Archive for the 'CrazyTalk Tip of the Day' Category


The Puppeteering Panel Explained in CrazyTalk 5.1 Pro

Use the Puppeteering Panel to perfect your 2D and 3D facial animation for both CrazyTalk and iClone

Use the Puppeteering Panel to perfect your 2D and 3D facial animation for both CrazyTalk and iClone

Hello CrazyTalkers, todays tip focuses on a feature in CrazyTalk Pro known as the Puppeteering Panel. The addition of this feature to CrazyTalk 5.0 was a God-send for animators everywhere 2D and 3D alike, Why? Because the Puppeteering Panel literally allows users to gain control over every facial feature, or muscle if you will, and animate them in the same way you would animate a puppet. For example, you can select just the eyes and click to blink, or grab, click and drag the brows to scowl or lift the eyebrows, or of course, click and drag the Jaw to open and shut the mouth. You get the idea, but for perfecting facial animation for either your 2D CrazyTalk models or for your 3D iClone avatars, mastering the Puppeteering Panel is a must. But don’t worry, it’s really a lot less complicated than it appears to be. The other aspect that lends the Puppeteering Panel a great deal of power when perfecting your facial animation is the fact that CrazyTalk allows you to make as many animation passes or recordings as you like will getting your lip-sync and emotion juussst right. So imagine this, you simply focus on individual areas one at a time to get each facial feature animated exactly the way you wish for your character to emote. Reallusion encourages the use of the Puppeteering Panel so much in fact, that when you click on the Timeline Tab it will automatically open the panel ready for you to use, this tip will explain how to open and edit a few features and their range of animation, while all the time creating and refining your final lip-sync output. Follow the steps below to become more familiar with the Puppeteering Panel or watch the high-speed video.

  • Load a Model in CrazyTalk
  • Select the Script button
  • Click the Timeline Tab
  • Place an Audio Track onto the Timeline either by recording or importing
  • The Puppeteering Panel should already be active, but if not, click the Puppeteering button
  • Click a Facial Feature you wish to begin editing
  • Select the Preview button to see how the feature will be affected before recording
  • Strike the Spacebar to begin the preview
  • During the preview Click and Drag to animate the feature
  • Strike the Spacebar to end the preview
  • If the animation range is to high click the Edit Property button, for example if the Jaw is the feature you have selected and the mouth opens wider than you would like then use Edit Property to solve that
  • Input a new higher or lower Value to edit the range of the facial feature, then close the window
  • Click the Record button to create an animation pass for that feature
  • Strike the Spacebar to begin recording
  • While recording Click and Drag to animate the feature once again in relation to the wav file
  • Strike the Spacebar again to end the recording
  • Click the Clear Selection button to deactivate the feature
  • Click the next facial feature or features you wish to edit
  • Repeat the recording process and make multiple passes if you like, just use Hotkey: Ctrl + Z to undo the recording after striking Spacebar to end the pass
  • Use the Puppet Profile to quickly select multiple areas to edit at once
  • Click on a Full Face Controller to edit facial and Head Orientation as well
  • Again, Repeat the recording process and make multiple passes if you like
  • Click on either the Head Movement or Camera Movement tools to create animation passes of head movement as well, Note* these movements will not apply to iClone avatar facial animation
  • Right Click the Timeline data
  • Choose Ungroup to edit motion clips on the Timeline after making passes
  • Click and Drag a selection around areas you may wish to save as individual Motion Clips that can later be applied to other models
  • Click the Add button under the Custom Script Tab
  • Name and Save your CTS file
  • Select the Output button
  • Choose your Media Type
  • Click the Export button from the bottom to render your animation

The Puppeteering Panel in CrazyTalk 5.1 Pro is the gateway to great facial animation output in both CrazyTalk and iClone. It should be viewed as the not-so-secret weapon in your facial animation arsenal. There is a CrazyTalk artist out there that I read quoted as saying that, “Sure, you can animate something in 30 seconds with CrazyTalk, but if you spend 2 days refining the animation then it will be perfect.” I thought about that as a Pro CT user, and that guy was spot on. No matter how high you consider your skill level of being in relation to CrazyTalk, the Puppeteering Panel will always help to make your lip-sync and emotion that much better with every additional second you choose to put into your animation. Don’t be hasty, take time and get it right the first time through. Any other notion is well…crazy talk. Below is a high-speed video example of the Puppeteering Panel in action, making multiple animation passes, refining them, saving a custom motion clip and rendering a puppeteered CrazyTalk animation. Now that’s a mouthful. Almost forgot, I use Daz 3D’s Victoria Model in this showcase and there’s also a little something in there for you Leonard Cohen heads by way of Concrete Blonde, you can thank Christian  Slater for it. Enjoy!


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!