John C. Martin II, VP of Product Marketing, leads Reallusion’s award-winning CrazyTalk and iClone Studio. A founding member of Reallusion USA, John represents Reallusion’s brands and the continued development of evermore accessible filmmaking technology. John’s role as spokesperson for Reallusion connects audiences with demonstrations of Reallusion’s real-time filmmaking software that’s fueling the frenzy of user-generated video content on the web.
John specializes in emerging media and social networks including Machinima and virtual worlds. He recognizes the vast potential to use virtual worlds and real-time game and animation engines to unite technology with the new era of digitalstorytelling and social interaction. Speaking to audiences across the globe about the rise of the new personal media movement, John is an evangelist for making animation accessible to everyone. Prior to Reallusion, John worked at several well-known technology startups, including CitySearch.
Richard Bluth: How did the idea of Crazy Talk first get introduced to your company and what was the target of it?
John Martin: The technology behind the software really came out of the digital camera industry so we initially wanted to make a project that would enhance the functions of the digital camera. So that project became what is now Crazy Talk, so it’s taken quite an evolution to arrive at what we have now which is Crazy Talk 6; a complete animation studio available to you on your desktop. The idea is still the same, where you talk a photo of a person, animal or anything that you would like to bring to life, you then put the photo through a simple fitting process which allows the program to know where the eyes, mouth etc… are located. Once this process is completed you simply import your audio and Crazy Talk pretty much takes it from there.
RB: How is this software used in a professional production environment?
JM: Well with all of our technology and all of our solutions, all of theses projects have threshold which allows anyone to get started. The way we approach the professional market is that we basically speed up the process. But you don’t have to be an animator in the professional arena in order to use our services. Our software is used by Nickelodeon studios; Apple utilizes it in their iPhone products, as does numerous other companies.
RB: I have noticed that there is a marked difference in the eye control feature between versions 6 and 7 of crazy talk; can you elaborate on this change?
JM: One of the big differences between the new versions of Crazy Talk is Vivid Eye Technology. This new feature has a multiple layer setting for the eyes where you can edit everything from the lash and any reflective quality from the eye. It sounds complicated, but it is in fact very simple. We have a wide library of presets which makes it easier to find the setting that you want. With Crazy Talk 6 you always have the option to keep the original eye from the photo, which allows you to get the best possible match. In terms of maintaining movement of the eye you can use the Import function which gives you the full effect of the eye.
RB: What is the next step for you guys? What should we expect to see in future versions?
JM: With Crazy Talk 6 we have many new features inside that program, including multiple character support, which was used in the film Watchmen, and several Marvel Comics movies. But in the future you can expect much more integration, including a Mac version. We are pushing for a feature that allows users to have 3-D heads as well as 2-D heads. We also want to add more camera angles and more visual effects.
RB: When should we expect to see the next update?
JM: You should see an update in the spring and summer of 2010. Recently, we have also released new program called WidgetCast.
RB: Thank you for time.
CWB editors have checked and reviewed Crazy Talk on a HP Z400 Workstation.