Saturday, 27 September 2008

One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich*

This is what opens the portal for the Procrastination Demons and entices them over. It's the lip-syncing process.

That sound wave in the lower part of the picture is one minute and fifteen seconds of Graham voice - or ONE THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED and SEVENTY FIVE frames. The little tile things are all the different mouth shapes that have to be matched to every second frame of sound. The highlighted section is what I have left to complete.

It's not particularly difficult, and in fact it wouldn't even be that time consuming were a person to just apply oneself to the job and get on with it.

But it's so, so dull.

And the sun is shining outside. And the internet is on.

If I ever get money to make Grey Bloke properly, this is the first job that gets delegated.

*because it really isn't over-dramatic to compare the animation process with the experience of being in a Soviet gulag. Do I have your sympathy yet? Do I?


Golem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Golem said...

Sorry, my first comment was about Soviet comedy film... Then I realised that you mentioned the Solzhenitsyn's story. OMG!

LesFleurs said...

As far as I understand the program tells you what letter is on time path in which place and you have to find this letter amongst your "mouths" and put it where Magpie tells you to.

I heard in this program you film your face. Do you film your face?

Mike said...

With Magpie, you highlight a section of the sound wave (or just one frame), listen to it, then choose the mouth shape that best fits and assign it to the right frame.

I suppose there might be a way to film your lips and have the computer recognise shapes and match them to a library of mouths, but I don't know of a program that does that.

And you'd probably have to draw dots around your mouth or something, and it would end up taking even longer.

Jeremiah said...

I too am procrastinating.

I've had a ChurchOfBlow video in the can for over a week now, and I decided to complicate the editing process by dubbing in all the dialogue (which will make some sense, hopefully, when the thing is uploaded).

I also have those Freud episodes to get to...

(Thanks for the vocal track!)

Mike said...

Yay for not doing what we tell ourselves we should be doing and feeling bad about it even though in the grand scheme of things it truly doesn't matter!

I'm going for a walk in the park now.

That Mean Whelp said...


SGB is quite a still character and your lip sync looks like a long process, have you ever considered flash?

You assign the shapes to numbers and punch them in when you hear the right sound, not very time consuming and rather easy once you know the numbers.

Mike said...

I think I know what you mean, that_mean_whelp, but I'm not sure it would be any quicker. In both Flash and Magpie you still have to scrub through the sound and select a shape - and I think both programs require the same number of mouse clicks, but in Flash you then have to change a number as well.

But I'll try it, and time how long it takes me each way.

How geeky is this conversation?

That Mean Whelp said...

Give flash a go, you can have the mouth shape chart open in paint or what have you and eventually, once you've done it enough you'll memorize what is the best numbered shape to use "that sounds like a 12" etc.

Geeky indeed, but the best kind of geek! The Animation Geek!

Rictor said...

Maybe you could use a lower frame rate? I find that lip-sync animation can look good at just 12 frames per second. Or maybe that's what you're using already. I can't really tell.