Press "Enter" to skip to content

Need a Talking Avatar? Here Are 10 Options To Go With

Hapless Cortese 0

Need a talking avatar for your live streams,  videos or presentations? Perhaps for your website or app? Here is a selection of talking avatar software that will help you jazz up your content.

Just before we jump into that… why should you use a talking avatar?

Let’s just say, the statistics cannot lie – people simply love video content. These days, videos and animations are one of the most powerful marketing tools that engage the audience and keep it interested for longer. And not just speaking in terms of social media content. People prefer watching videos instead of reading text everywhere. They simply accept the information times faster and more efficiently. It’s better to watch a 1-minute video than read a piece of 1000 words, right?

Talking avatars engage the audience in presentations, videos, live streams, and more, and as a result, help you convey your message and achieve your goals. But you already probably knew that. So let’s find out the software options you have.

What talking avatar software to choose?

No matter if you need a talking avatar for your website, live streams, videos, presentations, apps, or something else, this selection of talking avatar tools and software will help you identify the best option for your needs.

Adobe Character Animator

  • A part of Adobe Creative Cloud
  • A free trial of 30 calendar days

Adobe Character Animator is a software which has all the arsenal you would need to create a talking avatar or a talking full-body character. The software supports a lip-sync function which you can use with a pre-recorded audio file or animate the character live as you speak on the mic and cam.

Adobe Character Animator works with 2D characters in all kinds of character design styles. Pretty much, you can draw your own character and adjust it for the software, so it detects its mouth, eyes, eyebrows, etc. (a process called rigging). Of course, you can find many pre-made avatars and characters prepared for Adobe Character Animator and ready for animation – these characters are called puppets.

The great thing about Adobe Character Animator is that it allows you to stream live talking avatars on different platforms. The software comes as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud and as such, it is available with a full month of a free trial which is enough to find out if the software is suitable for your needs.

If you are interested in the software, check out our article Top 10 Tutorials to Learn Adobe Character Animator.

CrazyTalk

  • Available for Windows and Mac OS
  • Standard, Pro, and Pipeline editions (15-day free trial)

One of the most popular software options for creating a talking avatar for your projects. With CrazyTalk, you can create dozens of talking avatars from any photos and images, as well as very accurate life-like 3D characters, again by using real person’s photos.

CrazyTalk uses a technology that animates the face of a character recreating different facial expressions. The software also achieves smooth lip-syncing through text-to-speech technology, pre-recorded WAV files or by using the Record function in the software.

CrazyTalk is available for Windows and Mac OS with 3 different versions: Standard, Pro, and Pipeline. The software also provides a 15-day trial to test out its full capacity.

Voki

  • Free basic version
  • Paid plans from $4.99/month (15-day free trial)

Voki is a platform which contains a library of over 200 customizable characters waiting to become your next talking avatar. The platform is oriented towards education and learning and has developed different tools for the needs of teachers and students, each available with a 15-day free trial:

  • Voki Presenter – a tool for creating presentations with a talking avatar;
  • Voki Classroom – a management tool for teachers allowing them to involve up to 90 students;
  • Voki Teach – engaging lessons prepared by teachers;
  • Voki Hangouts – a virtual discussion with each student participating with their own talking avatar.

Voki platform is suitable for use by people of all ages and all fields of occupations. However, its main purpose is to help teachers engage students with speaking animated characters and make lessons more comprehensive.

Voki offers a free basic version, as well as licenses for entire schools. The free version is very handy if you’d like to test out the software but you will only have access to a limited set of characters. The advanced versions allow you to create as many characters as you wish, as well as use the full capacity of the provided tools. Voki also comes with a mobile app for Android and iPhone.

SitePal

  • Paid plans from $9.95/month (15-day free trial)

SitePal is a service which adds an animated character to your website. The talking avatars can also be used in emails, mobile apps, on blogs, and even in PowerPoint presentations.

The library contains over 250 characters with many customization options. You can choose from full body characters or avatar characters – in 3D photoface style or 2D illustrative style.

You can customize the overall look with hairstyles, accessories, different backgrounds, and more options. SitePal lets you create an avatar even from your uploaded photo.

When it comes to making your avatar talk, you have several options. You can upload a pre-recorded audio with your voice, you can use a text-to-speech feature available in more than 25 languages, you can use a professional voice talent, and more.

With the online publishing tool offered by SitePal, you can upload your talking character on the web easily, and without any programming knowledge.

The pricing for SitePal starts from $9.95 per month. However, this plan doesn’t include full-body character models, as well as any of the add-on features.

If you are going to use SitePal professionally, you should probably go for the Platinum plan which will cost you $249.95 per month but includes all premium features of the software.

Branding Your Business or Blog with an Avatar

Hapless Cortese 0

Veronica Davis is a freelance writer and internet business columnist for Examiner. She works with and writes for businesses online, and recommends every business create an avatar to call their own.

Unless you have been hiding under your bed for the last few years, you know social media is the new norm. It’s how you meet people, communicate ideas, express your thoughts, interview for a job, grow the business, and just have fun.

The days of a big smile and a firm handshake are no longer by any means a form of introducing one’s self.

