I'm not sure if I'm posting in the correct forum, but I figured AE would have a hand in this.
I have an idea that involves creating a miniature set, and using a plush toy heart with a person's eyes and mouth edited onto it (think Annoying Orange). The heart will be talking. Now, what I'd like to do is have the heart walk, turn, etc (I'll be designing some limbs on). Can anyone point me in the right direction of the approach that'll help me accomplish this?
It's the "plush" and the real person that concern me.
Unless you are a master of shooting, timing & planning, you won't be able to maintain credible-looking 3D as the animated character turns, moves... whatever -- you would have to move the real-life camera shooting the actor's face with computer precision to get the rotation, scale and parallax changes that would occur. Not to mention real-life 3D moves imply shooting on a very large, curved green screen to make life easier when compositing the actor's face onto the 3D character.
"Plush" implies fibers -- a characteristic that is extremely render-intensive in a 3D application to make it look realistic.
It's a nice idea, but probably not for the faint of heart nor the technologically-challenged.
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA
How I would approach this is to shoot the sequence in multiple takes, one take from the front, one from a slight right turn, left, turn, etc. and do morph cuts to make the heart/face combo turn in a realistically 3-d manner. Character animator, as I understand it, works in 2-d flat space. You *could* first record the 3-d item on set and then apply Character Nimator to it, but it will only look 3-d from the front, as soon as the thing turns, the illusion breaks.
So that's why I say shoot it in a more "old fashioned" way. Multiple takes with the face and the heart locked off and the camera moved. Light it very flat, and introduce shadows later in post to sell it.