I made a lot of progress on my animation project recently. The biggest breakthrough came from Aharon Rabinowitz’s tutorial on Lip-Syncing for Character Animation over at Creative Cow. I highly recommend it. I’m using his time remap method for lip sync and eye movement. It’s really helped me understand how this project can be done as quickly as I had originally hoped. I should be able to create a whole scene from multiple angles and only do the lip sync once. I’ll just use the same frames for each mouth position for every angle (straight-on, profile, etc) and copy and paste keyframes to each one.
Here’s my first test. It’s a line of dialog from the first episode. I did an arbitrary camera move and put Jennie in front of a background so I can start figuring out how those things work. I finally figured out that increasing the aperture size of an After Effects camera is a quick way to ensure the low depth of field I was looking for.
[qt:http://www.kylegilman.net/videos/JennieLipSyncWeb.mov 500 297]
There’s definitely an Uncanny Valley effect going on here. Since it’s so close to looking like a real person, I think it is guaranteed to look a little creepy no matter what I do. But I’m going to work with that, not against it.