John C. Martin II, VP of Product Marketing, leads Reallusion’s award-winning CrazyTalk and iClone Studio. A founding member of Reallusion USA, John represents Reallusion’s brands and the continued development of evermore accessible filmmaking technology. John’s role as spokesperson for Reallusion connects audiences with demonstrations of Reallusion’s real-time filmmaking software that’s fueling the frenzy of user-generated video content on the web.
John specializes in emerging media and social networks including Machinima and virtual worlds. He recognizes the vast potential to use virtual worlds and real-time game and animation engines to unite technology with the new era of digital storytelling and social interaction. Speaking to audiences across the globe about the rise of the new personal media movement, John is an evangelist for making animation accessible to everyone.
Bijan Tehrani: Please tell us about adding stereo 3D capability to your popular iClone and CrazyTalk software packages. What impact do you think this capability will have?
John C. Martin II: 3D stereoscopic technology has been sharply on the rise over the past several years. Manufacturers of TVs, computers and other goods have created a new platform for 3D technology content. This content is going to be the deciding factor whether 3D will be an adoptable at-home entertainment.
While most types of most types of technology trickle down to our homes, Reallusion is leading the charge to provide tools for everyday consumers and professionals alike to create their own gateway to stereoscopic 3D content. Our 3D animation software provides a way to be creative with 3D in iClone and also professional 2D studio cartoons with body and facial animation in the forthcoming with the release of CrazyTalk Animator, October 2010.
The stereoscopic 3D technology that we have is Authentic 3D. The system is based on our real time 3D environments, where we can precisely understand the relationships between camera and the objects and characters in the scene mathematically. This capability lets us know how far the conversion point will be in order to reach the sweet spots that will allow us to create 3D stereoscopic effects. This set of controls for tuning the stereoscopic 3D effect are part of of the one-click and slide solution for creation 3D media and animations.
Best of all, we can control these tools in the same way the 3D medium has always been a post-production process–only recently has it become a part of the production. The king of it now would of course be James Cameron with “Avatar,” but now the technology has trickled down where almost anyone, through the simple features of iClone offers, to utilize 3D technology and to direct it as it is being created. That is the main difference that our software offers right now and we give users the ability to use this with their desktop computers and have it compatible with most any editing software. The animations are completely real-time and can get up to 60 frames for second. Overall, it is a very advanced tool and it allows almost anyone to get involved with 3D animation.
BT: Is iClone also used for pre-visualization?
JM: Sure, iclone is software that has been used in a number of pre-visualization projects. It’s a tool that is much like the painter’s palette. For professional directors and those involved with live action films, iClone has been used as a tool to help with the placement of actors and also for camera blocking; it is also used in pre-production for commercials that will be shot in live action but also utilize CG. So we have a number of artists that are using the technology for a number of different things.
BT: What is the latest version of Crazy Talk?
JM: CrazyTalk Animator is a new product that will be debuting soon that allows for full facial and body animation; the software will allow you to create walking and talking characters using images in a distinct 2D/3D environment. CrazyTalk Animator gives you the ability to make a show like Wonder Pets, where images can fit on CrazyTalk Animator bones then animated with a number of preset motions or key frame custom motions for professional productions. It also expands on the original CrazyTalk, which everyone has come to know as sophisticated facial editing software. Crazy Talk Animator adds a complete 3D program that allows you to animate any photograph or illustration in real time environments. In addition, it allows you to composite any type of element; any content can be brought in and animated accordingly. The program will give users a fully functional 3D environment.
BT: Can independent animators and filmmaker create short animated films with this new package?
JM: Sure, both iClone and CrazyTalk come with the ability to create real time HDR and real-time depth of field so you have a lot of what is used in actual post production processes. The software is built for short-form animation. You can have continuous scenes for multi-camera switchers; you can have up to 16 cameras in a single scene and multiple cameras that you can direct within a scene, so you can direct and render your film and have all of your cameras exactly where you want. You can also set up your scenes as shots and use the software as a complete production tool. For compositors it allows you to do multiple multipass effects so the software does get pretty advanced. The software is compatible with both green-screen and blue-screen technology. The next era of content is stereo 3D and Reallusion’s tools are designed to be an effective way to create deep 3D experiences with a limited budget.
For more information on Reallusion’s new stereocopic 3D capability, including demos and sample content, visit: www.reallusion.com/s3d
CWB editors have checked and reviewed Reallusion products’ 3D features on a HP Z400 Workstation.