Tales Animator is a simple (free) software animator for kids.  The user scripts simple screenplay stories for cartoon characters.  A number of characters are supplied with the program, but you can download more or create your own.

Once you have scripted your story, it can be exported as an avi file.

It can be downloaded from http://www.brothersoft.com/tales-animator-21709.html

When Tales Animator first loads, you see the code window:

You simply type your code in the code window, then choose the Preview button on the toolbar to see your animation.  Once you are happy with it, you can render it as an avi or gif file to be used elsewhere.

Here is a script sample to try (from Tales Animator help files).  It uses the built in library of characters.  You can copy and paste it in.

background forest

Title "A Wolf Story"
play rock volume 0.3

Wolf Willy
Willy appears at (300,590)
Willy says "I am a wolf" volume 0.6
Willy goes to (600,590)

next scene
background balcony
Grandpa Peter

Peter appears at (150,450)
Peter says "I am a grandpa" volume 0.6

The items that appear in your story are stored in the Tales Animator folder on your computer.  If you want to use your own images, you simply save them into the correct folder on your computer.

The backgrounds folder contains the background images.  They are jpg files approx 800 x 600 pixels.  You can easily use your own photos.

Foregrounds can be used exactly the same way, with the addition that colour 0x00FF8080 is considered transparent.  That enables you to see the characters behind your foreground.

Library contains your characters.  Each character has a folder with the body parts stored as separate images.

Samples contains example scripts.

Simples has simple images, rather than actors.  These can be used instead of actors if body part movement is not required.

Sounds contains .wav files that you can play in the background of your animation.

Backgrounds

 To put in a background:

Background pond

To find out what backgrounds are available, you should look in the backgrounds folder of Tales Animator on your computer.

Titles

To put in a title:

Title “My Story”

Actors

You need to declare actors in each cartoon scene. Examples of such declarations are below:

Grandpa Peter
Grandma Mary

One actor can be several people eg fox mary, fox bob

In Tales Animator, you can click on Tools > Actors on the menus at the top to see what Actors are available.

Changing size of actors:

Fox Mary scale 2

Fox Billy scale 0.5

 

Actions for Actors

Actor actions

Example code

 

Appears at

Mary appears at (100,590)

 

says

Mary says “Hello” volume 1

Volume is optional

disappears

Mary disappears

 

Moves to

Mary moves to (400,590)  speed 100

No leg movement

Speed is optional

Goes to

Mary goes to (400, 590) speed 10 legspeed 0.5 scale 0.8

speed, legspeed, scale optional

Turns around

Mary turns around

Only works if your character is not symmetrical eg butterfly

Falls right

Mary falls right

Falls to her right

Falls left

Mary falls left

 

Stands up

Mary stands up

 

Points to

Mary points to Rick

Mary points to left

Mary points to right

 

 

pulls Mary pulls left hand down

Mary pulls right hand down

Used after pointing

Other Statements

Next scene  moves to next scene – you need to declare your actors again

Meanwhile makes something happen at the same time as the previous instruction

meanwhile ken goes to (700,590)

Sleep   stops the program for a number of seconds

Sleep 2

Music

Play  plays a sound file in the background

Sounds you can use (you can also record your own wav files)

Loops

Making loops of code

repeat 3 times

Mike goes to (700,590)

Mike goes to (100,590)

till here

 

Foregrounds

To put in a foreground:

Foreground flowers

Colour 0x00FF8080 is considered transparent.  That enables you to see the characters behind your foreground.