Work in progress for a collaboration project I am working on with Ted.
3D character modelling done by Ted ( see more of his work here )
Ted and I worked together to create a set of suitable mouth shapes using endomorphs in LightWave. After blocking in the animation for our first test, we worked at refining our target mouthshapes and in our second attempt this is what we came up with:
"A Wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early.
He arrives precisely when he means to."
After creating a set of rendered images (of the character at each target pose) we ran them through Papagayo and loosely synced mouthshapes to the Audio track.
This is a comparison of our first and second tests. Clearly the mouthshapes are more refined on our second attempt. Major differences between the two are the addition of tongue movement for L and TH sounds, as well as a far more refined shape for F and V.
I also spent some time adjusting the keyframes and tweaking the timing of the dialogue, especially near the beginning of the track. I can see a clear improvement from our first test already!
Future animation tests will include movement of the eyes, lids, brows and head. Our goal is to eventually rig and animate the entire character. This is just the early stages.
Audio track is a short snippet of Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings.
Lightwave, Papagayo Mod, scripting with AviSynth and Virtual Dub.