CrazyTalk 7 Review

Have you ever wanted to take a photograph and animate it, making it talk in a short video? With CrazyTalk 7 you can do this easily, it is a program that allows you to create lip sync and animation on any 2D image. CrazyTalk is developed by Reallusion and is available in two different versions depending how much detail you want in your animations. CrazyTalk7 standard edition ($29.99) has all the basics, the ability to lip sync, control your animation, edit the timeline and add your own audio. The professional edition ($99.99) does all this and much more, allowing multiple audio tracks, facial key editing and other features aimed at the professional animator.

CrazyTalkCrazyTalk 7 is quite easy to use, once you get the hang of it. It took me a while to pick up the basic ideas but once I was familiar with this it was simple to take a photo and add the animation and voice over to it. 

CrazyTalk 7There are a number of example projects included with CrazyTalk that are great fun to watch. A talking cat or hamster? No problem. The included examples provided endless amusement for my son. When we decided to try and make our own project this was simple as well.

CrazyTalk 7You pick a template and then fit this into a mesh which defines where the different features are, like the eyes, mouth etc. You then record the audio and add it, modifying the animation to match the audio using sliders.

Crazy TalkYou can even change the recorded audio as well, adding an echo or other effects using the provided tools. If you want background music this can be added as well.

In around ten minutes you have a simple animated video of a talking head. This can be used as is or modified using the built in library. If you want different eyes or a different mouth, just drag and drop. The possibilities are endless, you can use CrazyTalk to create introductions to videos, make your pet come to life, make a crazy video of your best friend or how about annoying your enemies? The program is great fun and really simple to use.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of CrazyTalk in return for an honest review.

Lego Movie On TalkTalk

The Summer holidays are here, the sun is shining and it is a chance to enjoy long days out with the family. Usually after a day out we sit down together and enjoy a movie, it is a great way to relax. TalkTalk have a great range of movies available on demand, and the other night we sat down to watch the Lego Movie. It has just come out on DVD but is also available on TalkTalk box office. It costs £4 for a 48 hour rental (£5 for the HD version) and you can watch it as many times as you like for 48 hours.

Lego movie

I wasn’t at all sure what to expect from the Lego Movie, a movie all about Lego? Lego is a favourite childhood toy and the movie is set in a world made of Lego, inhabited by Lego people. Emmett is an ordinary Lego man, going about his daily life when all of a sudden he finds that he has to become a hero and save Lego world from the evil Lord Business. Will he succeed with the help of the master builders who are in hiding? Well you will have to watch and find out. The movie is entertaining with a few jokes aimed at adults. Younger kids will love it and it is great family entertainment.

As well as the Lego Movie there are a range of other movies available on box office including Non-Stop, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Book Thief. There is plenty to keep you entertained over the Summer. You will also find free tasters of popular channels being added over the holidays, these are normally included in paid for boosts. The first taster is the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior available to view free of charge the weekend of the 1st and 2nd August.

Disclosure: I am a TalkTalk Family blogger and received the movie for free in order to review it.

All Bran Chocolate Wheats Giveaway

What do you normally have for breakfast? I normally have a slice of toast but recently I have been trying the new All Bran Chocolate Wheats which I also reviewed. It is great to find a cereal that tastes delicious, but also contains a high amount of fibre. This keeps your digestive system working smoothly which in turn stops you feeling sluggish and more able to face the day.

All Bran Chocolate Wheats

As an added bonus the contain chocolate so it was easy to tempt my son into eating them. He also loved the great taste and I know he is getting something healthy to start the day. You can find the All-Bran Chocolate Wheats in all major supermarkets, with a RRP of £2.69 for a for a 340g box. Kellogg’s have also kindly given me two cases which contain five boxes of the All Bran Chocolate Wheats to give to two lucky winners. Entry is easy, you just need to make a comment on my blog below telling me what you normally eat for breakfast. When you have done that then go and fill in the rafflecopter widget so your entry is registered. This entry is mandatory. When you have done this you have the option to make more entries by following on twitter, facebook and tweeting on twitter, but these are optional. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules

