Sunday, September 25, 2016

Jem and the Holograms Anthony Julian

A few months ago, I purchased Anthony Julian, who is the director of Jem's video clips in the Jem and the Holograms line of dolls from Integrity Toys. Here's a view of the box.

I did not waste any time in removing this one from the box, and I was pleased with what I saw.

The doll comes with the a watch, an extra set of hands, a cardboard clapboard, and a megaphone. He also comes with a stand.

So here he is out of the box, and with his shoes on. He is fully articulated, and he can stand on his own. He is well dressed (in an 80's sort of way) and he is handsome.

Here is a close-up view. His hair is flocked on the sides and rooted at the top.

He comes wearing a blue jacket, a gray V-neck sweater, a pink turtleneck, and plaid pants. In the photo below, I have removed his jacket.

And here is a view from the back, without his sweater.

At 13" tall, he is taller than Ken. He is the same height as my other guys from Integrity Toys. Pictured below are Anthony Julian, Darius Reid, Tobias Alsford, and Back to Brooklyn Remi.

My tall Integrity Toys ladies are thrilled to have another tall guy. Below, the guys are joined by Nadja, Adele Makeda, and Janay.

And here he is relaxing with his new friends. He poses well.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this doll. He is a high quality fully articulated doll. His clothing and accessories are also high quality (with the exception of his clapboard - I think it looks rather cheap). He makes a wonderful addition to my collection.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Animated Doll

Several months ago, I decided to create an animation based on one of my dolls. I searched the web for software that I could use for free, just to find out the capabilities. I found software that allowed me to have a 30 day free trial with limited software capabilities. The doll that I chose was my Phicen seamless figure (resembling Halle Berry's Jinx character). Below is the actual photo that I used for my animation.

And my results are below. I tried to get her to lip sync to a song that I was singing. The trial version of the software did not have much in the way of hair, clothing, or background options. And I was limited to a 30 second video.

So what do you think? I thought this was pretty decent for a first attempt, so a few days later I decided to try again using a photo of my Kwanzaa Barbie doll.

You'll have to take my word for it that my second animation was way better than the first. I downloaded an add-on with more hair, clothing, and background options. Her hair was blowing in the wind, and she had realistic eyes. I was finished with the animation and was in the process of adding the song to the animation so that she could lip sync (it was a much better song recording too, but you'll just have to take my word for it). Then, my computer locked up. The trial version of the software does not allow you to save your work, so I lost over an hour's worth of effort. After that, I lost all interest and removed that software from my system.

My overall impression of this process is that animating dolls could add an interesting layer to the videos and storytelling, but it's much too time intensive for me right now. I'm not willing to purchase the full version of the software, and I'm not motivated to try any more free trials or possible free software out there (unless I get some good recommendations on free software that works well).