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Facial Animation

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cesar rattoniFacial Animation
by on Oct 22, 2009 at 4:56:52 pm

I found the next video:

It is explained that it was done in apple motion with corel painter layers. I think the same can be done with either illustrator or photoshop layers in AE. Though it is done just with flat planes, there seems to have this 3d quality which i have not been able to achieve.
I realize in second #8 the lower black border of the frame seems to go up, so I think this may have been done with some camera movements ( maybe?)

Any suggestions?

I was thinking in making a combination of Aaharon Rabinowitz lip sync technique with the different parts of the face, such as the mouth and eyes, but the whole integration in this strange but very visual fake 3d.

Also the transitions of the mouth and eyes are amazingly fluent ( or fluid?) which cannot be achieved by aaharons technique.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Facial Animation
by on Oct 22, 2009 at 6:51:01 pm

It looks like it was done using a COMBINATION of techniques: Cel animation and 3D layers.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there were several images of the head to create the turn, plus several images of eyes to create the eye bulges, plus mouth images.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Steve RobertsRe: Facial Animation
by on Oct 22, 2009 at 7:41:53 pm

I think that they're all flat layers, composited in 3D space. You could do this with Illustrator and AE, as you've surmised.

Moving away from the camera, we have:
1. eyes & nose, also eyebrows and possibly mouth
2. head & hat & hair
3. ears

... all layers can be parented to a null or the head, which is then moved and/or rotated. Maybe the camera moves, but there's no need for that unless you want to do it. By the way, note how the layers don't actually change shape when they move. Maybe the eyes & mouth are Motion equivalents of a precomp, whose contents change to change expression.

Those are my thoughts, anyway.

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Steve RobertsRe: Facial Animation
by on Oct 22, 2009 at 8:23:00 pm

How's this? AE and shape layers, in 3D space with 3D camera.

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Tony SilvaRe: Facial Animation
by on Oct 22, 2009 at 9:43:11 pm

yours lack character :P

Looks like you've got the technique right on. The only difference is I don't think the camera rotates at all in the first example. I think camera rotation works for just the face, but I see headaches for trying it with a whole body/scene.

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Steve RobertsRe: Facial Animation
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 3:36:29 pm

Oh, yes. No character. What do you expect for a quickie?
(that long? Yes, I know ...)

The cam doesn't have to move, you could parent everything to the head (or body) and move that, and yes, it would be the way to do it for a scene. Yes, sliding everything with no rotation can work as well, but takes move time, but if sliding parts around just to get a 3D perspective is the plan, it can be done more consistently by actually placing things in 3D space. Then you can slide them around if you still want to do that.

But yes, if the movement is done by hand with no 3D-space help, it looks more handcrafted, and looser. And fun.

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Peter GreenstoneRe: Facial Animation
by on Oct 22, 2009 at 10:26:11 pm

It looks entirely 2D to me. Nothing in there actually rotates. It's all done by sliding the parts around on separate and grouped layers in a way that gives the illusion of rotation, but it's actually quite simple.

The only parts that do more than just move in X and Y are the eyes that swap out between several pre-made expressions an the mouth that also swaps out pre-made expressions and which also does a little scale during the last grin.

With the art elements this particular animation could be done in AE with no 3D tools or anything too fancy. Just need a good eye.

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scott novasicRe: Facial Animation
by on Oct 23, 2009 at 7:16:18 am

I would agree with peter. Individual layers would allow you to also indivdually 'cheat' certain parts like the ears and more with a little xyz tilting...

Animation & Visual Effects
Scott Novasic
Los Angeles Ca

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