Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

A place to discuss non-Moho software for use in animation. Video editors, audio editors, 3D modelers, etc.

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chucky
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by chucky » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:43 am

Don't worry Moho won't die and the new team are great. Just the turnaround from one team to another is a huge disruption...more importantly, neither team has had (I'm guessing....this is pure speculation) enough resources to give Moho the attention it deserves.
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Tonymax
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by Tonymax » Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:42 pm

looks like the release is set for the 29th April..
on the reallusion website
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by InfoCentral » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:52 pm

Yeah, they had the buy 3 and get 4 for FREE deal then changed it to buy 3 bundle and get 4 FREE which I don't want to buy their overpriced content. I can make my own content and that Text to Speech add-on is a joke.
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by mrc » Tue May 14, 2019 10:37 am

I had a quick look.
From what I could see, it is still hard-wired to 30fps so I uninstalled the trial after a few minutes.

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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by InfoCentral » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:29 pm

From what I have been reading on their forums Mac users are having lots of problems with the facial mocap.
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by ruscular3d » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:11 pm

I see that they have a black Friday sale going on and wonder has anyone combine the power of CT4 with Moho? Seems like the use of facial mocap would be a great addition to moho rigging!
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by mkelley » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:22 pm

Okay, so very old thread but it popped up when I was doing some searching. And then I see my name mentioned so I thought I'd chime in.

I've concentrated for the most part on 3D animation for the last five years or so -- done some stuff I've been proud of. The most overwhelming advantage of 3D, to me, has been in animation. I can create animations I never would have considered doing by using a mocap suit and an iPhone for facial capture. It's made animation fun to me in ways it never was in 2D (in 2D it just felt like "work").

I bought CTA4 recently, mostly on the strength of it being able to use my existing plugins for mocap (Reallusion provides the 2D version of the 3D ones you own). So far -- I do miss Moho. I miss the easy rigging, the logical way it fits together. CTA (mostly bought because my granddaughter wants to learn how to animate and she'll be coming at it from a 2D standpoint as she has real drawing ability) is similar to the Mac in that it "hides" a lot of things to you that Moho exposes. That both simplifies as well as limits your ability to do certain things.

If Moho only had facial mocap and/or body mocap -- it would rule the world. I'm actually surprised it hasn't tried to go this route in the time I've been away. More and more stuff on the web is facial mocap driven. Couldn't be TOO difficult to generate that ability.

Anyway, just some random thoughts. I miss a lot of you folks here. Hope everyone is well and creating what they want to create (just for fun, here's a couple things I did in 3D -- each of them only took a single day to do):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1s8khyPRxc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxHgPdrvFMQ&t=10s
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:32 am

Like Mike, I've been dabbling with Cartoon Animator too. When I bought it, I wasn't looking for a replacement for Moho 12.5 at all because I use Moho successfully where I work and I still like using it in some of my personal projects. That said, CA offers some intriguing rigging and motion editing features that I wanted to check out and when Reallusion had a sale on the Pipeline bundle, I decided to bite.

Even though I use motion capture in some of my 3D shorts and vfx work, I'm not particularly interested in applying mocap data to my 2D work. It's a matter of taste but I always felt mocap looks odd on 2D puppets and it's not particularly appealing me. However, having used mocap edting tools like Motion Builder in my other work, I recognize how similar tools are not limited to mocap data and can be usefully applied to keyframed animations too. These tools make it easier ways to reuse and mix animations, and the animations can be applied to characters sharing similar rig hierarchies even when the body proportions are completely different. While this kind of editing is possible in Moho, it's not necessarily easy or very practical with the existing tools. CA, on the other hand, seems to have been built with re-usability of rigs and animation in mind.

As I said, I'm not looking for a replacement for Moho 12.5 but, because the current release of Moho 13 has broken my workflow for re-purposing rigs and animation, this seems like a good time to check out alternative puppet animation systems.

