The pain of trying to sell online with no money is quite a pain, but doable!

I had just finished creating my store only to see Squareup/Weebly do an upgrade which moved my web site to another location. On top of that, my electronic download products of a Cartoon Animator 4 character got zapped and changed into an image only. What?

So I am bailing on Squareup since they got rid of this feature, which in this day, should be an option. I didn’t even get an email about the change, so they suck in this regard.

I did find another site, called PayHip which easily integrates with PayPal, and low and behold I was able to create the electronic download and upload the PDF. It’s now available for just $1.99! Of course, a minor drawback is the 5% charge for their services. I didn’t even have to set up tax, unlike Squareup, so that has made my life easier already.

The story is “Desperately CRAZY for You!” by Ivana C. Moore, a software writer like myself.

Copyright © 2020 DESPERATELY CRAZY FOR YOU IVANA C MOORE DAVID J SOTO PUB preview

I’ll be adding other electronic downloads soon!

0207 . . . d

 So I broke down and bought the Head Shot plugin for iClone 7 as it is on sale for half price. Of course, I should have realized there will be “additional” costs for the capability to customize the skin’s appearance, but I did not think they would throw in the basic skin setup so you are not left hanging, just wanting more.

https://vimeo.com/429799558

I have also finished learning how to use Plotto for my next rewrite and I’m amazed at how through my storyline has become even though I thought I was wasting my time. It’s about 19 pages long and gives me enough information to write with character’s I’m starting to “like”. I also created a psychological guidance of the spectator that helps with each character’s schadenfreude stance and their basic attitude. It also includes conflicting agendas of the character replete with misinformation to stir things up a bit.

While editing PopVideos in Cartoon Animator 4, I padded the output to compensate for the fact that the “editing” capabilities in that program are lacking as you can not see the “popV’s” in the timeline. I did this as I had 2 popV in the scene and I needed one to start later than the other. It would be nice if they also added sound controls as there are none to speak of.

1606 . . . d

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

 

Here’s a much smaller sample from iClone 7 to CTA 4 video. iClone Project size is 153Mb while CTA 4 Project size is 2.85Mb.

CTA 4 MP4 was run through ShotCut generating a tiny 2Mb MP4 with lip sync. That’s astounding!

The voice over track was not edited prior to being used in this demonstration.

. . . ds

As I mentioned in previous post, I was processing images rendered at 720×480 as my PC would crash if I up the size. I’ll have to fiddle with those rendering settings to see if I can reduce the size of the image a bit more.

Here is the human I was waiting on and it took about 5 hours to process before I could even get inside the Sprite Editor.

My efforts to reduce the size of my output to a minimal so I can watch on my cell phone is starting to have fruition although it’s not been easy.

Stupid me did the Nvidia update and boy what a mess that has caused me. For a week I put up with the constant crashing in iClone 7. I figured I had overwhelmed the software and now it was letting me know. After trying several attempts at fixing the issue, I gave up and did a Restore to the point before I did the update.

Low and behold that was the problem. I haven’t crashed at all, so I am relieved and I can now continue animating.

One thing I have not liked about CTA is that the characters look so flat and lifeless. So I started playing with rendering everything “animated” on a BLACK background saved as PNGs. I’ve had to reduce the size of these images to 720 x 480 just so I can get them inside CTA 4. I tried 1920 x 1080 and the software baulk and eventually gave up with an odd error “Video codec is not installed, blah, blah, blah.”

Strange thing is that I had been doing several of these animations without a problem until I started with the humans. For some reason, CTA 4 can inhale 720s without a problem, but as soon as I do 1920, I crash in CTA 4. Of course, my 6Gb Nvidia is probably lacking.

A word of warning is to leave the software alone once you import a few hundred images. It can take several hours for it to go through its processing, so be patient and do something else. I’m still working on importing a human as the number is over 300 frames, so I might still have to reduce it or cut it into several different “Props” in order to be able to use it.

Make sure to “add” the Prop to the Prop folder otherwise your Prop might not work.

1211 . . . ds

I uploaded for the Reallusion CTA 4 “Animation At Work Contest”.

I had problems customizing the Reaper’s mouth in Krita. Once I added a voice over mp3 the bottom jaw would disappear for no reason. So I replace the original without any problems which is in this video. I also tried using Face3D, but the accuracy of the mouth was terrible even after I set the initial pose. Rather than get hung up by the issue, I’m posting my results.

3010 . . . ds