11
Sep
08

Develop your Facial Animation in CrazyTalk 5.1 Pro for iClone 3.0

Are you ready for a change in the way you create detailed Facial Animation for your actors?

Are you ready for a change in the way you create detailed Facial Animation for your actors?

Hey CrazyTalkers, that’s right, today’s tip focuses on Developing Facial Animation in CrazyTalk 5.1 for iClone 3.0. Using CrazyTalk and iClone together is as natural as Peanut Butter and Jelly, or Bo and Luke Duke. Sure, either one alone is pretty cool, but put the two together and you’ve got a tasty sandwich, some crazy Hill-Billies and a total real-time facial animation solution for your avatars. Here’s how it works, you can create facial animation in iClone alone without CrazyTalk, but when you use CrazyTalk to create your facial animation for iClone you are opened up to a whole new set of editing tools focused only on the facial movement and emotion. With tools like the Puppeteering Panel and the Emotive Library, getting that lip sync and special kind of body language that only ones face can portray is totally possible and fun to develop inside of CrazyTalk. You can use an image of your avatar from iClone as your model in CrazyTalk and then you have an accurate representation of how your avatar will react once the CTS or (CrazyTalkScript) file is applied. For this tip I will show you how to generate this image from iClone, fit it for animation in CrazyTalk, create and edit facial animation using the Timeline in CrazyTalk and then Save the animation for further application in iClone. To do this follow the steps below or watch the high speed video.

  • Load and Avatar into iClone you want to create detailed facial animation for
  • Strike HotKey: J to activate the Face Cam position
  • Go to the Export Tab
  • Click the Image button
  • Click the Format arrow to choose the JPG format
  • Go to the Export button from the bottom to render the image
  • Name and Save your image
  • Open CrazyTalk Pro
  • Click the Model button
  • Select the Import Image icon from the left hand navigation
  • Navigate to your JPG image exported from iClone
  • Click Open to import the image to CrazyTalk
  • Crop your image according to the guide
  • Click Next
  • Align the 4 Feature Points according to the guide
  • Click Next
  • Choose a Face Profile, use the sliders to adjust levels of Profile and Motion Strength
  • Select OK to apply
  • Open the Advanced fitting mode
  • Refine the Feature points to make sure the Eyes and Mouth are properly aligned
  • Got to the Script Tab
  • Click the Timeline Tab
  • Select the Sound Record button to record your voice with a microphone
  • Click Record to start recording
  • Click Stop to end recording
  • Then either choose Play to review the wav or OK to apply it to the Timeline for editing
  • Or use the Import Wav button to import a sound file, in this example I use a portion of a great speech
  • Use the Puppeteering Panel and Emotive Library to customize the facial animation
  • Make sure the Script tab is selected from the right hand menu and click Add
  • Name and Save the new CTS file
  • Return to iClone
  • With the actor selected, go to the Animation Tab
  • Click the Facial Animation button
  • Choose the Custom Folder
  • Double click your new CTS file to apply the custom Facial Animation to your actor

Developing your facial animation in CrazyTalk is not only fun and hands down the best way to create quality lip sync in minutes using your own voice or TTS technology, but it is also where iClone facial animation was truly meant to be created. And I’m gonna just go out on a limb and say it, everyone knows that facial animation is usually the first thing some animators are willing to let slide a bit in quality just because of the time it takes to get it right. End result…good character animation and action, great cameras, terrible lip sync, sound familiar? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way and I say, Enough! Down, with poor facial animation, we can do better…with CrazyTalk. There I said it, now prove me right, go make great facial animation faster and more effectively than ever before, if you haven’t seen or used CrazyTalk, I promise you it will bring change to the way you think about facial animation. Below as always is a high speed video showcasing this technique in action. Enjoy!

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