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Crazy Talk 7 for Mac Review

Animation can be a great medium with a variety of uses if you know how to do it. Whether entertaining, telling a story or just complementing a presentation, putting your words into the mouth of an animated avatar is a great way to get people’s attention and make them hear you out. I know I would have achieved much higher grades in physics if my teacher had been animated. But animation is a time consuming process so it is fortunate then that there is a piece of animation software that helps you create talking heads quickly and easily.

Crazy Talk 7 is the latest incarnation of the popular software and at just $29.99 it is an affordable way to create these animations. There are seven virtual actors included, ranging from housewife to cat, each with their own animations and movements to add variety. Animating these characters is simple enough as there are a lot of movements included to make them as lifelike as possible. Characters blink, raise eyebrows, move their heads and generally behave a little more like real people as they speak than in previous versions.

The really clever part is how they react to your recordings. When you add an audio file, a recording of your own speech for example, the characters will utilise realistic lip synching software so that they convincingly appear to be speaking your words. In addition to this, the also pick up on the tone of voice and act accordingly, so if you upload audio of whispering, the character will speak with restraint, while laughing will also make your character visibly laugh. Any kind of emphasis in the recording is picked up by the character and incorporated into their movements.

If you are bored of the characters on offer then you can also create your own, although the animation will not be good. Customised characters can be created by importing your own photos of people but when doing this you will need to spend a considerable amount of time ironing out various points and facial features to make it fit better visually. But even then, the animation will not be quite as fluid or convincing and you may end up with some unusual results. You will need to make the photo fit by mapping it over a wire frame and the more time you spend on this part, the better it will turn out.

Once the initial recording has been synched you will then be able to move onto the editing phase and rework the timeline of your animation to make it all fit together better. This is fairly easy to do and it shouldn’t take long to finish your video.

How useful this software proves to be for you depends on how you use it. There may not be many opportunities to use it practically in the real world but it is still a fun tool to play with and is a great way for first-time animators to dabble with the medium and get started with their hobby. It is certainly enjoyable and a good starting place.

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