Monday, February 23, 2015

Animated Short: "How Unexpected"

Here's a recent film by Vancouver Film School student Sara Kim entitled "How Unexpected". I found it upbeat, well-drawn, and entertaining:

related channel: Vancouver Film School *

Friday, September 5, 2014

New voice for "Text to Speech for Video"

I posted an update to my open source project, Text to Speech for Video.

The most significant feature added was a new voice "Eve" (female, British accent) with over 1600 "words" (many of which are alternate pronunciations for a given word).  This brings the total number of voices so far to three, one male and two female. More are planned (and you can always record your own).

So far I only have a demo video for the  first voice, "Huckleberry", but I'll try to do something similar with the other two later this year. *

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Animated Short: "Somnium"

Here's a skillfully animated short film with a plot that reminded me somewhat of "The Matrix" entitled "Somnium". Gerard Seymour directed and created the story for the film, which resides on YouTube channel The Animation School:


Sunday, March 23, 2014

"Muvizu Play+" Animation Program

Some weeks after I made this post, Digimania (the creators of Muvizu) announced "Muvizu Play+", a premium version of the Muvizu animation program which provides an alternative to the pay-as-you-go system for commercial use of Muvizu output.

In summary, Muvizu movie creators now have three alternatives:

(1) You can use the free version of Muvizu for as long as you want to create as many movies as you want. The free version, however, attaches a Muvizu watermark to each movie, and commercial use of such movies is not allowed.

(2) You can pay Digimania to remove the watermark from a movie and allow commercial use. The amount of such payment varies by the length of the movie in minutes and whether the frame size is standard or high definition.

(3) You can buy Muvizu+ (on which Digimania recently cut the price to 75 pounds from the previous 150 pounds) and produce as many watermark-free, commercial-use-allowed movies as you want for as long as you want.

For more details, see the Muvizu web site, especially this page.


Friday, December 13, 2013

"Franticlaus: Son of Santa"

Santa Claus contends with a variety of challenges in this humorous Christmas animation by Daniel Kouts, accompanied with music by Nick Kouts:

related web site: *

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Text To Speech for Video", new open source program

I am pleased to announce that Text to Speech for Video is now available. Having been rather disappointed in the quality, price, and licensing conditions of many of the text to speech products in existence, I decided to create my own free and open source alternative specifically intended for creators of animated videos who want an easy to use way of generating speech for their characters.  Below is a short video demonstrating what the output sounds like:

Right now there are two voices available - one male with a southern U.S. accent (demonstrated in the video above) and one female with an asian accent (I'd describe it as Indian subcontinent).  Each voice has about 1500 words now (including some duplicates with different emotiveness - questioning, emphatic, etc.).  I hope to add more words to the existing voices and more voices as well in the coming months/years.

It's also quite easy (if you have the patience) to record your own "voice". Since each word is stored as a separate wav file (22 khz, 2 channel stereo), the voices take up quite a lot of room (program plus the two voices currently about 80mb which will grow over time as more words/voices are added).  The upside is that, in contrast to many synthetically generated voices, the output can sound a lot like real speech (since it is real speech, at least on a word for word basis). *

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"In Sickness" animation

Here's a scary but touching animated short from "The Animation School" in South Africa entitled "In Sickness":

It won the gold medal in 2011 The New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards in the Short Animation File category. *