Monday, 4 February 2008

Animation technique


This is likely to be very boring if you're not an animator. And perhaps even if you are.

Somegreybloke is drawn in Flash. (I'd do the whole cartoon in Flash if I could, but it's new to me and I still have a lot to learn). From Flash I export each mouth drawing - there are about 40 of them - as JPGs and then make a Photoshop file with each mouth shape on a different layer.

I use Magpie Pro to sync the mouths with my voice. It's a very simple program to use and relatively fast.

Finally, the cartoon is assembled in After Effects. The synced mouth shapes sit in a layer on top of the character's head (the head is three drawings - eyes open, closed and half closed), the eye movements and blinks are animated, and then the head is stuck onto the body, and the body onto the background.

The final layers use After Effects "3D" function so that I can use a bit of virtual lighting ( to shade the edges of the frame).

11 comments:

Dr Frank said...

Hello. I was very glad to read your tips on animating S.G.B.'s mouth. I'm just dipping my toes into the deep, dark pool which is character animation and fitting the shape of the mouth to the audio is a biggie. So much so, that so far I've opted for using a real mouth which I mask and then superimpose on my aphids (the protagonists). I'm not entirely happy with this solution and will have a go at the lengthier, but much more satisfactory result of real animation. Thanks once again.

Aaron V said...

This is very interesting!.

i have no idea how to use magpie pro, i downloaded the trial, just to practice.

which flash do you use?
-Macromedia Flash
-Adobe Flash

if adobe flash, which one (e.g CS3, CS4

Mike said...

I think Flash is just Flash. Didn't Adobe take over Macromedia years ago?

I've been using Flash CS3.

nearbeat said...

Thanks, have been thinking about doing something like this for years, if I do i will credit you with the stimulus, Patrick

CW said...

I use a version of Flash that is still the Macromedia flavor - Flash is not just Flash. The Adobe / Macromedia acquisition happened in 2005 with the completion in late 2005. Not all that long ago... 3+ yrs ago.

Martina said...

I have worked with both Macromedia Flash and Adobe Flash CS3, and it's about the same. I have been learning on it so I would notice difference. The only problem is you can't play the CS3 file on Macromedia Flash version 8, however you can save it as version 8 file on Adobe Flash CS3 if you make the selection, otherwise haven't noticed much of difference.

Britain Awake said...

Your videos are shit!

greygary said...

your vids are great

eddajohnes said...

It's about time for a new comment:
Your vids are brilliant - I love 'em.

oliver gilmartin said...

I would love to be able to do this. How hard is digital animation to learn from scratch or Flash for that matter. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

oliver gilmartin said...

I would love to be able to do this. How hard is digital animation to learn from scratch or Flash for that matter. Any advice is greatly appreciated.