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Animated Cell Interview: CrazyTalk Program

So wonderful Scholastic contributor, Linda Foote, introduced me to CrazyTalk 5.1 last week. If you have never heard of this program before, you can turn photos or drawings into realistic pieces of animation. This includes eye, mouth, and head movement that goes with imported voice recordings. I downloaded the program on Sunday (49.00 dollars) and was finished with production on Wednesday.  All work was completed by the students, including the script, filming, editing, and tech. skills (ex- animation, green screen work, etc.). Photos from behind the scene are now included for your viewing pleasure.

Added 12/05/09

Here is the link for our video. It incorporates green screen and animated graphics using CrazyTalk.


Script planning

Some of our script planning

Research notes

Some research notes found in our room (ex- textbooks, books in our library)

Our "recording" studio

Here is our recording studio.  Note the Christmas tree. A great lesson on series vs. parallel lighting!

Recording on set

Filming on the set with a green screen

Our backup

The script was posted on the side (hence the left eye movement). This was due to time. We will work on mastering script reading next time around. At times- the script was- choppy. If. You didn't notice.

Students work with the program CrazyTalk

Bringing life to a cell using CrazyTalk 5.1.

This is what the program looks like

Close-up of the program, CrazyTalk. Very kid friendly.

Tech help to the rescue!

The voice behind the animal cell (Brooke in the red)

In the recording studio

The voice behind the plant cell (Brendan with the headset)

Interesting Connection: One student in our room has been in two country music videos and said our set really did work and function like the real thing (including filming out of order).

To learn more about our room, visit us at www.bar.rcs.k12.tn.us/teachers/bunyia/bunyihome.html


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Angela Bunyi


Great questions. I do have another blog posts on using green screen with ULead Video Studio and free Microsoft Movie Maker (look under the quick links-Easy Movie Making with a Green Screen under September). This will give you a real step by step route to putting things together and will answer your questions from above. If you are new to movie making, I even included visual pictures to help out in this department. All my work is PC based because our school is, but I think Macs are super easy and great as well.

Overall, CrazyTalk gives you all the resources to make a photo appear animated (head movement, eyes blinking, nose moving,mouth moving to recorded audio). The steps are so easy that my students honestly did all the work without me. It gets saved and is imported into another program like Movie Maker. To give you an idea- my six year old created one on his own in less than five minutes.

But here is an overall answer for you- Think of CrazyTalk as a type of file-ex. a music file (wav), photo file (jpg), or movie file (wmv). Usually you take these files and import them all into a program like Movie Maker. In our video, we imported a wav file at the beginning and end of the clip, video files for the student interviewers, and CrazyTalk files for our animated cells. CrazyTalk is easily imported into any program and can be used with virtually any photo. Our "cell" didn't have eyes or a mouth until we put it in CrazyTalk. When that is saved, it is imported into your program of choice (Movie Maker, Pinnacle, ULead, etc.), and you look like a high tech nerd!

But please do not hesitate at all to ask me any other questions. I would be happy to slow down and/or even email you with more details.



Hi Angela! I was wondering what other tools you used to produce this video. I am very interested in it and would like to create one with my students. I assume you used a video camera. Did the CrazyTalk program provide all of the editing equipment or did you use something like imovie? I checked the website for Crazytalk but couldn't find anything that looked like it included real students (like yours did with the interviewers).

Angela Bunyi

Hey Jerry,

Thanks for the compliments! It was a lot of fun but also helps reinforce what we have learned in class.

Best to you,


Cybrary Man - Jerry Blumengarten

You did a fantastic job on these cell productions. I am very impressed.

I added these videos to the Biology and Cells page on my website.

Keep up the great work!

Cybrary Man - Jerry Blumengarten

You did a fantastic job on these cell productions. I am so impressed! I added them to the Biology and Cells page on my website.


Keep up the great work!

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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