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CrazyTalk Animator 3 on the other hand is like a complete 2D animation studio where you can create scenes full of animated full bodied characters, scenery and props. Which one is best for you will depend on the type of projects you plan to work on. Forum Administrator. CrazyTalk Animator 3 (CTA3) is the animation solution that enables all levels of users to create professional animations and presentations with the least amount of effort. With CTA3, anyone can instantly bring an image, logo, or prop to life by applying bouncy Elastic Motion effects. For the character part, CTA3 is built with 2D character. Beat up the competition with the new Motion Library Vol. 3, an add-on motion pack for CrazyTalk Animator! This pack provides 46 motions for fight scenes. There are 4 types of classic actions in this pack: unarmed attack, melee attack, defence and others such as crane and snake technique. Pack Includes:. 46 Motions - Unarmed Attack x 19. Reallusion CrazyTalk Animator 3.22 Free Download, Create 2D characters with background audio, 2D animation tool, Design and create animation from images.

Publisher: Reallusion
Website:Click Here
Platform: PC, Mac
x32/x64: x32/x64
Description: 2D animation
Purchase/Rent: Purchase
Pricing: Pipeline Edition: $299, Pro Edition: $179, Standard Edition: $69
Download Demo:Click Here
Expected Release: Available Now
Review Issue: #135 (05/17)
Reviewed By:Mark Bremmer
Final Score: 7.0 (out of 10)

Microfilmmakers come in all flavors and interests. Animation is something that isn’t ‘pure’ videography, but story telling doesn’t really care. Like we add special effects in post production, we can also add animation. It really depends on what the story requires.

CrazyTalk Animator3 is a 2D animation package from the very capable company, Reallusion. Known for their outstanding iClone and Character Creator software for the 3D environs, (also useful for 3D storyboarding or outright rendering to video), Reallusion has upgraded their 2D animation offering with Animator3.

As I get started, there are a couple things to note. First, Reallusion totally embraces the KISS philosophy of Keep It Simple Stupid. That means their software comes loaded with presets and has significant ready-to-use content already available for it. Secondly, I’m looking at this software from a full production pipeline view (as we’re reviewing the Pipeline version of this software). The reason I bring that up is because while CrazyTalk Animator3 is a very solid 2D animation offering, it may not be right for your work flow for your story telling needs.

Lastly, a very important awareness is that CrazyTalk Animator3 (CTA3) is a content manipulation program, rather than a content creation program. Unlike some competing 2D packages, you can’t actually make content to animate in CTA3, such as characters or objects. If you’re not animating pre-made content, you’ll need to make new content in a third party program such as Illustrator or Photoshop and then be imported. (In this regard, it’s quite similar to their Crazy Talk software, which is for creating animated photos and talking head pieces.)

Prebuilt Characters: CrazyTalk Animator 3 has a range of pre-existing characters that may suit your needs, right out of the box. What makes these characters easy to work with is the fact that the hard work has been done and users can adjust the animation with simple tools.

Ease of Use

Like everything I’ve experienced from Reallusion, CrazyTalk Animator3 is super easy to use. Double-clicking inserts items and simple drag/drop motions let users bring content in from the computer desktop or file browsers. It’s almost like the development team asked themselves, “what are the most common things a new animator would want to do quickly?”, and then built CTA3 around it.

As I mentioned before, the version I am using for the review is the full Pipeline version which has all the bells, whistles and basic extra content they offer. (I say “basic”, because they are always expanding the add-on packages, which of course wouldn’t be included.) Full backgrounds, multiple stock characters, object and character motions have been included. If you are satisfied (or able) to work with preexisting stock content, there is plenty to choose from. For users wanting to explore doing some custom character work, getting the full Pipeline edition is required. The pipeline edition enables creation of non-stock characters and other little animation customization and import.

In many production ways, 2D animation can be more complex than even 3D work, because 2D doesn’t behave like the physics of the real world. Reallusion has done a very good job of hiding that complexity by providing point and click modifiers for motion and animation. Want to have a stock character look left and turn their head a little? Just use the face puppet and animate that. (Remember when Adobe rolled out the puppet tool for After Effects around CS2 or CS3 where you could put pins for joints and then distort the rest of the image? Similar idea.) Want a falling object to bounce a little when it hits the floor? Just select the motion tweener that looks the best. No additional tweaking required. Simply drag and drop the preset onto the object or double-click it.

