LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

LiveToon from DVShade: A Review from Luke Price

COW Library : Noise Industries : Luke Price : LiveToon from DVShade: A Review from Luke Price
CreativeCOW presents LiveToon from DVShade: A Review from Luke Price -- Noise Industries Review


New Born Adventure Ltd.
Bournemouth/London United Kingdom
CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


Luke Price reviews LiveTune from DVShade
A Creative COW Product Review



Luke Price reviews LiveToon from DVShade

Luke Price
Luke Price
New Born Adventure Ltd.
Bournemouth/London, United Kingdom

©2010 Luke Price and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
LiveToon from DVShade takes a dive into the comic book with the capability to turn your live action footage into convincing cartoons by adding a comprehensive toolbox of parameters to the traditional posterization effect, with stunning results and in this review, CreativeCOW contributing editor, Luke Price writes a comprehensive review from an editor's perspective.

Introduction
Everybody likes someone who makes them look good and DVShade has been doing that for years. The innovative and award winning Easy Looks gives every project the chance of looking beautifully graded with minimal effort making even dull and uninteresting subjects intriguing.

Now for a bit of fun.
DVShades latest offering does the same in a whole different way. LiveToon takes a dive into the comic book with the capability to turn your live action footage into convincing cartoons by adding a comprehensive toolbox of parameters to the traditional posterization effect, with stunning results. LiveToon, with the same ease that 'Looks' provided instant cinematic colour grading, transforms footage into our favorite drawn art form, with surprisingly effective results.

Below: Split shot showing LiveToon in action. Left is the clean image and Right is LiveToon's 'Deep Blacks'

All source footage used with the kind permission of Ginger Productions. ©Ginger Production 2010

Out-of-the-box Presets
By dropping the LiveToon filter on to your clip in Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, Motion or After Effects you are presented with great looking presets to inspire you and use out-of-the-box. But there is also a comprehensive list of customizable parameters to tune and tinker with the image to better suit your material or create bespoke styles. You can be 'tooning' you films in no time. (Sorry couldn't resist the cheap pun)

Below: One of the effective presets 'Comic Book' is a great one to get you started, note the print dot like texture



Below: Another preset and a favorite of mine 'Graphic Novel', for a more gritty look.


The pleasing number of presets to get you started, cover the bases pretty well. 'Comic Book' gives a convincing well saturated impression of a quality illustrated story magazine, showing printing dots, soft broken edges, deep blacks and rich tones. 'Graphic Novel' presents the footage in the low rent colour pallet you would expect to see in hefty pulp fiction drawn classics, using cheap ink and paper, flat colour fills, heavy handed black block shading and a reduced hue range. The parameters you can manipulate to get what you want from the filter include the essentials for adding and removing colour and detail, 'Saturation' and 'Color Detail' handle these. 'Posterization' is the engine that makes the footage look 'cartoon', while 'Edge Lines' and 'Black Restore' fine-tune the look. But it's the inclusion of the 'Screen' parameter that gives you the choice of halftone 'Dot', 'Line', 'Hatched' or 'Circular' to add the characteristic printed look.

Below: LiveToon's parameters in Final Cut Pro



Creative scope
If you don't want to make the next 'A Scanner Darkly', don't write LiveToon off yet. There is creative potential to add panache to any number of projects needing that 'something a bit different' from full frame live action to composite shots and sequences, including programme title, music videos, commercials and the ever effect hungry corporate videos. Not to mention wedding films and those home movies with the kids, who love it.

Below: Mystery Toon, gives a familiar look.



 

Drawing things together.
For those who will bemoan that they can do this using a combination of other effects, time and talent, good on ya, that's not really the point of buying a plug-in like this. You could rack and stack a pile of other filters to achieve similar looks, but here DVShade has done the hard work for you. LiveToon is about making great looking and convincing animation inspired effects quickly, it does a great job of that.

As a quick tip, if you are after an animated look to your live action then I have found adding a De-interlace filter and Strobe filter (set to Strobe Duration = 2) makes for good 'drawn' animation.

Proof read it first.
As a partner in the Noise Industries FxFactory line up you know you are getting top quality plug-ins that will work efficiently and effectively with in your program using the FxFactory plug-in manager. Brilliantly, as with all plug-in from Noise Industries and their partners, you don't have to take my word for it, you can trial LiveToon your self for 15 days on your machine and projects, for free. Download the FxFactory software you can test any of the 150 plug-ins on offer. In addition there are a handful freebie's to keep. You can download FxFaxtory and LiveToon from the Noise Industries site www.noiseindustries.com or DVShade www.dvshade.com for your free trial, but even at $49 this plug-in has a lot to offer for a very reasonable price.

