How to Easily Animate a Face Using Crazy Talk 7
Usually I do tutorials related to the GNU software program called GIMP. But today I will show you a program that can complement the work done with GIMP. It was created by the company Reallusion. They make several different types of animation software programs. By far, Crazy Talk 7 is the most user friendly of them all.
When I need a simple animation done quickly, I usually turn to Crazy Talk. Let me just say, first of all, that animation and graphics are just a hobby for me. I, by no means, make any kind of living at it. Nor do I have any kind of advanced training or certification related to graphics and animation. I just love doing it and I am happy to pass along my knowledge of the program to anyone interested.
But I do love this time of the year - besides Christmas. It's the best time to show off your creativity in animations and graphics. So, without any further ado, let's get started.
I am using version 7.31 Standard of Reallusion's Crazy Talk. Just Google Crazy Talk 7 and one of the first hits should be the download link to the program.
Once you have the program downloaded, if not already, open it. when you first download the program, you have a set of preloaded actors ready to use. You can use one of them or use your own. If in the latter case, click the Create New Actor half human silhouette icon located in Crazy Talk 7's menu (should be the very first item).
When the Actor Creator dialogue opens, you'll want to click Import Image.
Locate the image you'd like to use to animate.
In my particular case, I am using this image I created for a Halloween scene.
Once the image has been opened in the Image Processing dialogue, click the Next button. I won't go into too much detail with the next few steps as Crazy Talk 7 does a pretty good job explaining that and is pretty much self explanatory. Simply place the numbers - 1, 2, 3 and 4 - next to the eyes and mouth and click Next.
The next window will be the Face Fitting Editor dialogue. If your image is a little on the BIG side, such as mine, you can always zoom it in.
Crazy Talk will place wire frames around the head, eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth of your character. Each of these wire frames have points that you can drag around the screen in order to align the wire frames. When you hover your mouse over these points, the points highlight with the color green - indicating you're good to drag them. What you want to do is drag the frames so they surround those facial features. So, I have already gotten my image calibrated. You can see my choice of points here below:
The next screen takes you to the Face Orientation dialogue. But, unless your image is facing a direction other than to the front, I wouldn't spend any more time over than to select OK. At this point, if you'd like to preview your animation before saving, just click the Play button in the play back menu. Otherwise, select Export from the main menu.
In the Export Settings dialogue, make your selections for Format, Frame Size, Frame Rate and Export Range. There are two other optional tabs besides Video that you have to choose from as far as export settings. Here is my complete animated video:
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