  • There are two prizes of a case of five boxes of All Bran Chocolate Wheats – the prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
  • Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding employees and relatives of Dragons and Fairy Dust
  • Closing date for entries is on 11:59pm BST on 18th August 2014
  • Only one entry per person
  • Entrants must log into rafflecopter and leave a comment on the blog to say what they normally eat for breakfast
  • Optional entry methods are to follow on twitter, facebook and tweet on twitter
  • The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
  • The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen.
  • The winner’s name will be available on request.
  • Kellogg’s is responsible for prize fulfilment. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
  • This is a joint promotion between Dragons and Fairy Dust and Kellogg’s
  • Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

All Bran Chocolate Wheats Review

Kellogg’s have added a new product to their All Bran range, All Bran Chocolate Wheats. I must admit that when I think of All Bran I think of long shreds of bran that are good for you but are rather cardboard like in taste. The Kellogg’s All Bran Chocolate Wheats promised to be delicious as well as containing wheat bran fibre to help to ease symptoms of digestive discomfort and improve overall well being. I was interested to find out what they tasted like.

All Bran Chocolate WheatsWhen poured into a bowl the All Bran Chocolate Wheats resembled small shredded wheat but with a chocolate colour. The cereal has a chocolate taste but it is not too sweet. The bran works well with the chocolate to give them more of a cereal taste. Inside the bran outside lurks a chocolate inside, which was a pleasant surprise and gives the cereal a touch of decadence.

All Bran chocolate wheatsI do not normally eat chocolate cereal in the morning, I prefer fruit filled ones. This makes a nice change as it tastes nice and it has a good helping of fibre in it. My son loved the All Bran Chocolate Wheats though and I would be quite happy for him to eat these as it gives him a good start for the day. A 45g serving with 125ml of semi-skimmed milk contains 238 calories, 6g of protein, 38.4g of carbohydrates and 5.4g of fat. 

All Bran chocolate wheatsThe box mentions that this cereal can be eaten as part of the 5 day challenge, the idea being that incorporating more fibre into your diet will help you feel more energised and revitalised without feeling bloated. I have definitely noticed a difference over a few days and will be buying this again.

You can obtain All-Bran Chocolate Wheats in most supermarkets, RRP £2.69 for a 340g box. You can find more information at www.allbran.co.uk.

Disclosure: I was sent some All Bran Chocolate Wheats in return for an honest review.

Alphabet Photography Project: K is for …

Kielder Water

 photo KielderWater6_zps2ce60ade.jpg

We are lucky living in Newcastle, it is so easy to get out into the countryside. If we drive one direction we hit the coast and the drive along the Northumberland coastal route is stunning. There are unspoilt beaches, amazing castles and views across to the Farne Islands and Holy Island. Driving inland there is the beautiful Northumberland countryside and Roman wall country where you can stop and visit sections of the wall and Roman forts like Housesteads. If you want to get lost in a forest then it is an hours drive to Kielder Water and Forest Park. There are 250 miles of forest and water to explore and every time we go we discover something different.

Last time we went we found a vintage car rally and spent ages looking at the old cars against the stunning forest backdrop. Even the sudden rain storm didn’t dampen our spirits and it was fascinating seeing cars from the sixties and seventies. We took our sandwiches to the lake side and ate overlooking the water, watching the boats sail by. There is an osprey observation post near the lake so you can view the ospreys nesting. They started to recolonise the area in 2009 and have come back every year since.

If you want to get lost in the forest it is easy to do, there are many forest trails to wander along. If you feel brave you can also take the forest drive which takes you over the hills overlooking the lake. We did this last year and were glad to have four wheel drive as it is rough going in places. I am glad we did it though as the views are spectacular.

Kielder Water is also a dark skies park, you can view the skies at night with no interference from street lighting. We are planning to take our tent and camp there for a night this Summer and experience this for ourselves. It has been a long time since we have been camping so this will be a great adventure.

I am linking up with the Alphabet Photography Project over on PODcast, why not pop over and see what everyone else has taken photos of.

J is for ….
I is for ….