Your avatar is your first impression as you meet and interact with others on blogs, social networks, and other online communities.

Your avatar defines you on the web. It represents your personality or interests and can even represent what your business stands for. Ladies and gents, welcome to the new way of branding your business, your blog or simply yourself on the internet.

Why You Need to Create an Avatar

In online communities, not having an avatar can be a fatal mistake. Can you say pure laziness? When you set up a social media account, make sure you have an avatar ready to go.

Lack of creating an avatar can create feeling of suspicion, doubt, and frustration from online users. If you cannot see what someone looks like, are they trying to hide something?

How serious are they about contacting you and using social media as a means of communication? Maybe, this individual does not know how to create an avatar.

In a world where jobs are given through online interviews, does this person lack basic skills? Avatars also create a sense of connection in a world where face-to-face communication is slim to none.

When creating your avatar, there are many things that you should consider. An avatar is like a first impression; you are either well-groomed and confident or you aren’t!

Here are some tips to defining yourself when creating your avatar:

• Know what your brand should stand for. Which words and images best describe the image you are trying to portray of yourself or your organization?

• Do you want to be seen as professional, creative, helpful, honest, etc?

• Create multiple avatars. Consistency is one thing. However, you can use create multiple avatars that are consistent. More than one image can convey the brand and personality you are going for. You could also use a variation of your business avatar for your personal one, so they’re easily associated with one another.

• To establish the most trust, you should create an avatar from a photo. An avatar that uses a photo of you is by far going to earn you more trust than one without a photo.

• A popular and good-looking trend that can put a twist on your photo avatar is to create a cartoon avatar from your photo.

• Be careful when creating avatars using photographs. Using an online editing tool, such as Picnik, PiZap, or FotoFlexer, can add special effects or touch up plain photography. Just be careful not to overdo it. In the event you would ever meet in person, you want to be recognizable.

Careful of Accidental Messages…

Express yourself carefully. Images may have underlying meanings that when creating your avatar you may not even think of. For example, creating a green avatar can indicate involvement in a social movement.

Even if you are involved in politics or social movements, avoid using these concepts when creating your avatar. People and organizations may steer clear of you if they do not share your views or see that you are promoting a cause or event that their organization is firmly against.

First impressions are everything and there are plenty of cases of social media campaigns gone wrong we could list. In the online world, it is important to remember that your avatar is your first impression.

How To Know Who You’re Writing To

Hapless Cortese 0

Do you know who you are writing to? I mean, do you really KNOW?

If you close your eyes and imagine your reader, who do you see? Is it a clear picture of a person you know well, a friend you know as intimately as you know yourself? Or is it more nebulous? A fuzzy approximation of who you think your audience might be?

One of the most common fears I hear from our Elite Blog Academy students is the worry that if you zero in on your audience and get too focused on whom you’re targeting, you’ll alienate your readers.

On one level, this fear makes sense. Isn’t it smart to appeal to as many people as you possibly can? Shouldn’t we broaden our scope and be more inclusive? Shouldn’t we try to grow by casting a wide net?

In a word, no. The reality is that when you try to talk to everyone, you’re really talking to no one.

Think about it–your number one goal in blogging is connection. The more specific you can get and the more you can hone in on talking to one person, the more connection you’ll foster.

But it’s not always easy, or even naturally to think about writing to just one person. I know when I started out, I thought in more broad and generic terms. I even did a few reader surveys to try to get more demographic information. My thought process went something like, “Okay, so I’m targeting women aged 25 – 45 who live in a certain area and are interested in X, Y, Z…”

Sound familiar?

But the problem is, when we think in those broad and generic terms, we’re not really connecting. We don’t understand who our audience IS. What makes them tick? What are their goals? What are they looking for?

In order to foster that real sense of connection, you need to know your audience on a personal and intimate level.

And the more you can hone in on that one individual in your audience, the one person you’re writing to — the more personal and intimate your writing will feel.

So it’s time to really get to know your target audience.

Why You Need To Get Serious About Defining Your Audience

Now at this point, you might be thinking, “I think I have a pretty good general idea of who my audience is… Why do I need to get specific?” And that’s a valid question.

But I promise — the more you hone in on your audience and get to know the specifics about them, the easier blogging will be. Don’t believe me? Here are just a few of the ways knowing your audience will improve your blogging process:

WRITING GETS EASIER

When you know who your target audience is on a personal and intimate level, writing will become so much easier. Instead of writing to a faceless audience you don’t really know, you’ll start to feel like you’re writing to a friend.

It’s easier to write to a friend because you know them: you know their life, you know their struggles, you know the ins-and-outs of what they’re going through.

Let’s look at an example of this. Let’s say you were writing an email to your best friend about how to organize her closet. Well, she’s your best friend!

You already know her, so you know what she’s going to struggle with in organizing, you know what her closet looks like, you know the kind of advice she’s going to respond well to.

You know her, you love her, and you know how to talk to her, so writing that email feels natural and easy.

But let’s say you had to write an email to a large group of people on how they should organize their closet.

Well, that’s a little more difficult. You don’t really know anything about them. What’s wrong with their closets? Are they already fairly organized, or are they starting from scratch?