Depth of Options

There are plenty of preprogrammed options designed to work with the stock content. In that sense there are plenty of options. It is easy to quickly begin doing some complex animation with stock content, using simple widgets and drag-and-drop authoring. But, that is where we begin hitting the limits of what the program will do for you if you are planning to work with original content.

To be clear, I understand that CTA3 is designed for 2D animation novices. Consequently, the following isn’t an indictment of the program, merely an observation. If you are wanting to work with a character or elements you create yourself, limitations to efficiently animating become apparent rather quickly.

For example, you cannot directly edit vector content or pixel based content. If a user wants to animate a face to include multiple, morphing expressions without having to use something called switching, (where static shapes are rapidly switched to create the illusion of motion such as talking) then, you are out of luck. (This lack is especially interesting because morphing is the way the animation in their initial Crazy Talk line is created. It’s odd that they wouldn’t give you the option to use the more true 2D style found in CTA3 or the morphing option found in CrazyTalk 8.) Furthermore, everything needing a change requires round-tripping to the art program, exporting the change and re-importing to CTA3.

Likewise, integrating with live footage is problematic also. While users can drop video footage into the background and animate on top of it, there is no ability to motion-track footage, making matching animated movement to video movement next to impossible. Static shots would be ok, though, but tools for creating some 2D shadows that would visually integrate animation better are also missing.

Finally, while users can export sequenced .png files with a transparent background, the silhouetting doesn’t have an option for premultiplied alpha channels, meaning objects can have a bit of pixelated edge. The best workaround is to select a color that is common in the footage and have CTA3 anti-alias to that color, but it still creates a subtle halo effect. For example, if you have footage from a car garage, the walls and ceiling area would be fairly dark, but the concrete floor would be light. If your character was aliased to a darker color but crossed into the concrete area, you would see a slightly pixelated edge, Likewise if the character was aliased to a light color, but crossed into a dark region. (Still, this is an improvement over what our editor found when he reviewed Crazy Talk 7 or 8, which has no option to export transparent background images.)

Bone Rigging: If your Photoshop skills are reasonably good, CTA3 makes it very easy to take still images, like this classic painting by Millet, and animate the scene. For Microfilmmakers, this can be a good way to rapidly create animatics.


Once you understand your limitations in regards to what you can create, CTA3 is a breeze to work with. It’s smooth and fast, both when interactively working and when rendering. All popular pixel imagery formats and video types of AVI, WMV, RM, RMVB, MPEG, MPG, MPE, MP4, ASF, ASX, WM, FLV, MOV and popVideo formats can be imported. (Unfortunately, vector artwork can only be imported via the now antiquated .swf format.)

Exporting has a wizard that lets you pick from standard presets for both image sequence and movie formats and adjusted if needed. The video renderer is reasonably fast and audio can be exported as an individual track, if needed.

Really important is documentation. Reallusion excels at this. The help documents/manual are all online, so an active web connection is a must (especially since all activation options for the software are online exclusive). The manual is indexed, searchable and comprehensive, plus they’ve included a lot of video tutorials.

Combining Characters: Photographic images can also be combined with stock 2D characters. In this example, a CTA3 Morph Head (A photo that has been projected onto 3D geometry) can be posed and animated with very simply click-and-move tools.


What CTA3 does, it does very well. For folks creating corporate animation or exploring the basics of animation for self-study/YouTube experiments or for creating mockups for kickstarters, this is a very handy tool. However, my experience with the Microfilmmaker market is that we like to tell a wide variety of stories that are usually fairly sophisticated. Because of that, I’m not sure that CTA3 is a good fit for most of us, unless you’re willing to put a huge amount of time creating all the pieces for custom models with illustrator and photoshop or unless you’ve got a lot of extra cash to pay someone else to put in the work for custom models through the Reallusion Marketplace. If you’ve ever used PowerPoint, I would liken CTA3 to that paradigm. It’s very good for a narrow range of 2D animation, driven by presets. In fact, CTA3 includes ‘emphasis’ animation presets that a PowerPoint user would recognize instantly.

While it may not be the best for creating original content, if you need a ‘Clippy’ style animation, you know, the paperclip Windows used to use, for a project , want to create a work safety video, or a Wayne Knight-style “chastising” animation (as in the Jurassic Park computer screen lockout), this is the software to use.

Final Comments

My scoring is less about the quality of the software than whether its a good fit for a production environment. CTA3 is a solid product that lives up to its promises. But since it is targeted to animation beginners who aren’t needing to create original character models, the range of utility is very limited for Indie filmmakers. For Microfilmmakers needing a more production grade solution, something like Smith Micro’s MOHO is better suited and more versatile.

