CrazyTalk at the American Music Awards

LillianH · November 11, 2006 8:44 pm

Message2486455.jpgEvery year, the American Music Awards is notorious for providing a plethora of amazing and valuable products to the stars and entertainers that grace their stage as performers and presenters. This year the gift bags included nearly 100 free items which consisted of: clothes, perfumes, diamond jewelry, ownership of an acre of land on the moon, weekend excursions and various electronics including CrazyTalk software ? adding up to approximately $33,000. Last week, I got the inside scoop on how CrazyTalk software ended up in the amazing mix of goodies going to the stars. John C. Martin II, U.S. Product Manager for Reallusion, Inc. the creators of CrazyTalk came by and visited with us. While he was here, I was able to find out how CrazyTalk found its way to the AMAs. Thanks for stopping by John. It's great to meet another graphic junky here in Nashville! It's my pleasure! I've been a long time fan and member of the Renderosity Art Community for a while now. It was pretty cool when I discovered we are in the same city. So, I thought I would come on over and introduce myself. What is CrazyTalk? CrazyTalk is an easy-to-use software product that provides a way to bring any photo or 2D image to life. I am dying to know...how in the world did CrazyTalk end up in the gift bags at the American Music Awards? Hollywood Connection, the company that puts together the presenter gift bags contacted us. They wanted something hip and new. They wanted to include a 3D software package that would embody the fun and excitement of video games and animation. So now, alongside a weekend on a Marquis Jet and a stay at the Penthouse of the Paris Hotel in Los Vegas, diamond necklaces and bracelets, we have CrazyTalk! With so many 3D and animation software products on the market, how did Hollywood Connection hear about CrazyTalk? Reallusion's San Jose Marketing Team produced an animation for Rolling Stone of one of their magazine covers featuring the band Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, featuring their song Get Your Face on the Cover of Rolling Stone. The animation was seen by an executive with Dick Clark Productions. Dick Clark Productions is the production company that puts on the American Music Awards, thus the connection. Dick Clark productions saw the CrazyTalk animation for Rolling Stone and then told Hollywood Connection to contact us to get CrazyTalk as a gift for the presenters and performers at their 2005 production of the American Music Awards. Now that so many stars have CrazyTalk, what can they do with it? Celebrities can now create their own animation of themselves to reach out to their fans in several different mediums such as web sites, video, at concerts, video games and cell phones! They can import their own pictures and songs and do their own animations in minutes! I see from the software box you brought that you have a "Special Edition" of CrazyTalk just for the AMAs. I'm curious, what special features does this edition have? Message2486602.jpgWe wanted to provide something unique for this very special event. We included access to Reallusion services, where they can have us create and distribute their 3D avatar. The avatar can be used for such things as animated 3d visual ring tones. We also included the animated demo of Carmen Electra that was playing in the Green Room during the show. It shows how the facial animation works and then moves into full image 3D, real time animation. We also included WOWScreens and a preview of our highly anticipated, up coming new software, iClone! You had an animation of Carmen Electra playing during the event? Yes, it was totally cool creating an animation for the American Music Awards powered by Reallusion?s CrazyTalk. Our video software demo featured at the AMA?s showed how easy it is to create talking animations with CrazyTalk and a single photograph. Within 2 minutes we were able to show the complete steps necessary to transform a photo of Carmen Electra into a fully animated talking digital character. Celebrities at the AMA?s saw Carmen transform from photo shoot to talking photo animation in a flash with CrazyTalk! 2 minutes to animate?! That's pretty quick. How much time did it take you to create the entire project? The actual animation part was pretty quick. It only took a few minutes. It was selecting who to animate and how to present the animation in a fun and exciting way that took the most time. For example, we were originally going to animate Ryan Seacrest. However, upon further consideration, we found Carmen Electra to be a far more exciting and recognizable star to animate. Sorry, no offense Ryan. We trust you will understand our decision buddy [laughter]. How much time were you given to put all this together? We had about 1 week to get the AMA Special Edition, including the Green Room animation and demo, ready and shipped out to California. How many people did it take to get this project done on time? I created the animation and pulled together the content for the DVDs. Then our team in California took care of the printing, pressing and shipping. But, our development team in Taiwan is largely responsible for creating software that makes all this creativity possible. Now that you've survived the American Music Awards, what future Hollywood plans do you have? We will continue our association with Hollywood Connection and plan to participate in several more of their awards events. Hollywood has put their stamp of approval on this hot new tool! I think this is so incredible because now all of us can harness the creative power that Hollywood had for years. What once required an entire studio of animators, artists, technicians and a Hollywood size budget is now an affordable addition to anyone's PC! What's on the horizon for Reallusion? Let me just say that Christmas will come a bit early this year with the release of iClone. iClone will revolutionize the way we create animations and will provide a tool set that can be used by 3D artists of every level. iClone compliments the features in CrazyTalk. CrazyTalk is designed to provide detailed facial animation and expression along with importing voice and sound. These can then be used in iClone to get real time, full body scene animations. Together, CrazyTalk and iClone are a powerhouse! Your excitement for your products and for the graphics industry is contagious! John, thank you for sharing the scoop behind the scenes of animating stars and about CrazyTalk at the American Music Awards. My pleasure! You'll be seeing a lot more of me, and Reallusion, around here at Renderosity. This community rocks!
Message2486599.jpgFor additional information on CrazyTalk, we invite you to visit: The Reallusion web site. CrazyTalk More Info CrazyTalk Download Free Trial
Message2486600.jpgLillian Hawkins [LillianH] Renderosity Front Page News Staff Columnist and Marketing and Promotions Manager November 28, 2005

Article Comments


pokeydots ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 28 November 2005

I have to say Crazy Talk is a great piece of software! I bought it a few years ago, and I even won a contest using it! Best thing is it's so easy to use! Congrats on being part of the AMA Awards!

madriver ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 29 November 2005

I just downloaded the demo and tried it. Wow! What an absolutely brilliant app. Look out Mimic...

nickcharles ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 03 December 2005

Excellent interview, Lillian! Thanks John for the info, and glad we'll be seeing more of you and Reallusion here at Renderosity! I gotta check out Crazy Talk. Btw...did you get to sign that wall in the background, John?


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