(CNN Business) When attorney Rod Ponton showed up for a virtual court hearing over Zoom on Tuesday, he quickly realized something was wrong. While in real life he is a human, to other participants of the video call — including Judge Roy B. Ferguson of the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas — he looked like a cat. Specifically, a white cat with gray markings and large, despairing eyes.
“Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings,” the judge said.
The tearful-looking kitten opened its mouth, but said nothing, as its eyes darted back and forth on the screen.
“Can you hear me, judge?” Ponton asked, appearing as the forlorn feline.
“I’m here, live, I’m not a cat,” he said a few seconds later.
This white cat video filter was originally created by Reallusion for its discontinued Live! Cam Avatar, an animated messaging tool featuring customizable emotive facial animations for instant-messaging applications back in 2000, that got bundled by PC manufacturers.
The Story Behind the Cat
The cat was a beloved pet kitten from the Reallusion family. The kitten was named Mony, and was original used as one of the characters in Live! Cam Avatar. Sadly, Mony passed away some years ago, but her legacy continues thanks to the internet’s fascination with this meme.
The Return of Mony
After many requests that Reallusion bring back Mony, the team decided to reanimate her as a free project inside Reallusion’s Cartoon Animator 4 (CTA ) – a 2D animation software that turns images and photographs into animated videos.
The animatable project allows users to animate the feline via mouse movements, audio lip syncing, or facial motion capture using a webcam.
How to Animate Mony
To animate Money, users just need to:
1) Install the Cartoon Animator software, on Windows or Mac. (trial or full version)
2) Then download the free project via the links below:
For CTA Trial Version – Mony Project ZIP
For CTA Full Version – Reallusion Marketplace
3) If users wish to animate using the facial mocap feature, then they’ll need to install Cartoon Animator’s Motion Live 2D plugin with the Face 3D profile for webcam
- For facial mocap, we recommend users to add the included .Json file into CTA, which optimizes Mony’s facial profile controls.
4) Visit the Reallusion Forums for instructions on How To Launch the Cat Project.
Inside you will find all the steps on what needs to be installed and how.