Using Microsoft Agent
First off, you'll need to download and install Agent from the Microsoft website at www.microsoft.com/msagent/ - the latest version at time of writing was Agent 2.0, on which this guide is based.
The Microsoft Agent Core Components download comes in at a reasonable 395K, a self-extracting executable that must be run on each computer you wish to use such animations.
However this is merely the engine that 'runs' the characters. The actual animations themselves must be obtained separately. At time of writing, Microsoft had four freely available characters Genie (1.6MB), Merlin (1.8MB), Robby (2.2MB), and Peedy (3.3MB).
To use this tutorial, you must download the main agent kit and at least one character.
You might also want to check out the available L&H TruVoice Text-to-Speech engine, which allows your characters to not only display words but also speak them. Be prepared for a Stephen Hawking-like rendition however... not brilliant, but hey, it's free!
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