Advice Requested: Talking Heads?

Dear Video Gods,

Does anybody here use CrazyTalk? 

As a quick intro for those not familiar, CrazyTalk is Windows/Mac software that animates images of faces, and then makes them speak.   It turns a static 2D photo or drawing in to a video with sound.   Here's the sales pitch intro video for a quick look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvMjFIomhpQ&list=PLNV5zSFadPdnAvtha0TQ3sQ0jexQd_vlY

CrazyTalk is probably my favorite software other than Hitfilm, so I thought I'd start this thread to see if discussion of this tool would be useful to members of the forum.  If this is of interest, please share your thoughts, experiences, suggestions etc. 

(Please note:  I have no business relationship with the company who created this software.  I'm not even a customer yet technically, as they gave me my copy for free.  I'm just a CrazyTalk fan boy, that's it.)

Once you have a general idea what CrazyTalk is all about, I wanted to seek your input on a hobby business idea.  I'm considering setting up a little talking heads specialty shop. 

As example, say you wanted to have a Donald Trump Darth Vader type character in your next sci-fi adventure film.  You send me the image, and the script in text or audio form.  I animate the image with the soundtrack and send it back to you.  You do your thing with the clip in Hitfilm.

Please feel free to opine on this general idea in any direction.  I've been around online business for over 20 years, but know very little about the video arena.   Any and all advice of any kind will be most appreciated.

If the subject of CrazyTalk is of interest to anybody, tell me what you'd  like to know more about and I'll assist if I can.

 

Comments

  • edited November 26

    The company who made CrazyTalk (https://www.reallusion.com/) also provides content which can be used in CrazyTalk and their other products.

    As example, I'm considering purchasing this collection of realistic human heads.

    https://www.reallusion.com/contentstore/iClone/pack/Realistic_Human_100/default.aspx

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1jcYmbAyHo

    So for example, a potential client could:

    1) review the head selections on my website,

    2) select a head,

    3) write or record a script, and then

    4) tell me to make that head say that script. 

     

     

     

     

  • @PhilTanny I think there is some potential to your idea, particularly for those that aren't into character animation or simply don't have the time or money to invest in it for something they might want once or twice a year (like me). The important questions as I see them:

    • Is your work good enough and unique enough that people would be willing to pay you? Not a criticism, it's just the unfortunately brutal honest question.
    • How many others are already doing it? CrazyTalk leads to iClone/Character Creator and competitive products like Daz Studio and Poser. All of these follow a similar model with content marketplaces and have users creating and selling content as well. Granted, you aren't talking about full character animation yet but there is overlap.
    • Is it really worth it to you? By this I mean will you make enough to not only cover your expenses but also the most important part, your time. Time is your most valuable asset. Don't make the mistake of under-valuing it. 
    • How far are you prepared to go or invest? I already mentioned CrazyTalk leading to iClone but to make that work you need CrazyTalk Pipeline ($99.00 right now). iClone has a pipeline to HitFilm Pro via Alembic. I know you need at least iClone 3DXchange for that but I think you might really need Pipeline, iClone with 3DXchange Pipeline and Character Creator is $449.00 right now making your total with CrazyTalk Pipeline $548.00. On the plus side, this opens up pretty much any 3D pipeline, not just HitFilm, but it's still a hefty investment. 
  • Aladdin4d, wow, thanks for the great input and questions!

    Let's see, where to begin...

    I have full confidence that I can master CrazyTalk (a consumer level interface), but I'm far less confident I understand any market that may exist, thus this thread. 

    "Who is the market" seems the right question, and I need help in answering that.

    I'm not really that interested in competing in the regular 3D marketplace.  I spent months exploring 3D last year, and wasn't all that impressed.  Way too much work involved for too little return, imho.  And as you say, lots of competition there already.

    My thought for now would be to specialize in animated talking heads.  So my investment would be just a couple hundred to get started, and that would keep me busy for quite awhile.

    Is it really worth it to me?  Another great question.  I'm not sure obviously or I'd already be doing it. 

    I'm only looking for hobby money, not a real pro career, so that helps.  I do however suffer from the same disease afflicting so many others, I like doing the creative work, but my marketing often doesn't make it too far past good intentions.  I've made that mistake so many times, not making it again is probably my biggest reservation.

    So who, if anyone, is willing to pay for talking heads? 

    I really don't know so I'm hoping someone here might.

    And...

    The thread doesn't have to be all about me.  If anyone is using CrazyTalk and would like to share, please do.  If anyone has questions, please ask.  Any general discussion of this or similar products is welcomed.

     

  • @PhilTanny Checking out Fiverr, it looks like there are a couple of people doing pretty much your idea.

    https://www.fiverr.com/search/gigs?utf8=✓&source=guest-homepage&locale=en&search_in=everywhere&query=talking+head

    On the downside it doesn't look like there's been a large number of requests for talking head work. If I'm reading things right, it's a total of 47 jobs with two of the creators having been on Fiverr since 2013. I'm not sure Fiverr represents the best sample but it's a start.

  • Aladdin4d

    I didn't even know about fiver, so that's useful info in itself.  One positive point is that maybe I wouldn't need to create a sales site if I can find more opportunities like fiver.  I've created so many sites over so many years, just not that in to it anymore, definitely one of the obstacles holding me back.

    Hmm...  Maybe we could discuss the potential market in theory for a bit? 

    As example, let's say I'm making a video and I want a female to play some role.  My wife says filming her is out of the question, and I don't know anybody else who wants to be in my movie, so what do I do?

    Or maybe I'm more than a hobbyist and could hire real world models, but finding them, hiring them, directing them and paying them sounds like more trouble than it's worth.

    Whether I'm a hobbyist or a pro I could buy CrazyTalk and do the work myself.  The expense isn't an obstacle, but now I have to learn a new  program well enough to get decent  results, and the limited need I have for a talking head doesn't merit adding yet another piece of software to all those I'm still trying to master.

    What other kind of scenarios might cause a video editor to decide hiring me was the easiest solution?

    This is where I typically get in to trouble.  I can whip up all these scenarios in theory, but don't know the real world video realm well enough to know how realistic the theory scenarios might be.

    In other news, I reviewed your input again, and reviewed the Reallusion offerings again, and see that I would probably wind up buying iClone and various content packages.  It's possible that most or all of what I might earn would wind up in Reallusion's bank account instead of mine.  :-)

     

Sign in to comment

Leave a Comment