#1 07-04-2007 6:03 pm

Upstanding Citizen
Registered: 07-03-2007
Posts: 3
Karmojo: 32

my first serious attempt at facial animation / acting

Hello everyone. I'm a graphic artist at a sign shop who does animation is his spare time... and I would love to hear some crits from all the professionals here. Here's my video:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid … &hl=en

Work was done in Blender with Bassam Kurdali's free Mancandy Rig. 

Please be brutal.  I want to improve.




#2 07-04-2007 8:32 pm

From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: 06-15-2007
Posts: 86
Karmojo: 61

Re: my first serious attempt at facial animation / acting

Hey Ryan, that's pretty darn good for your first attempt!

The lip sync and timing and all look great, the main thing I see is he doesn't seem to get more excited at all, his expression stays basically the same throughout.  Towards the end, his mouth should open up more and be more expressive.  Play around more with his eyelids, especially his lower lids, they don't seem to move at all.  Keep them closer together for longer, so when he get's really excited at the end, you can pull them farther apart for bigger contrast.



#3 07-05-2007 1:21 am

Upstanding Citizen
From: Westwood, MA
Registered: 07-02-2007
Posts: 41
Karmojo: 37

Re: my first serious attempt at facial animation / acting

Hey Ryan, I think it looks pretty dang good for your first time!  To help you out, I would suggest investing in a 5 dollar mirror from Wally world.  Place the mirror next to your computer work station.  That way you can lip the audio into the mirror and use yourself as reference for facial cues... what your eyes do, on what syllable your lips move, etc... mirrors are great!  And then for full body acting grab a camera and capture yourself acting it out, then download it onto your computer, and presto instant reference!



#4 07-05-2007 3:49 am

Upstanding Citizen
Registered: 07-03-2007
Posts: 3
Karmojo: 32

Re: my first serious attempt at facial animation / acting

Lokihaus:  I've heard of animators doing that.  I'll pick one up this week. Thanks!

Claymation: Thanks for the kind words... and the advice on the acting... I agree its a bit weak.. I'm a bit sick of this first attempt though, as I've kind of worked it over to death.  I'm gonna give the July contest a try with all the advice I've recieved from other forums on this piece, since it will be new dialogue... and come back to this afterwards.   Thanks again!



#5 07-10-2007 10:16 am

From: Waikato, New Zealand
Registered: 06-12-2007
Posts: 168
Karmojo: 76

Re: my first serious attempt at facial animation / acting

Hey Ryan,

I've just finished checking out your facial clip.  It's a good start.  'Channel it into the flux compasitor' isn't too bad... the timing is roughly there.  I think overall it needs more shape to the mouth... The mouth feels a little floaty at times... Your missing out some of the sounds, too.  You need you character to focus more when he's looking away and looking back at the camera.  I'd say it's half way there... just give him more 'Ooo' shapes when he say's 'too'  and the 'Uu' in future... also, try and have more of an 'F' shape when he says 'Future'...

Another tip I was told by Justin Barret, is to have the mouth increase and decrease in direct relation to the energy of the clip... So if he speaks the word with a lot of energy, have that come through in the jaw, too... this will also help to give texture... Also note that not all sounds will be made with the jaw.  A tip by Keith Lango is to put your hand under your jaw and feel the energy as you speak it out.

Keep going with this, I'd be interested to see the progression of this.



Kiwi Animator



#6 07-28-2007 5:16 pm

Model Citizen
From: Bucuresti
Registered: 06-25-2007
Posts: 25
Karmojo: 52

Re: my first serious attempt at facial animation / acting

well, if you put a hand under your jaw as you speak you can tell clearly how many times the mouth opens. some of those openings will be subtle, and the ones that are wide is most important to get right on the money (accurate timing)... they are the key elements in lipsync, I think. like pillars, all is built around them. also, a tip would be to open the mouth faster and close it slower - this one, exaggerated, has a Disney feel to it big_smile, but anyway, it's a technique inspired from reality.

about your shot, I think the intensity of the voice is much higher/stronger, and your animation is not reaching that. the body should also be in that intensity, not only the face/mouth. someone was saying - do lipsynch with your body, or body-synch... hehe. that's not to say that things should be simply - a yell always results in wild gesticulation. but many times it does. it's an acting choice in fact - you decide how you want to capture and show that intensity. just make sure it gets there. too much exaggeration is also not ideal, if it's not backed up by the soundtrack... or the idea behind the whole shot, or scene... or maybe style of animation. in the latest AM tip & tricks, Shawn Kelly talks about style, and I'm glad he does, because I think this is something very overlooked when people criticize animation - if it's too subtle, they'd expect more cartoony energy... if it's too wacky, they might go... oh, it's over-animated! hihi. which is silly, because there are many ways to skin ammm... the same... ammm... cat. big_smile the problem (or the cool thing in fact) with generic rigs is that they could be used for any kind of style of animation (ok, maybe not 'any', but 'many' kinds)... although maybe certain approaches will look better, cuz style sort of goes hand in hand with design, and no matter how generic the character... like.... even Generi, hehe, has a design, which maybe calls for a certain kind of animation, rather than others... I should stop my over-animated ramble here. cheers!

Virgil Mihailescu



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