Saturday, 29 September 2007

Crazy Talk

Crazy Talk is piece of software which brings any picture or drawing to life. This is the first program we have reviewed that is not free, it costs about £80, however it is very impressive.

To create the movie, all you need is a recorded or imported audio and an appropriate image or photograph to be the avatar or presenter. Crazy Talk automatically works out the mouth movements to match the audio. It also makes the eyes blink and expression change. The combined movie-like end product can be saved as a variety of movie file formats.

The software is great fun to play with. You can transform a picture of a baby into a talking movie, making the baby speak. Educationally, the options are vast. In History, you could simulate a debate between political leaders with the students planning and preparing the discussion as well as recording themselves doing the actual debate with the politicians appearing to deliver it. In Modern Languages, the students can record themselves speaking. This is then combined with their photograph and the end product can be displayed on the interactive whiteboard. The students find that, instead of being embarrassed speaking in front of a video camera, they can focus on the actual speaking and still end up with video-like result. For any subject, using a photograph of themselves, the teacher could be seen delivering a previously recorded podcast.

This program is well worth a visit!

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