As I work on my movie, I am liking CTA 4 more and more. Why?

One of the advantages of doing 2D animation is that you are no longer concerned with the 3D as much and can concentrate on what needs to be rendered as you compose the scene in CTA 4.

After watching a few YouTube videos on creating 3D scenes efficiently as possible, I realized that part of my problem was trying to create scenes that are probably overly complicated. Although I have a 6Gb Nvidia card, my system chugs at times as I wait for iClone 7 to catch up.

This scene in the picture is 3.2Gb in iClone 7 and only 1.7Mb in CTA 4 and this is where the real power is. No longer do I render the whole animations in iClone, but I render out each piece, i.e., character, as PoPVideos that I import into CTA 4 as a Prop.

I’ve had several issues with the background of the imported popV file not being transparent when imported into CTA 4. So in order to render out the popV, hide everything except for a character, for example. Create the Prop in CTA 4 and it will import the animation without a problem. You might want to add something behind the import to make sure it is transparent. Why? So you don’t waste time if you can’t see through the import.

As you build the 2D animation from 3D rendered animations, you will be layering them so when you render the final animation in CTA 4, it will look great and it will be done relatively quick and you be able to make faster edits than doing it in 3D.

Of course, the only drawback is that you have to re-load a 3D scene to render out a PopVideo that wasn’t transparent, for example.

I have seen significant gains as I concentrate on the movie instead of waiting for the 3D to render a scene I might not like.

3112 . . . ds

The Bell Dimension (c) David J Soto CTA 4 Stage PNG
The Bell Dimension (c) David J Soto CTA 4 Stage PNG


I was just messing about with CTA 4 to create a morph-based character from an image. The pins on the first attempt did not control the movement as much as I want it to and, in fact, made it look stupid, frankly. Three Bones were created for the image: chest, neck and head, but they did not seem to be working correctly when I applied a “blink” animation. Of course I ignored the warning that this motion “might” cause unexpected results, which it did.

So I decided not to “bone” the image and I only processed the image using only the eyes and mouth defaults. I did nothing else other than render the still at 4k with IRay. I checked “Transparency” box rendering through CC3 to save out a 4K PNG image file.

In CTA 4, I added background, a wall with transparent windows, and the 2D morph-based character. I imported a WAV file for the audio. I rendered it out from CTA 4 as an MP4 HD that was around 6.56Mb which I thought was not too bad.

I then used ShotCut to add my “beeflowerpower” logo. To my delight, the talking animation MP4 dropped to 176k! WHAT? That’s right folks! A talking image that was so easy to create, i.e., it’s lacking emotional expressions, but it proves you can use 3D to generate a respectable 2D animation from CT4 in no time at all.

0309 . . . ds Update 1211 . . . ds

I am in the process of learning how to bone a 2D image into a character in Cartoon Animator 4. I’ve call him “BUNION the ONION” character I sketched out in KRITA. I did not spend a lot of time creating him as I just needed something to play with. Version 1 of this character existed only up to the waist. When I went through the process the first time, I forgot to PIN the area that attaches to the NECK. The NECK itself might also not be long enough so it does not detach when you animate.

BONING-BUNION-the-ONION-PNG Copyright © DAVID J SOTO All Rights Rerserved
BONING-BUNION-the-ONION-PNG Copyright © DAVID J SOTO All Rights Rerserved

3108 . . . ds
Update 1211 . . . ds