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 All rights reserved.

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


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.


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.

Luke Price
Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Business & Marketing
12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish I'd Known at 25

12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish I'd Known at 25

12 Things I Know About Business at 55 That I Wish Id Known at 25 appeared in Creative COW Magazine and was one of our most popular articles. It is a true timeless classic in which COW leader, contributing editor, and Senior Business Adviser to Creative COW, Nick Griffin shares wisdom he's learned the hard way in over 30 years in business. His experience will help you to avoid mistakes, manage clients, and prepare yourself to achieve your greatest success.

Editorial, Feature, Business
Nick Griffin
RED Camera
Don Burgess aligns with Light Iron and Panavision for ALLIED

Don Burgess aligns with Light Iron and Panavision for ALLIED

Don Burgess, ASC trusts Light Iron. His last seven films can attest, so Burgess chose Light Iron to support him again with digital dailies and post finishing services on Allied. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, the World War II-set film sees an intelligence officer's romance with a French Resistance fighter tested when high command thinks a double agent might be in play.

COW News
Autodesk Maya
ZERO FX: The Magic You Won't See In The Magnificent Seven

ZERO FX: The Magic You Won't See In The Magnificent Seven

ZERO FX takes Creative COW readers inside the invisible effects used to create the powerful vistas and settings used in The Magnificent Seven. But the real magic is in what you don't see.

Kayla Millhouse
Art of the Edit
More Than One Path to Success: Senior Editor Mae Manning

More Than One Path to Success: Senior Editor Mae Manning

We talk a lot about things like “accessible tools” and the “democratization of video production” -- what has this meant for the emerging talent whose creative development has taken place largely, or even entirely, within this democratized landscape? Mae Manning is one such editor, who taught herself to edit music videos, and caught the eye of a local production company. Several years later and now their Senior Editor, she cuts corporate and industrial training videos, promotional videos, sketch comedy, short films, and everything else that gets thrown her way. Mae’s story is an inspiration for anyone that thinks there is only one path to success in the industry.

Kylee Peña
Art of the Edit
How To Create Better Live Surgical Broadcasts

How To Create Better Live Surgical Broadcasts

Greg Ondera produces, directs, and edits medical video programs specializing in surgical procedures. From his wide ranging experience in the medical sciences and broadcast arts, Greg shows you how to create better surgical broadcasts.

Editorial, Tutorial, Feature, Business
Greg Ondera
NAB Show
NAB Show New York 2016: Growing, Yet Still Intimate

NAB Show New York 2016: Growing, Yet Still Intimate

Calling April's NAB Show "overwhelming" is an understatement. The expo that fills the rapidly expanding Las Vegas Convention Center every April topped 103,000 attendees and 1700+ exhibitors in 2 million square feet of exhibit space. The Big Apple's edition of the NAB Show is more bite sized: taking place this week at the Javitz Convention Center, 7000 visitors will be able to engage with 300 exhibitors, along with a variety of new opportunities for in-depth workshops on cutting-edge technologies. Here's a preview of the week's festivities.

COW News
Art of the Edit
Being an Advertising Editor: The Ins & Outs of Agency Work

Being an Advertising Editor: The Ins & Outs of Agency Work

Katie Toomey takes Creative COW members inside the world of the advertising editor, where being a generalist means you are often not only a video editor, but a designer and audio editor, problem solver, as well as tech support professional. Join Katie as she takes you inside her world.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Katie Toomey
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe MAX 2016: Breakthroughs in Design and Productivity

Adobe MAX 2016: Breakthroughs in Design and Productivity

You might be excused for thinking that, barely a month since Adobe announced massive updates to their Creative Cloud suite at IBC, there might not be much more to add, except that there’s no way that Adobe would bring 10,000 people to San Diego for the Adobe MAX creativity conference and not have some truly compelling new news. Read on for news of new design tools for app prototyping, photorealistic comping/visualization, the new Adobe Sensei framework of intelligent services built into the entire Creative Cloud Platform, the integration of Reuters video and photography into Adobe Stock’s editorial collection, and, of particular interest to folks working in web video, the introduction of the new Social Publishing Panel within Adobe Premiere Pro.

COW News
Adobe After Effects Expressions
Adobe After Effects Expressions 101

Adobe After Effects Expressions 101

Expressions in Adobe After Effects open up a world of possibilities for your visual effects! Expressions can be daunting when you first get into them, though, as you have to essentially write 'code' - and code can be scary. Join After Effects guru Tobias Gleissenberger of Surfaced Studio for the first in a series covering expressions, from the very basics - all the way through to programming the Matrix!

Tobias Gleissenberger
© 2016 All Rights Reserved