Cartoon Animation/ Modern Edge Library

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I would love to see Camtasia have a library of animated cartoons, backgrounds, moveable imagery, etc similar to and where videos become more 3D and lifelike rather than a presentation format (similar to PowerPoint). Our office is looking at getting a 3D account with one of these vendors because our members want more interaction with the videos...and them to be more fun rather than a stagnant video. If these tools are already there and we don't know about it, please let me know. However, the animation we are speaking of is beyond simple zoom in/out, etc. Thank you for listening.
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Posted 2 years ago

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Rick Stone

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Hi there

While we wait to see if TechSmith might add this at some point, you might pop over to Adobe and check out a tool called Character Animator.

Keep in mind as well that you can use PowToons and Moovly stuff (or really, any animation tool) by just recording them using Camtasia recorder. If you are hoping to composite them with other stuff in Camtasia, I'd suggest recording them against a solid odd colored background such as lime green or hot pink. That way you can use Camtasia's "remove a color" option to basically make the background transparent and leave behind only the animation.

Cheers... Rick :)
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Agree with Rick that Adobe's character animator and Powtoons are both great tools (although Powtoons, being web based, can be frustratingly slow). GoAnimate is another good one. Camtasia is great for the things it's great for (screen captures, interactivity, navigation), but character animation is not its focus.

Word of caution about recording Powtoons content and compositing it into Camtasia - while definitely possible, you may want to check out their terms and conditions (link below).  They own a lot of their characters and graphics, and if you're using them elsewhere outside of a Powtoon, they may frown on it.

You can actually do some pretty amazing things in PowerPoint - create characters, animate them. It can be tedious and time consuming, but it's possible. To my knowledge, Microsoft does not limit the way you use the things you create yourself.  Check out this video on creating animated characters in PowerPoint: 
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Grant Ferstat

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I've been looking at things such as Adobe Animator to create custom characters to use in Camtasia for our training content. It is quite complex though, having to basically to use multiple layers to create the characters in Photoshop or Illustrator and then animate them within animator.  

Has anyone come up with anything simpler? 
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Joe Morgan

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Grant Ferstat

I use Crazy Talk Animator 3. The newest version is called Cartoon Animator 4.

You can use Reallusion created/supplied Characters. The program characters are vector based. You can scale them to any size without degradation. There’s both 3-D and 2-D characters. Creating a 3-D character is complex. The workflow is similar to Adobes Characters Creator. I have that program as well. If I want a 3-D actor, I use one that comes with the program. You can purchase additional ones through Reallusion.

 Or make your own 2-D actors. These are much easier to work with.

Here’s an example of characters you can create from within the program.

I placed a PNG image of Alfred E Newman’s head on this program provided C-2 body. You map facial movements, eyes, mouth etc. To the face. You can add/change teeth, custom eyes. Some drag and drop Animations/Character movements come with the program. The ones in this GIF are stock movements.You can create and save custom motions.Allowing for drag and drop movements down the road. This feature can save you a lot of animation time.

You can create an entire character from a PNG image. This is DarkMan. The image below is the original PNG image. The eyes were added in CTA.

DarkMan is a G-3 free bone actor. I created his bone structure from scratch. You can create complex bone structures like his, or simplified ones.

Here is an example of DarkMan moving. It’s a 10fps GIF so its jittery.

You can create animals that talk. Pigs that fly, animate a Praying Mantis. 2-D actors can’t turn sideways and have there limitations.

All of this is time consuming.

If Avatars from the shoulders up works for you. Crazy Talk 8 does pretty much everything CTA3 does, except the actors have no body movments. It’s much quicker and easier to work with.

That’s all I got


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Rick Stone

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Another aspect to consider would be to use one of these new smarty pants phone apps that uses a filter (I think that's what it's called) to put funny faces on your own head and animate them. One could record those and use them in Camtasia.