom body parts (video demo)

* Advanced puppeteering control (demo video)

* Custom puppeteering profile

* Custom sprite animation

* Custom Facial motion

Timeline features missing are:

* Advanced timeline editing

* Save custom motion clips from timeline (collect clip)

* Full Timeline Sub-track Controls (detailed tracks for body segments)

* Group/ungroup motion clip for advanced key-editing

+ Standard owners don’t get “Access to Developer Whitepaper for Content Design”.

Harry Potter shadow-film

Regular readers will know I love shadow films. So it’s great to hear that there’s a new shadow-puppetry film — inside the new Harry Potter film! The three minute short was made by Ben Hibon and created by Framestore. It’s done in 3D. FXGuide has a long interview

“In deciding to go 3D, we also decided to build in a richness, a detail, into the look. So we got a texturing team in who worked up colour maps and displacement maps in Zbrush and made really lovely and rich textured surfaces. So even though the designs were quite stylised with very clean-looking curves, there were actually no clean curves and no straight lines.”

Big Buck backgrounds

I’ve abstracted 19 background stills from the open source (Creative Commons) Blender movie Big Buck Bunny. Not as crisp as you might obtain by downloading the original Blender files, deleting the characters, and then re-rendering. But possibly quicker. I’ve Photoshopped out some characters, for a cleaner background.

Download here (.zip file, 6mb)

You might also want to try something similar with Blender’s other open movies (such as Elephant’s Dream) and the open game Yo Frankie.