[Note From Editor: After this review was finished, Reallusion did release some additional import options for integrating things with Photoshop which were not able to be covered in this review. While the author didn’t feel that this altered things enough with CTA’s complexities in creating new 2D model content, it’s definitely worth reading over for yourself. If you’re uncertain whether this is a good fit for what you need to do, you’re highly encouraged to try out the demo of the software and see for yourself.-JTH]

Ease of Use

Overall Score


Mark Bremmer

Mark Bremmer has operated his own commercial studio for over 18 years. He’s been fortunate enough to work for clients like Caterpillar, Colgate, Amana, Hormel Foods, Universal Studios Florida, and The History Channel producing stills, digital mattes and animations. Mark contracts regularly as an art mercenary with production houses that shall remain nameless by written agreements. If you've seen shows like The Voice, The Grammy or the ESPY Awards, then you've also seen some of Mark's day-job work.

San Jose, CA – Reallusion updates 2D animation software, CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 with specialized Photoshop templates to easily setup and save PSD character designs as fully auto-rigged CrazyTalk Animator characters. CrazyTalk Animator PSD character animation tools allow any artist to create characters in Photoshop (or PSD layer compatible tools) that can come to life with lip-sync, bone animation and morphing. Save valuable setup time and quickly animate PSD characters directly from Photoshop using PSD templates designed to make human biped, quadruped, talking heads and more!

Photoshop PSD Character Animation in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Design a Character using Photoshop or PSD compatible software
  2. Organize the PSD template and layers provided by Reallusion to setup the character. Apply body parts layers to the PSD template, and align the joints location
  3. Save and Import the PSD into CrazyTalk Animator to test, preview and round-trip edit
  4. Animate PSD characters with CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 motions, poses or facial animation
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Watch Video: CrazyTalk Animator & Photoshop

Free Animation Resources for Photoshop

CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 offers a variety of resources for learning to animate with Photoshop characters. Get started with setting up characters using PSD character animation templates, see how it works with sample PSD character design projects, try it yourself with source character design element downloads and perfect the technique with detailed whitepaper and video tutorials.

Sample PSD Character Animation Projects

Quickly learn to design and animate Photoshop characters by downloading and viewing the sample PSD character projects. CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 Pipeline users gain instant access to a library of Photoshop projects featuring 9x Human Characters, 2x Quadruped, 3x Spine & Wing, and 5x bone character samples.

Step by Step Guide to Success

The CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 whitepaper is a complete PDF guide to mastering the magic of Photoshop character animation with CTA 3.1 in easy-to-follow illustrated steps. Learning to create and animate Photoshop characters with the whitepaper is a quickstart and reliable reference to understanding how to setup and import PSD characters for animation.

Free Photoshop Video Tutorials

Learn from the experts in 6 video tutorials designed to show the basics of creating characters in Photoshop, using the PSD templates to auto-rig character body parts, hand gestures and setting up PSD characters for facial animation and lip-sync.

Compatible Character Animation for PSD Software

Whether you are a Photoshop guru or prefer to use another PSD compatible character design tool, CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 fully supports PSD import with: Photoshop, Xara, Affinity Photo, Clip Studio Paint and Krita.

Design Characters with Dramatic Diversity

Create a whole community of diverse 2D character designs with the G3 Power Tools “The Elastics” content pack, a collection of ready-to-customize and animate 2D characters with various ages, ethnicities, along with body and face shapes! In this pack you will find 25x animated 2D characters with diverse facial components, everyday motions, along with a series of scenes and props.

Watch “The Elastics” content pack video

More info about CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 & Importing PSD

CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 is available for Mac or WIN PC, at & the Apple Store – For more info on purchasing CrazyTalk Animator – CTA 3.1 Pipeline Version required for PSD support

Try CrazyTalk Animator 3.1 – Free Download – Pipeline Version

Free Animation Video Tutorials

New tutorials on importing Photoshop PSD to CrazyTalk Animator 3.1

About Reallusion: – Reallusion Inc. is a 2D and 3D animation software and content developer. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, with R&D centers in Taiwan, and offices and training centers in Germany and Japan. Reallusion specializes in the development of real­time 2D and 3D cinematic animation tools for consumers, students and professionals. The company provides users with easy to use avatar animation, facial morphing and voice lip­sync solutions for real-­time 3D filmmaking, and previsualization for professional post ­production. Reallusion’s core technologies are widely used by trainers, educators, game developers and filmmakers.

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