 

Conclusion
LiveToon is for those who want to create impressive comic book inspired animated visuals that will impress clients and audiences and still have time to kick back with a Marvel classic at the end of the day.

I give it 4 cows for a well thought out plug-in that does what it says on the tin.

cow ratingcow ratingcow ratingcow rating

 

About Luke Price
Luke Price is an editor who works in the UK and is based in London and Bournemouth. In his 12 years of experience in broadcast TV his work has been seen on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. His company New Born Adventure (and he as lead editor) has provided post, using Final Cut Studio, for 5 series of the globally successful adventure TV show 'Jack Osbourne Adrenaline Junkie', as well as other documentary programming and drama. Non-broadcast clients include the likes of Porsche and Nike. Luke is a proud family man with a beautiful wife and four wonderful children, who together provide life with the distractions needed to keep it real. As such he is the perfect candidate for testing things to work first time and to give time for the important things in life, like the bedtime story.

For further information about Luke and New Born Adventure go to www.newbornadventure.com
© Luke Price 2010


                   



 


Comments

Because cartoons are not real, the closer to real they look, the less effective they are
by Ron Lindeboom
Hi Luke, others may have a differing opinion (and they are entitled to whatever opinion they hold on the subject) but as for me, I find that when cartoons are too close to real, they lose their effectiveness. That is why I like to see people start by shifting the frame count in a cartoon. Doing this harkens back to the days when cartoons were hand-drawn and they would shoot a photograph of the hand-drawn frame and make two of each frame. That way, cartoons were 24 frame movies but were really 12 frames with duplicate frames and that became the normal "brain processing" that generations equated with cartoons. When "A Scanner Darkly" came along (opening the door to things like the Charles Schwab commercials, et al), they used the full frames available -- 24 frames for the movie and 30 for the commercials -- and so the motion screams to the brain that this isn't a cartoon, it's a video or film that has been repainted to look like some kind of not-quite-cartoon. When I see techniques like you have done here, Luke, and the artist takes the time to first get the frame motion correct, I have seen some good work. When it is done like the Charles Schwab commercials, my skin crawls as it is too creepy for me. We were just at Dreamworks Animation this week to see a preview screening of "How To Train Your Dragon" and they were talking about this very phenomenon -- where animation tries to get too close to reality -- and they said that when that happens at DreamWorks, they throw out the whole scene and start over. They don't try to fix it. I thought it was great advice.
Bessie is cartoonified!
by Kathlyn Lindeboom
I have to say I had fun trying all the different settings on Bessie... and that was just the presets. There's certainly a lot more to it than just the presets.
Cartoons are not real - Discuss
by Luke Price
I'm totally with you there Ron. Making a significant alteration to live action like LiveToon often calls for some re-calculations on timing even if it's only a De-interlace. It is really down to the look you are after but I would recommend anyone to play around with frame rates to get realistic cartoon motion (if that's not an oxymoron)

Greatly appreciate your input Ron.
A little recommendation before cartoonifying a video...
by Ron Lindeboom
One of the things that I absolutely hate about cartoonified video is when users do not take the extra step to "re-time" the frame rate so that it mimics the motion that you expect from a cartoon. The Charles Schwab commercials are so "30 frames a second" that they give me the creeps. I hate 'em. I found in my own cartoonifying efforts that using a tool like After Effects to posterize time down to 8 to 12 frames a second gives a believable timing that doesn't look like someone just slapped a cartoon filter onto full frame rate video. Retime the video before before you cartoonify it. Please. All of these 30 frame a second full motion cartoons give me the creeps.

:o)

A very good article and nice points you make in it, Luke. I hope you don't mind my suggestion.


Related Articles / Tutorials:
Noise Industries
Luke Price reviews Noise Industries FxFactory Pro 2Luke Price reviews Noise Industries FxFactory Pro 2

FxFactory Pro includes 130 filters, generators and transitions for Final Cut Pro, Motion and Final Cut Express and in this review, CreativeCOW contributing editor, Luke Price writes a comprehensive review from an editors perspective.

Review
Luke Price
Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects Glitter Text - No Plug-ins Required!

Adobe After Effects Glitter Text - No Plug-ins Required!

