Experiments with Animation Software

The page features a few experiments with two animation programmes produced by Reallusion: CrazyTalk and iClone. I used CrazyTalk to produce animated dictations and iClone to produce animations for use in other school projects.

1. Animated Dictations

These are three dictations to help  Form One students learn key terms in preparation for their examinations. To make the dictations more interesting, I used a face puppetry programme called CrazyTalk 5. With this programme, you simply select an image with a face (facing straight on), identify the position of the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth and input an audio file of some dialogue. The software then animates the lips and eyes to match the dialogue. You can finetune the movements so that the character moves exactly the way you want, but as this was  first attempt at using the software, I mainly used the software programme’s presets.

The videos were posted on YouTube. After listening to the dictation and writing down the selected words, the students could the check the accuracy of their transcriptions by clicking on the more info link.

Liberal Studies Dictation
Integrated Science Dictation
Mathematics Dictation

There was a fourth video using terms related to geography, but this video is no longer online.

[The CrazyTalk software is quite easy to use. It took a few hours for me to make the first video as I was still feeling my way around the software. Once you learn how to use the programme, however, you can work much more quickly. It should only take a few minutes to do a simple animation.

These days, we have students learn the vocabulary as part of a summer programme before they enter school: engp.wordpress.com/activities/hlp/

2. Animation Tests with iClone

I did a few experiments with the iclone animaiton software—I only tried a few short animation tests which I used in the opening titles or end credits of videos U was working on. This animated monologue—Afterthought by amerajadid—on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEAKloqJxU0) better shows the capabilities of the software.

Here are two of my experiments with the software.

This is  simple animation using a standard character (in this case, a stick figure) performing preset dancing and fighting movements, a music preset, and a camera movement preset.

The first 12 seconds show the exported file. The next 14 seconds show the file was used in an opening title sequence. Titles, an original music soundtrack (just a quick improvisation using a preset on the Korg MicroX), and kung fu sound effects added (from a website – The Way of the Socky – that now seems to have disappeared) were added.

The animation was used as the title sequence for the Battle of Dance video.

This video shows the process I used to add a 3D figure (created and animated in iclone 3) to a live-action video using After Effects.

~by longzijun


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