Reallusion Launches Cartoon Animator 4, Facial Mocap Plug-in

Reallusion has launched Cartoon Animator 4 (formerly CrazyTalk Animator), the complete professional 2D character system, and it’s new Facial Mocap Plug-in (Motion LIVE 2D), which allows users to animate characters with their own facial expression in real time. In the last decade, Cartoon Animator has been widely used by million-subscriber YouTube channels to online businesses, graphic designers, marketers and award-winning directors.

“Cartoon Animator 4 is one of the most accessible 2D character design and animation tools in the current market for both entry and professional users.” said John C. Martin, VP of Product Marketing, Reallusion. “CTA 4 is a complete 2D character system with tools to design and animate in a new way with a unique motion UI and the industry-breakthrough 2D, 360 degree head creator. Indie, pros and first time animators can apply speed to creativity with a new approach to 2D animation.”

Cartoon Animator 4 is a total 2D animation toolbox that can turn images into animated characters, generate lip-sync animation from audio, accomplish 3D parallax scenes, produce 2D visual effects, access content resources, and wield a comprehensive Photoshop pipeline to rapidly customize and create characters.

With Cartoon Animator’s Facial Mocap Plug-in, anyone can animate character with their facial performances via webcams or an iPhone TrueDepth camera to track expressions with head and eyes movements, and natural body animations driven by head position. This solution is designed for virtual production, performance capture, live TV shows and streaming web broadcasting. Key features include:

  • Real-time Face Tracking via Webcam and/or iPhone Users can utilize any webcam or iPhone X to capture real-time face tracking via Facial Mocap Plug-in, the facial expressions will instantly project onto virtual characters in Cartoon Animator.
  • Head Driven Body Movement During facial mocap, users can also add upper body motions by capturing head movements, blending values, and adjusting arm or forearm rotation that can be directly blended during live performances.
  • Real-time Lip Sync and Audio Recording The Timeline editor can edit motion clips, alter speeds, blend and refine captured phoneme expressions. Turn on the PC microphone for simultaneous audio recording for complete control over talking lip shapes.

The 360 Head Creator streamlines the workflow for head creation and expression setup, while directly applying it to the animation core through face key editing, puppeteering and the timeline system. It transforms static 2D art into 3D-styled characters with up to 360 degrees of motion for deeply rich performances. Artists can also use the Photoshop round trip in/out integration for editing multi-angle characters.

The Smart IK (Inverse Kinematic) Animation’s simple and functional design sets Cartoon Animator apart from other 2D applications, as the intuitive IK/FK system auto-switches for a fluid, and logical workflow. Smart Motion Retargeting correctly applies any motion files to different body shapes, while automatically aligning new characters to the original motion pose.

Cartoon Animator 4 is available for $ 199 (Pipeline edition) or $ 99 (PRO edition). PC/Mac webcam facial tracker is a separate module along with Motion LIVE 2D plug-in ($ 199). More information at www.reallusion.com/cartoon-animator.


Animation Magazine

Plug-In Sells ‘Tee and Mo’ Series to CBeebies

plug-in-media-150

Plug-in Media’s has placed its animated series Tee and Mo with CBeebies in the U.K., securing a 50 x 7 min. series order.

The channel has also committed to expanding the brand’s presence in the digital space over the next two years, with new content set to appear on the CBeebies website as well as on YouTube, online radio and in the channel’s Storytime app.

The acquisition marks a move into linear TV production by the BAFTA-award winning Plug-in Media, which has traditionally focused its business on the interactive digital space.

The new series has been originated by Plug-in Media’s Creative Director, Dominic Minns and will be a 2D-animated dual audience show for children ages 3-5.

It follows the adventures of new monkey mom, Mo, and her son, Tee, as they navigate the ebb and flow of everyday life. Tee is the go-to monkey for fun and adventure; Mo is a super-monkey mom, juggling her busy jungle life. They sometimes want to do different things but they always end up having fun together.

Tee and Mo originally launched on the CBeebies website and channel in 2013 as 10 games and 10 animated interstitials.

Tee and Mo

Tee and Mo

Animation Magazine

New-Car Review: 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In

Vehicle Highlights

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in: What is it?

The Toyota Prius Plug-in is exactly what its name implies: a plug-in version of the car that brought the gas/electric hybrid into the automotive mainstream. Aside from the ability to connect the vehicle to an electrical outlet, there’s not much that’s fundamentally different about this car versus the standard Prius hatchback. Well, aside from the higher starting price, of course.

Competitors can include traditional gas/electric vehicles that don’t have any sort of plug, such as the Hyundai Sonata and related Kia Optima hybrids. Perhaps more appropriate rivals will include the plug-in Chevrolet Volt as well as the upcoming Ford Fusion Energi, and 2014 Honda Accord Sedan.

Note that Toyota only sells the Prius Plug-in in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in: What’s New

The Prius Plug-in arrived at showrooms in February 2012 as a late-2012 model. 2013 versions see no major changes to features, specifications, or price.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in: Model Lineup Features and Options

The plug-in doesn’t follow the same naming convention as its hatchback sibling. Toyota offers this Prius as the Base and top-line Advanced, the latter carrying a more than $ 7,500 premium over the former.

The Plug-in Base has roughly the same features as the “standard” Prius III. These include the usual power accessories, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, keyless entry with pushbutton start, navigation system, rearview camera, HD Radio Receiver, and Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Heated front seats are included on the Plug-in, a feature not available on the Prius III.

The Advanced is similar to a fully loaded Prius V. It adds Toyota’s Safety Connect assistance, pre-collision warning, power driver seat, head-up instrument display, adaptive cruise control, and vinyl “leatherette” upholstery.

The lone factory option is extra-cost paint.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in: Engines, Transmissions, and Drive Wheels

Prius Plug-in uses the same 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine as the standard hatchback. When combined with the battery-powered electric motor, output remains unchanged at 134 horsepower.

Now the Plug-in does not strictly require you to “hook up” to an electric outlet. If you don’t, the car will operate like a standard Prius. The Plug-in allows drivers to fully charge the battery for a gas-free driving range of up to 15 miles. The “regular” hatchback has an “EV Mode” as well, but it only allows for about a mile of electric driving at speeds of less than 25 mph.

Toyota claims the Plug-in recharge in about 3 hours via a standard household outlet. It can also charge via a high-current 240-volt outlet commonly found at public charging stations. That cuts the time down to about 90 minutes.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in: Fuel Economy

The EPA rates the 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in in two ways. On electricity, the car scores 95 MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent. The rating is given to any vehicle that plugs into a power outlet to recharge a battery that can then drive the vehicle on just electric power. The gas-engine portion has a more tradition rating of 51 mpg city/49 mpg highway.

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in: Safety Features

The 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in includes a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features. It also has a driver-knee airbag as standard. The Advanced model includes a pre-collision system that’s not offered on the Base.

Consumer Guide Automotive New and Used Car Reviews and News RSS