Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 Review
Staff Writer By: Ricky Grove (gToon)
A few months ago our reviewer, M.D. McCallum, said that CrazyTalk Animator 3.0 was "...a powerful tool that bring 2D drawings and artwork to life. That's not just a snappy little marketing line either as just about anything that you can imagine can be rigged, easily, in some manner to animate." High praise indeed for such an inexpensive and easy to use program.
Now Reallusion has released CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 which has several excellent additions to the program. They listened to user input and built new features that not only help animators create new animation and characters easily, but they've also managed to keep the fun factor high. Creating characters and scenes inside of CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 is even better now!
What's New in CrazyTalk Animator 3.1
Using CrazyTalk Animator 3.1
There are a couple different workflows in using CTA 3.1 depending upon what you are trying to accomplish. If you just want to set up a scene, toss in a character and start animating, Reallusion provides tons of content and character motions to do this. That's one of the reasons why CTA 3.1 is so much fun. It's literally 3 clicks and you've got an animated scene.
The key new addition in CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 is the ability to import PSD files for characters you've created and then animate them inside of the program. You do this by placing the the characters body parts into their corresponding folders. Once this is done, you are ready to animate. Note that PSD files from Photoshop, AFFINITY, Xara, CLIP STUDIO PAINT and KRITA are fully supported by CTA 3.1
I also found that being able to save facial parts of your character for use on other characters to be a valuable time-saving addition to the program. The process is slightly complex, but once you do it the first time succeeding efforts are much easier and faster in CTA 3.1. This is my favorite new addition to the program
G3 characters in CTA3.1 can also be swapped out while you are in Stage Mode. This is another big time-saving improvement as you don't have to go back over the whole process to try a new character out. Here is a great short video that explains the process:
(1). Added: Ctrl + mouse roll to move timeline back and forth.
Final Thoughts on CrazyTalk Animator 3.1
CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 is an excellent update to an already powerful and fun animation program. 2D animation is expanding its user base with advertisers, popular youtube channels and webcomics using more and more animation to entertain its users. CTA 3.1 with it's direct import of PSD files and other useful additions is a very serious option for these new users. Simplicity, a clear workflow and powerful animation tools combine to make CrazyTalk 3.1 not only a powerful animation program, but one that is fun and easy to use. Something you can't really say about other 2D animation programs which are much more expensive and complex to use.
I recommend CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 highly and urge you to give the demo (for Mac and PC) a try. I love working with this program and I think you will, too.
Buying CrazyTalk Animator 3.1
My thanks to Bill and John Martin for help in putting this review together and for providing a copy of CrazyTalk animator 3.1 for review.