MotionArtist from SmithMicro

SmithMicro, developers of Poser, have launched a fully-functional public beta for new software called MotionArtist. It’s a basic ‘motion comics‘ tool that will sell for about $50 and let you make “semi-animated” comic books and strips.

Judging from the demo video, it looks a little rough around the edges at present. The finished version is set for release in early Spring 2013. But I must say was wowed by the feature to “slice an animated panel in half, and move it around”. You can see that feature happening in the demo video…

Mmmm…. HTML5 output, and an official mobile app to host it. Nice.

Here’s the MotionArtist interface video…

And the Manual is here in PDF.

Reallusion’s excellent CrazyTalk Animator must be nudging toward a version 2.0 sometime soon (just my guess), if CTA is going to hope to attract a much-needed ecosystem of talented content developers. There was talk at the New York Comiccon (Oct 2011) of a future ‘CrazyTalk Motion Comic Creator’ edition. If so, then judging by MotionArtist’s likely release date, it looks Reallusion might want to get that released for January 2013.

Paint your hair

Are you finding that iClone’s hair styles are not satisfactory, for your still renders for comics or illustrations? Need to paint over them? Damage Inc. has just posted a excellent new 35-minute tutorial, showing how to add hair to your 3D CG render by painting it in with Adobe Photoshop…

Justice for Hire and CrazyTalk

I must have missed this one. From summer 2011, a mini-interview with Zach Shelton, creator of the motion comic Justice for Hire, on how using CrazyTalk enabled them to meet their deadlines…

A much lengthier podcast on the “making of…” this motion-comic has just been posted as Talksplode #51 – Justice For Hire and includes some additional chat with John Martin at Reallusion.

I’m now able to offer a 3D models conversion service

I’ve added a new fixed page on this blog, for my new service. 3D models conversion

“With two years of deep experience of 3D model conversion and retexturing, I am happy to provide you with an expert 3D model conversion service, for a small fee payable by PayPal. Converting awkward 3D models and polygon reduction are my specialties! I love the challenge.

If you need a special 3D model converted for personal use — perhaps from DAZ or Poser to iClone, or from some other source — then please leave me a comment on this page. I can also provide a simple OBJ format, if required.

Interested? Please contact me with details of what you need, using the comments form below. The MyClone blog is checked daily, and your comment will not be made public.”

A very modest PayPal fee can quickly get you what you need for your movies or stills, meaning that you are free to concentrate on the creative aspects of your production.

Thinking through motion comics

Pablo Defendini, the interactive producer at Open Road Media, discussed adaptive comics in detail in his keynote speech at the Books in Browsers conference 2011…

A fascinating talk. Reallusion is apparently considering a motion comics version of CrazyTalk Animator, which will hopefully output to the sort of hackable and adaptable HTML and CSS that we can see here — not Adobe AIR or Flash. By doing that they would also, effectively, have made an accessible cross-device ebook authoring platform for children’s motion picture books.

CrazyTalk for motion webcomics

A peek behind the scenes at the Reallusion / iClone 5 New York Comiccon booth. Slides, with embedded video. Very interesting. Here’s just a bit of one of the slides, gathering some of the comments on the live Kinect mo-cap demos the visitors could try out…

Also… a very interesting mention of “CrazyTalk Comic Templates from Justice for Hire, ready-to-animate”, based around a motion-webcomic competition. And talk of a possible future ‘CrazyTalk Motion Comic Creator’ edition(!). Want.

3D for webcomics

A comment encountered on the DAZ Studio forums…

“I have a webcomic, and I may be doing a graphic novel/comic book with a roughly 2 month/issue turn around. At the moment, it takes about 10 hours to turn out a 6 panel page, including render time, and I really can’t afford for it to take much more [because of the forthcoming Victoria 5 base figure]”

Groan. 10 hours. How much quicker would a webcomic be to produce if they used iClone! I’m guessing a max. of 50 minutes per frame, even with a lot of unique per-frame set-up and lighting. So iClone would basically halve the production time on a six frame page. At Web resolution with a finished page at perhaps 1280 x 720px, is anyone really going to notice the difference between real-time and a two-hour render? In fact, iClone 5 now has another advantage over DAZ for comics production, in that it can do nice clean cel-shading.

Webcomic template for CrazyTalk Animator

There’s a new comic-strip template on the iClone Marketplace, for those who want to make online comic-strips using CrazyTalk Animator. It’s 350 points on the Reallusion Marketplace, is packed as an editable Project file, and you get…

“the same strip as you see in the preview pictures […] It includes a special new ‘comic-strip panels’ prop, a vector prop which makes four “windows” into your scene. This prop instantly gives you the classic layout of four comic-strip panels, inside CrazyTalk Animator!”