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Tracking a puppets face & animating mouth

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Charlie Reader
Tracking a puppets face & animating mouth
on Oct 20, 2010 at 7:26:11 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm making a stop-motion film using various different puppets including action men. In a few of the scenes the action men are dancing (swaying side to side) and I need them to sing. I was looking to achieve this effect by filming a person singing and placing their mouth over the top of the action mens mouth.

This is the effect I'm looking for:

I'm pretty comfortable using Final Cut Pro but have recently purchased After Effects CS3 and have little idea where to start really!

If anyone would be kind enough to explain to me how to get the mouth and whack it on the dolls face and get it to stay in the same place whilst the head is moving, that would be amazing!

Also.. if anyone has any idea where I can get a pair of those blinking eyes shown in the video I posted, that would be awesome too!

Many thanks!!!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Tracking a puppets face & animating mouth
on Oct 20, 2010 at 10:24:24 pm

I forget what it's actually called, but you can google a process called "head replacement" or "face replacement" that was used on a recent (within the last 2 years) music video parody: it featured video from The Golden Girls, with a guy's face on the ladies' heads.

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

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Tracking a puppets face & animating mouth
on Oct 21, 2010 at 1:23:04 pm

You'll need to use a lot of motion tracking. Tons of useful resources here. (Much of the info is all pretty much the same across the versions.)

You'll need to stabilize the mouth (probably in a precomp) and then motion track that precomp to the puppet's head.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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