Artist, Web Designer, Writer, Animator and Video Creator
Q: Best known as TET or 'The Extraordinary Tourist', you are a very well-known artist and animator. For those have not yet heard about you, please tell us a bit on who you are and what you do.
TET or 'The Extraordinary Tourist' is my online name. It's taken from the name of a fictional character I created. I've worked as a freelance Graphic Designer/Web Designer and established my business, Art Time Productions in 1997. As well as Graphic Design Services I initially started selling my paintings over the internet. Most of my paintings have a cartoon style and are based on my own fictional characters. I became particularly well known for painting cartoon cats and was even commissioned to paint cartoon versions of people's real pet cats.
In 2008 I discovered GoAnimate. The site re-ignited an interest I'd had in animation as a teenager and changed my whole career path from graphic design and selling my own art to creating Business Explainer videos and making my own animated projects. You can read the behind the scenes development of my own projects on my blog at animationandvideo.com or just watch my animated videos on my tetanimations YouTube Channel.
Q: You have made several animations with CrazyTalk, and you even joined the Animation@Work Competition, when and how did you discover CrazyTalk Animator? And what is your opinion?
I first discovered CrazyTalk Animator around the beginning of 2012. I believe I was looking around for low cost alternatives to Adobe Flash Animation and came across the CTA demo video on YouTube. It's puppet based animation system seemed like a quicker way to get my own artwork animated. I also liked how easy it was to turn photographic images into animated characters too. I bought it with the idea to animate my own original characters and to create animated characters from some of my paintings (Cool Froyd is an example of the latter).
The character creation part of CTA was easy to learn but I struggled learning the animation and timeline side of things. Not necessarily because it was hard. I was just very busy and wasn't able to put in enough consistent time to remember what I'd learned previously. It wasn't until I bought Crazy Animator 2 (Pipeline) that I decided to just sit down and spend two solid weeks (over my Christmas break) doing nothing but learning the software. I'm really glad I did because now I'm finally starting to explore the software's potential.
Q: You are also a highly respected member of GoAnimate since 2008. Besides GoAnimate, and CrazyTalk, what other software do you work with?
I used to use Koolmoves a lot for animating flash based characters and props for use with GoAnimate but since buying Serif DrawPlus X5/X6 that's what I use for Flash animation now. I'm also dabbling in iClone 5.5, Anime Studio 9, Motion Artist and Plastic Animation Paper (PAP). For general drawing and character design I use Manga Studio 5. For video editing I use Serif Movie Plus X6. For storyboarding I use Springboard.
Q: What are the main similarities and differences between CrazyTalk Animator and GoAnimate? Any specific applications for each?
I've always seen CrazyTalk Animator as the logical next step for anyone proficient with GoAnimate wanting to advance to a studio that gives them even more control and flexibility to express themselves through animation. Both GoAnimate and CTA are very capable tools for business explainer videos but GoAnimate isn't as flexible when character animation is important. If you need a specific action or expression you're pretty much stuck with what's in GoAnimate's content library where as with CTA you can create any kind of custom action or facial expression with almost no limitations.
CTA's real time puppet animation system is fairly unique. It allows for some improvisation that can feel more natural than key framing every movement would. It's particularly good for animating faces during a conversational scene because you can move the face and head around in response to the dialogue being spoken. You don't get that level of control in GoAnimate.
Q: You have a business website, Animation 4 Business; tell us a bit about this business and how you can help other companies? What are the advantages of hiring your company? What services do you offer?
Animation4business(.com) is my animated business explainer video service. I create animated explainer videos for very low cost using, mainly GoAnimate but also other similar online services. I also offer a Premium service creating animated videos with CrazyTalk Animator using content from the G2 Power Packs, Volume 1 and 2.
Video is pretty much a necessity for businesses of all kinds. An animated video is an easy way to explain a product or service in an engaging way in the space of 1-3 minutes. I've created animated videos for clients all around the world, usually for business start ups or smaller business owners where every dollar spent really counts.
By using customizable, existing content libraries and predefined motions it's possible to cut the cost of creating a 2-3 minute animated business explainer video to just a few hundred dollars whilst still getting a quality animation that does the same job as spending thousands on an animated video created entirely from scratch. Usually I can create videos much quicker as well.
Although it's possible for almost anyone to learn these systems my background in Graphic Design and film making means I can produce something more professional looking in a shorter time frame. I can also write scripts and create custom props, characters and backgrounds as needed.
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