Learn how to create a GLITTER TEXT EFFECT in Adobe After Effects without ANY plugins! VFX guru and filmmaker, Surfaced Studio's Tobias G, introduces you to CC Particle World, a powerful particle generator included in After Effects! You can use it to create all sorts of cool particle effects including explosions, smoke, fairy glitter, stars and much more. Along the way, Tobias brings the remarkable breadth of in-depth tips and tricks that will help you raise the level of your own AE expertise for every kind of creative task.


Tobias G
Business & Career Building
Go Creative Show: Build Your Filmmaking Career With YouTube

Go Creative Show: Build Your Filmmaking Career With YouTube

Discover how to advance your filmmaking and photography career on YouTube and Instagram in our interview with YouTuber and podcaster Tyler Stalman. Tyler and Go Creative Show host, Ben Consoli, discuss what it takes to stand out on YouTube, Tyler’s experience going from a stock photographer to freelance cinematographer, why it’s helpful to have a wide skillset of services, and much more!


Ben Consoli
Blackmagic Design Fusion
Building A Simple, Powerful Keyer in Blackmagic Design Fusion

Building A Simple, Powerful Keyer in Blackmagic Design Fusion

Discover the basics of creating a powerful Color Difference Keyer in Blackmagic Design Fusion using some very simple tools. Longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell shows how, once you understand the basic principles, there are countless ways to apply them to a wide variety of shots you’re working on. It’s also just plain interesting to understand what’s going on when you key.


Simon Ubsdell
Adobe After Effects
After Effects Advanced Content-Aware Fill With Photoshop

After Effects Advanced Content-Aware Fill With Photoshop

In part three of his series on Adobe After Effects Content Aware Fill, filmmaker and After Effects artist Cody Pyper takes his deepest dive yet! Following requests from viewers in the series so far, Cody takes a closer look at how Adobe Photoshop can help you remove unwanted objects from your video footage in After Effects.


Cody Pyper
Blackmagic Design Fusion
Blackmagic Design Fusion: World Coordinates for 3D Compositing

Blackmagic Design Fusion: World Coordinates for 3D Compositing

Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for a look at the useful things you can do in Blackmagic Design Fusion with world coordinates data using the Volume Mask tool. It offers very handy way of applying 2D processing to 3D scenes generated either within Fusion or rendered from your favourite 3D application.


Simon Ubsdell
DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve Optical Flow

DaVinci Resolve Optical Flow

Join filmmaker and After Effects artist Cody Pyper for a closer look at DaVinci Resolve's Optical Flow to create exceptionally smooth slow motion, even on footage shot at normal frame rates. Cody covers the basics of how to use the effect, and shows some practical applications of Optical Flow for a variety of editorial troubleshooting.


Cody Pyper
Adobe After Effects
Best Results with After Effects Content-Aware Fill: Reference Frames

Best Results with After Effects Content-Aware Fill: Reference Frames

Join filmmaker and After Effects artist Cody Pyper for a deep dive into how to get the absolute best results using the Content-Aware Fill tool in After Effects. Locked-down shots with simple backgrounds are one thing, but Cody shows the details of how to get fantastic results with complicated backgrounds and a moving camera using reference frames.


Cody Pyper
Apple Motion
Apple Motion 5: Stylized Liquid Title Tutorial

Apple Motion 5: Stylized Liquid Title Tutorial

Tapping into one of the year's hottest design trends, as well as Apple Motion 5's most sophisticated creative tools, longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell has done it again: putting together a tutorial that's fast, fun, eye-opening, and immediately practical. Taking advantage of Motion's Clouds generators to create both foreground elements and masks, and the quick combination of three filters from the Stylize category, you're going to be amazed by speed and elegance of this effect when applied to a title graphic: fresh, clean, and ready for easy customizing.


Simon Ubsdell
Apple Final Cut Pro X
Apple Motion 5: Awesome Glass Title Effect for FCPX

Apple Motion 5: Awesome Glass Title Effect for FCPX

"Create this frosted glass title effect for use in FCP X and amaze your friends," says longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell. "Nothing hugely fancy but a set of standard tricks you should find useful." Along the way, you'll work with clones, grouping, blurs, masking, levels, rigs, the Cellular generator, Glass Distortion, and the Extrude filter, along the typical plethora of Apple Motion workflow tweaks to provide maximum finesse with minimal effort. From there, you'll see how to add the title effect to FCPX, where you can customize and reuse to your heart's content.


Simon Ubsdell
MORE
© 2020 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]