You’re grasping in the dark, and without knowing all those personal details about whom you’re addressing, it becomes harder to write.

The same is true when you really get to know your target audience. You start to think about them — and write to them — like you would with a friend. Once you have that friendly relationship, the writing just starts to flow.

Create an Avatar to Represent You in Your Blog Profile

Hapless Cortese 0

An avatar is a visual representation of yourself, often a comic or cartoon. Instead of a photo in your blog profile, you can use an avatar

You can portray yourself in avatar form on any Web site that lets you set an avatar or photo for use with a profile, like Facebook, Digg, Flickr, and so on. And, of course, you can use your avatar on your own blog.

Here are a few resources to use to create an avatar:

  • Zwinky is a fun Web site that lets you a build cartoon version of yourself, customizing everything from skin tone to hairstyle to clothing accessories.
  • Meez offers a fun interface with lots of customization to help you build a virtual you. Use the Meezmaker to pick skin color, hair color, clothes, jewelry, even the right environment.
  • Another site you can check out is associated with the release of The Simpsons Movie. At simpsonizeme.com, you can replicate yourself as a Simpsons character, right down to Moe’s hair and Homer’s nose.

Creating User Avatar and Writing Post

Hapless Cortese 0

This series is designed to guide you step by step through the process of learning to blog.  The activities can be completed at your own pace and in any order.

The aim of this second activity is to:

  1. Create and upload a user avatar.
  2. Publish your first posts.

USER AVATAR

The user avatar, also known as your comment avatar, displays in places where you leave comments and next to posts you publish on some themes. Your avatar is an online representation of you.

Below is an example of a user avatar next to a comment which looks much nicer than using the default avatar.

Create your avatar

Your first task is to create your avatar using an online avatar tools.

Below is the online avatar tools we recommend — Click on an image below and you will be taken to the website where you can create your own avatar:

Once you’ve created the avatar you save the avatar by either:

  1. Right click on the avatar and select “Save Image as” or “Save Picture as” to save a copy on your computer
  2. Take a screenshot of your image (use the Snipping Tool or PrnScrn)

Important tips:

  1. Most online avatar tools create rectangular images whereas your user and blog avatar are square.
  2. Allowed image formats are jpg, gif, and png.  For best results use jpg.
  3. We recommend you edit your avatar or photo to 200 pixels wide by 200 pixels high using an image editing program such as Picture Manager, MS Paint or iPhoto before uploading.  Remember to save it as a jpg.
  4. If you still see the old avatar after uploading your new avatar it may be your web browser remembering your old image.  Hold the Ctrl key and press F5 to clear your browser cache or right mouse click and click Refresh (Reload).

6. Now when you view a post where you’ve left a comment you will see your new comment avatar.

  • If you still see the old avatar your web browser may be remembering your old image.
  • Right mouse click and select Refresh (Reload) to clear your web browser cache to view the latest version of your image.

6.  You can also upload a blog avatar in Settings > Blog Avatar.

The blog avatar is displayed in your sidebar when you add the Blog Avatar widget in Appearance > Widgets and in the Class blog widget if the avatar option is selected.

INTRODUCTION TO POSTS

Now you’ve changed your theme and set up your user avatar it’s time to write some posts so your teacher and other students can leave comments on your posts.

Your first post might be about why you are blogging, what you will be writing about in your blog or you could write a post about your avatar, how it represents you and which website you used to create your avatar.  Alternatively, your teacher may have given you a task to write a post on.

Stay safe online

Remember to be savvy online and don’t give out any private information:

  • Only ever use your first name.
  • Don’t publish personal details about yourself such as your surname, your address, email address, phone number, or date of birth.
  • Don’t share personal photos online.
  • Be kind and compassionate. Don’t publish posts, photos or videos that could hurt someone else.

This visual by Kathleen Morris might provide some useful reminders. While there are many things that definitely shouldn’t be shared in your blog posts (YAPPY), there are some grey areas. We recommend you think before you post and always discuss anything you’re unsure about with an adult before posting.

Tips for writing better blog posts

Reading online is different from reading in a text book.

The easier to read and more engaging your posts are the more likely they’ll be read and the better your message will be conveyed.

Here are some tips to help you write better posts:

#1 Use Categories and tags

Categories and tags on posts help readers locate content on your blog.

Categories are like chapters of a book; they provide a general overview of the topics you blog about. Whereas tags are more like the index at the back of the book and explode the topic into a million bits.

For example, you might use a category for each school subject such as: English, Math, Science, PE, English, Drama, Design, Art and Random.  The Random category is used for posts you publish on topics that you are passionate about that may not be school related.

 Say you wrote a book review on ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ you might assign it the category English and tags might be J.K Rowling, Fantasy Fiction, Harry Potter.

Categories and tags are normally displayed at the top or bottom of the post and using the Category widget and tag widget in your sidebar.  You will be adding these widgets in Step 6:  Add Widgets.

When your readers click on a categories or tag link on a post or in your sidebar, it loads a page with all posts that use that tag or category.

On a post you can add as many categories and tags as you need to make the post easier to locate.