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Phonics for animated faces

George Cotton

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I have read through (more than once) many of the discussions about forming the mouth of the animated face for the various words, and I've done some preliminary work in that vein. I can sympathize with the old (and new) cell artists at the animation studios. To get it believable, it's not just an open and shut case. (pun intended) So far, I'm just using the rap portion of Thriller putting the words in a spreadsheet down a column and then putting what I think are the appropriate mouth position(s) in the next column(s) for each word.

Next, of course, would be to put this information into the musical sequence in the proper timings. But, by doing it in the spreadsheet first, I'm able to copy and paste similar sounding words much faster. With the later LOR software, I am able to open more than one sequence, so copy and paste between program files is easy.

What I've got planned is to extract the "rap" from Thriller and open a new file with all the normal elements and the new face created in the visualizer from my standard Halloween Channel Configuration. With just this one thing going on, the response time for the mouth movements should be virtually real time with the spoken words since nothing else will be updating. Then the refined sequence can be copied and pasted into the real Thriller sequence.

I guess my question is, has anybody created a dictionary so the words could be quickly looked up and the proper channels could be implemented in the LOR software without having to recreate every one?

I can see how helpful it would be if there was perhaps an online collaborative effort in a standardized format where words could be uploaded to the system and then users could download the words they need. This would not only greatly speed up the process of "mouthing", but users that are more able, could fine tune the articulation of words and thus spread the information throughout the LOR community to make the animations look more realistic.

Thoughts anybody?

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