I'm just starting to learn CA so I don't really have much useful to say about it yet but here's a little info that may be of interest to Moho users:

CA doesn't have any built-in drawing tools, so that's already big minus to me. You can import layered PSD files from Photoshop, Krita, etc., and I believe you can import vector art, though I haven't tested that feature yet and I'm not even sure what format CA expects (probably svg.) However, to import your own artwork, you need the Pipeline version of CA because the standard version is designed to use only assets purchased from Reallusion's content marketplace. (I'm obviously not the target user for the standard version.)

CA's rigging options are interesting. The program comes with rigging templates for bipeds, quadrupeds and other creature types, which you can use to 'auto-rig' your drawings. Basically, you import your artwork and move the joints in the rig to fit the character and, in theory, you're ready to animate. I've built re-usable rig templates in Moho to do something like this but it's really not the same thing as what's available in CA. The CA devs have put a lot of thought into their workflow and the system works will in the basic testing I've done so far. (Actual production level rigs may be another matter. TBD.)

On the downside, the UI feels a little scattered to me and the template rigs lack some of the advanced capabilities I enjoy in Moho. Also, you know how I sometimes complain about Moho's unnecessary 'clicki-ness'?* Well, so far the same can be said about CA too.

Like Moho, CA uses a triangulated mesh to deform image-based artwork. Unlike Moho, you can adjust the density of the auto-generated mesh like you can in After Effects so that's pretty cool. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a way to create a custom mesh like you can in Moho. If you've ever used a custom mesh in Moho, then you know that's a really big deal.

There is style of rigging called Free Bone, which is similar to rigging in Moho. There's also a masking tool available where you can paint a mask directly over the image. This is used as a quick way ' break out' a character in layers when you only have a single flattened image to work from. (Which makes me wonder, if I can paint a mask directly over an image layer in CA, why no native paint tools? Maybe that's coming?)

So far, I'm not seeing anything in CA like Moho's Smart Bone Actions. I'm thinking it doesn't exist but maybe I just haven't found it yet. Another big deal of course.

Also, there's no equivalent in CA for Moho's Sketch Bones, which is another huge deal for me since I use the tool all the time to animate tails, hair, capes, rope, etc. Obviously, you can animate these things with bones in CA but Sketch Bones in Moho makes creating organic 'whipping' and 'wave' animations soooo easy.

To be fair, some of these issues I'm bring up may simply indicate that I really don't know what I'm doing in CA yet, and I could be wrong about some of what I wrote above. I recall making similar complaints about Moho way, waaay back when I started using that program so I don't wish to be too hard on CA until I understand the program and its intended workflow better.

Re: CA's mocap features, in spite of what I wrote above, I have played a little with the face mocap system using the web camera in my laptop. To my surprise, the face capture system seems to work better than I expected and I'm already thinking about how to use it in a personal project. I'm not confident this tech will be useful or appropriate in the shows we animate at my workplace, but this might depend on how well it works out in my little 'trial' projects. For example, I like to think 'Scareplane' had a little something to do with getting Moho green-lit for use where I work. TBD, I guess. ;)

Well, that's about all I have right now. I don't think I'll say more about CA in this forum unless I'm using the program alongside Moho (definitely a possibility.) But In the future I'll write an article comparing the two programs and post it on my website. I'll let you know when that's ready.

BTW, if anybody here using Cartoon Animator in real-world production wants to correct or expand on what I've written here, please do so! While we wait for the next release of Moho 13 to fix what I consider serious 'show stopper' issues, I'd like to learn as much as I can about CA and see if it's appropriate in my animation pipeline.

*Over the years Moho has gotten much better about its 'clicki-ness' though, and I hope the devs will continue to streamline the UI.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:18 am, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:47 am

To keep this in perspective, at work we also use Toon Boom Harmony, Adobe Animate and Adobe After Effects in addition to Moho Pro (12.5) for puppet animations. All of these programs have their individual strengths and weaknesses, and there are times when I need to mix them together to get the results I need.

