Reallusion Crazy Talk Animator 2 Review

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Reviewed by David Savage

Having never used any type of animation software being I was keen to try out the Crazy Talk Animator 2 software from Reallusion. It is a 2D animation program with tools to apply 3D motions to make your own animated videos or presentations.

I was using the standard version but I would recommend buying the Pro version if you can as after watching the tutorials I was trying to apply more advanced functions to my project that were just not available in the standard version.

Installation was very easy and took about 5 minutes to install after downloading. I was using a laptop with Windows 8.1 installed but will work on Windows XP upwards and it is also available for Mac.

After installing and opening the program you are given a screen were you can create a new project or watch online tutorials. As a beginner I recommend watching these as to begin with I didn’t and my first attempt was OK but I didn’t get much movement and it was then in the wrong direction and the tutorials let me know why. Please note that the first tutorial is about 20 minutes long and introduces you to a lot of the functions although I did find that it seemed to be based on the Pro version so some of what was being shown I couldn’t do with the Standard version.

Setting up the basic scene and character, or actor as they are called, is very simple – just drag and drop (or double click) the scenes, backgrounds, props and actors you require and then you can move them around to where you want to position them. There is a blue outline on the screen called the Safe Zone which is where all the action takes place, anything outside this box will not appear in your final rendering.

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Now is the time to add your motion, speech, text etc… This takes a lot of patience and as a beginner will take quite attempts to learn the tools and get this right. I ended up having the tutorial open at the same time, pausing it as I followed the instructions to create my animation. But as I said some of the tutorial didn’t apply to the Standard version so at the beginning I was looking to do things that I couldn’t.

Once you have created your scene and added your effects you can render into a video. Depending on where you are using the final video you have different video format right up to HD quality, but remember the better the quality the bigger the file size (my first attempt I tried HD quality and had a file size of about 5GB, so no good for posting on your blog). So this will also take some playing around with.

My first attempt was very basic, seeing my actor walking forward a few steps and then speaking (although I used a speech bubble and text rather than sound as I hate my voice recorded). You can record your own words and then animate to the face and lips to give proper facial expressions and mouth movement.

I have tried a few more projects since, and the more I play about the more things I find I can do. So I really do recommend watching as many of the tutorials as possible, it may take up some time but it is worth it.

Now as I was said, I was using the standard version which although I got ahead of myself is perfect for beginners without any experience of using animation software. The pro version has much more features and gives you more control over the animation.

Overall, although time consuming (at least as a beginner to animation) Crazy Talk Animator is an excellent little program that will spice up your presentations, blog posts, website or even just for fun for your social media pages. I would recommend that even as a beginner, if you are going to use it a lot to get the Pro version as it has so much more functionally and for me even as it was first attempt I would have found it better to use with the tutorials.

I am still learning to use the program and finding so much more that I can do with it. It is quite addictive and time seems to fly by creating the projects but it is lots of fun. So far I don’t feel that any of the finished projects are good enough to post on our website, but the more I use it the better I am getting at fine tuning them. Like the saying says “Practice makes perfect”.

So don’t expect to install Crazy Animator 2 and 5 minutes later to have a brilliant, perfect animated video, it will take some practice and playing around but the end result will be worth it.

So my only criticism of the program would be the tutorials. I think the basic tutorial should have 2 versions, one for the standard version and one for the pro version as watching a tutorial based on the pro version, although extremely helpful, left me a bit disappointed when I was trying to apply something that I have learned to a version that didn’t support it – for example, the tutorial was talking about a 3D Motion Key Editor but my version only had a 2D Motion Key Editor, so didn’t match what I was watching.

So my verdict is: a brilliant piece of software to create animated video using royalty free scenes and images that you can customise to your needs so no need to draw your animations and is suitable for beginners and professionals. It is quite easy to use once you learn the function of the buttons etc… but will take some time to learn.

Rating: 4.5/5

Crazy Talk Animator 2 is available in 3 versions for Mac and Windows PC:
CrazyTalk Animator 2 Standard: £37.99
CrazyTalk Animator 2 Pro: £129.99
CrazyTalk Animator 2 Pipeline: £229.99

System requirements (minimum):

Windows:

  • Dual core CPU or higher
  • 2 GB RAM or higher recommended
  • 5 GB free hard disk space or higher recommended
  • Display Resolution: 1024 x 768 or higher
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 8 Series or higher /ATI HD 3000 Series or higher
  • Video Memory: 512MB RAM or higher recommended

Mac:

  • Dual core CPU or higher
  • 2 GB RAM or higher recommended
  • 5 GB free hard disk space or higher recommended
  • Display Resolution: 1024 x 768 or higher
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 8 Series or higher /ATI HD 3000 Series or higher
  • Video Memory: 512MB RAM or higher recommended

For more information or to purchase visit www.reallusion.com.

4 half Star

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