123 Replies
Jerson  Campos

Thanks.  I'm also working on 3 more characters. 1 in a cartoon style like the one above, and 2 more in a realistic style. I would love to offer these for free, but so far I've spent 15-20 hours on this character alone. And I still have to create the side poses and set all of it up to work in Storyline like the current characters do. I still plan on creating a tutorial on how to set up your own characters, but I want to make sure I work out all the kinks first to make sure I don't give anybody any wrong information.

If anybody has any other pose ideas, please share.

@Nancy - Great question. Has there been a release date announced yet? I do hope they make some changes  like allow different image formats. I'll see if I can contact someone at Articulate and try to pry some details.

Jerson  Campos

Due to some other commitments I just recently started this up again, I'm actually pretty close to finishing it up now, I think.  I actually ran into a problem with the formatting and had to redraw some of the images I used.  When I'm completed I will be looking for a few volunteers to try the character out in exchange for answering a few questions if anyone is interested. 

Jerson  Campos

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I plan to create a variety of different characters with a variety of different expressions as well.  I'm also going to experiment with different styles as well. Some suitable for a professional setting and others for a more youthful audience (milleniums).

Jerson  Campos

Here is a quick update. I've finally managed to "insert" my custom character into storyline and created a couple of demo shots. These are not mockups but actual screenshots from storyline.  There are still a couple of things I need to fix since I keep running into a few glitches here and there because I'm trying new things.

The character has 24 different facial expressions, and around 40 unique poses.

Nancy Woinoski

Jerson campos said:

Thanks.  I'm also working on 3 more characters. 1 in a cartoon style like the one above, and 2 more in a realistic style. I would love to offer these for free, but so far I've spent 15-20 hours on this character alone. And I still have to create the side poses and set all of it up to work in Storyline like the current characters do. I still plan on creating a tutorial on how to set up your own characters, but I want to make sure I work out all the kinks first to make sure I don't give anybody any wrong information.

If anybody has any other pose ideas, please share.

@Nancy - Great question. Has there been a release date announced yet? I do hope they make some changes  like allow different image formats. I'll see if I can contact someone at Articulate and try to pry some details.


Hi Jerson - don't know if this is possible or not but right now the characters in the Articulate set don't interact well with one another when you place them on the screen together primarily because they are mostly looking forward. It would be great if you could somehow create poses in which  it looked like the characters are talking to one another when placed on the screen. 

Jerson  Campos

@ Nancy

You mean poses in profile view (from the side)?  I've been thinking about doing that. Right now the character above has 3/4 (side) and front faces and 3/4 body poses for both front and side.   I've been thinking about creating a mixture of both, where you can have a profile body (side view) and a front facing head and vice versa. But one of the glitches I'm running into is that Storyline has a limit on the number of faces it can have before it starts shrinking the images when you are previewing it. Its not a showstopper, but if I add to many you won't really be able to see them in the preview box. I might just have to limit the number of expressions. 

Nancy Woinoski

Jerson campos said:

@ Nancy

You mean poses in profile view (from the side)?  I've been thinking about doing that. Right now the character above has 3/4 (side) and front faces and 3/4 body poses for both front and side.   I've been thinking about creating a mixture of both, where you can have a profile body (side view) and a front facing head and vice versa. But one of the glitches I'm running into is that Storyline has a limit on the number of faces it can have before it starts shrinking the images when you are previewing it. Its not a showstopper, but if I add to many you won't really be able to see them in the preview box. I might just have to limit the number of expressions. 


Yeah I was thinking a profile view.

Skip Hagan

Amazing work, Jerson! Well done!

Like many SL users, the characters provided by Articulate don't always quite meet our needs. I'd love to be able to customize some of these characters to match company colors, uniforms, hard hats, carrying tools, and new poses such as stooping over a piece of equipment to perform a maintenance task, etc.

Just knowing how to get into the character set (I presume it's a database) and add the modified character components would be a real boon. I hope you will share this technique/process with us. I'm sure that many of us have sufficient graphics capabilities that, given a starting point, we could tweak these characters to suit our own needs. Perhaps, like templates, be able to share our characters with the other users/developers.

Having said that, I also realize that there may be a potential commercial opportunity for someone (like you) who has a real talent and can produce character sets for resale. I'd be surprised if Articulate had not considered the opportunity to market additional character sets, but may have felt that it would not be worth the effort, if others could get into the files and revise them, as you have done. It just seems to me that the door has been opened and it will be hard to close, now, without raising hew and cry from their customers.

I applaud your work and commend your obvious talent. We are likely to see others who have done as you have. This is really an unanticipated (at least by me) boon for all of us who want to provide the highest caliber materials to our clients.

Nancy Woinoski

Skip Hagan said:

Amazing work, Jerson! Well done!

Like many SL users, the characters provided by Articulate don't always quite meet our needs. I'd love to be able to customize some of these characters to match company colors, uniforms, hard hats, carrying tools, and new poses such as stooping over a piece of equipment to perform a maintenance task, etc.

Just knowing how to get into the character set (I presume it's a database) and add the modified character components would be a real boon. I hope you will share this technique/process with us. I'm sure that many of us have sufficient graphics capabilities that, given a starting point, we could tweak these characters to suit our own needs. Perhaps, like templates, be able to share our characters with the other users/developers.

Having said that, I also realize that there may be a potential commercial opportunity for someone (like you) who has a real talent and can produce character sets for resale. I'd be surprised if Articulate had not considered the opportunity to market additional character sets, but may have felt that it would not be worth the effort, if others could get into the files and revise them, as you have done. It just seems to me that the door has been opened and it will be hard to close, now, without raising hew and cry from their customers.

I applaud your work and commend your obvious talent. We are likely to see others who have done as you have. This is really an unanticipated (at least by me) boon for all of us who want to provide the highest caliber materials to our clients.


Couple things Skip. It is not a database. All the images are stored locally on your hard drive once downloaded. Articulate already markets additional character sets and I expect they plan on adding more if the demand is there. 

El Burgaluva

Yep, I 100% agree with Skip.

Almost as soon as I started using Storyline, I thought "These modular animated characters are great! But... this style of animation isn't going to match every project I work on... so how do I upload characters I create in Illustrator/Inkscape to take advantage of the built-in facial expressions and other modularity?"

Alas... it wasn't as straight-forward as I thought so I put it on the backburner.

Then Jerson announced that he'd made some headway.

I don't know why all the secrecy, frankly. If Jerson -- or anyone else -- can create characters and compile them in the required format, there are plenty of people -- including me! -- who'll buy any character that suits the need. The more designs the merrier, I reckon.

So... as soon I have a spare 100 hours or so, I guess I'll be cracking out the dll-decompiler and ferreting around to see how they work and seeing if we can't get an actual marketplace of animated characters happening.

@Nancy... You mentioned extra character packs. I can only find the two volumes of photographic characters. I have Vol.1, which I purchased as a bundle with Storyline, but I'm not crazy on them; too many stupendously cheesy poses for my liking. I haven't seen Vol.2. Hopefully they're more useable.

Are there additional non-photographic character packs available directly from Articulate that I'm not aware of?

Also, re: demand... That's easy to determine: We have a large community of existing users here so setting up a survey to find out whether there is demand, what type of demand, the price-point tolerance, etc. seems like a pretty trivial activity for any competent Marketing Department. I'd be willing to bet there is overwhelming demand.

Very much looking forward to developments in this area. The more flexibility users have, the more reasons to buy, use and recommend the tool.

Cheers,

Leslie