While I generally prefer using Moho for puppet animations, sometimes it's not the fastest way to create a given shot and, in show-biz, time is everything. I'm sure CA will prove to have its own strengths and weaknesses but if it can help me get certain tasks done more quickly, I'm all for it. :)
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by Ronbo » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:48 pm

Greenlaw, I really appreciate all of your observations since I've only just started playing with CTA4 myself.

Having said that, I just have the Pro version but I have to point out that I am definitely able to import my own art. I am not restricted to using only their assets. Pipeline is more powerful and efficient and surely the way to go for more professional use for a number of reasons, but for a hobbyist like myself, I have no problem importing .png files of my art into CTA4. And if I decide at any point that I want to edit that art I just select it in Composer Mode, click on the Launch External Editor button, and the art opens up in PS. After I edit in PS I save and go back to CTA4 and the new edit is displayed. Pretty slick.

I bought CTA4 Pro specifically to use my own art and was rather disconcerted to hear so many people after the fact saying that you need Pipeline in order to use your own art, and Reallusion pushes Pipeline for that purpose, but even they admit in some of their webinars that you can do it with the Pro version; it's just done differently than it is in Pipeline. Unfortunately, however, I think Reallusion tends to confuse people on this point because of the way they market the two versions.

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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:13 am

Thanks for the clarifications. I'm glad to hear the Pro version of CA is also capable of rigging and animating original content. :)
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by Greenlaw » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:09 am

I have to confess, I'm becoming impressed with Cartoon Animator 4 Pipeline. It may be missing some of my favorite Moho features (Sketch Bones, Smart Bone Actions, vector drawing and point animation, graph editor,) but CA has many useful features I wish we had in Moho. The auto-rigging stuff works remarkably well and the ability to mix and time-stretch motion clips in the timeline, kinda like the Story Window in Motion builder, is pretty cool.

I'll post some fun tests I've been playing around with on my website in the near future.

I still skeptical that CA4 will replace Moho Pro 12.5 for me, but I'm definitely going to be using this program on my next short film.
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by exile » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:57 pm

Ronbo wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:48 pm
Greenlaw, I really appreciate all of your observations since I've only just started playing with CTA4 myself.

Having said that, I just have the Pro version but I have to point out that I am definitely able to import my own art. I am not restricted to using only their assets. Pipeline is more powerful and efficient and surely the way to go for more professional use for a number of reasons, but for a hobbyist like myself, I have no problem importing .png files of my art into CTA4. And if I decide at any point that I want to edit that art I just select it in Composer Mode, click on the Launch External Editor button, and the art opens up in PS. After I edit in PS I save and go back to CTA4 and the new edit is displayed. Pretty slick.

I bought CTA4 Pro specifically to use my own art and was rather disconcerted to hear so many people after the fact saying that you need Pipeline in order to use your own art, and Reallusion pushes Pipeline for that purpose, but even they admit in some of their webinars that you can do it with the Pro version; it's just done differently than it is in Pipeline. Unfortunately, however, I think Reallusion tends to confuse people on this point because of the way they market the two versions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBncBvAaxWU
Thanks for this info. I picked up a standard version of Crazy Talk Animator 3 for less than $20 on eBay, not sure it’s even worth that except to use their pre-made motions on their default characters as a reference. I watched the webinar and wondered, is this really easier and faster than in Moho? The professional feedback here is a lot more trustworthy than other stuff on the web, but I’m still hesitating. What are the advantages of pipeline vs. pro?
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Re: Cartoon Animator 4 (CT4)

Post by DK » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:38 am

Just my opinion. I beta tested CA4 and found it quite difficult to rig a custom character having to rework a lot of pre-existing parts to make the default characters work. It would have been way easier to just do it from scratch in Moho. As far as the motions go they are limited and ok I guess. Plus you have to have Photoshop before you even start. Their forum is a desert with my questions going answered for months.
Like I said just my opinion.

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