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CrazyTalk7 arrives on the Mac with advanced, easy-to-use interface and features

Jeff Foster | May 2, 2013
Reallusion's CrazyTalk7 Pro is a powerful image morphing and character animation application with an easy-to-use interface that is fun and rewarding for hobbyists and professionals alike. Select any photo or illustration as your subject, and with just a few clicks, you can bring it to life by making it move and talk.

Reallusion's CrazyTalk7 Pro is a powerful image morphing and character animation application with an easy-to-use interface that is fun and rewarding for hobbyists and professionals alike. Select any photo or illustration as your subject, and with just a few clicks, you can bring it to life by making it move and talk.

You can use prerecorded voice scripts and animation settings to apply to your own model, import recorded audio clips, or record your own right in the software. You can even use Apple's Text to Speech features and write the script you want your characters to say.

CrazyTalk7, which has just come to the Mac after being a Windows-only program for a number of years, is available in two versions: Standard and Pro. The standard version ($30) is the only one available in the Mac App Store. However the Pro version ($150), reviewed here, is available via the Reallusion website.

The Pro version of CrazyTalk7 has more features and advanced controls than the standard version, and gives you a broader range of muscle/motion controls and key animation choices. Plus it makes available additional bonus materials such as motion templates and special character models. The Pro version also lets you use multiple audio tracks and apply more expressive facial and mouth characteristics with the program's Auto Motion feature. It lets you create and save custom puppet profiles and provides detailed face key editing for better lip-syncing.

Mostly intuitive workflow

Getting started is quite simple, and CrazyTalk7 Pro guides you step-by-step in setting up your image for character animation. You can use one of the many pre-configured characters provided and add your own voice to animate them, or start with your own illustration or photo from your iPhone or another source. I've found it's best if your subject is looking squarely into the camera so you can get the best range of motion and animation characteristics.

To begin, you simply select an image to import and CrazyTalk7 Pro will first guess where the outside edges of the eyes and corners of the mouth are on your subject's face. For animal faces, you will likely need to reposition these points.

The next step requires you to refine the range of facial characteristics and the program gives you two levels of detail to adjust the motion points around the mouth, eyes, eyebrows, nose, and outer head range.

Next, you determine the three-dimensional shape of the character's face, selecting from the preset grids and positioning them over the center of the face. You can use the Strength slider to adjust how much depth to generate and then preview all the points of motion so you can make final adjustments.

 

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