Mocap (3024) - week 02

Well: off to a great start then, eh?

Sorry for the unexpected disruption last week: there are a few things to cover in our class this week to get caught up straight away.

Part 1

We'll be meeting in the Mocap stage (room 224) for the first part of the class. While we're there, I'll give a quick introduction to the Optitrack (hardware) and Motive (the software). I'll do a simple demo of calibration, tracking and recording.

I'll be looking for 2 volunteers to suit up and get Mo-Capped. If you're interested:  I recommend you  wear close fitting and flexible clothing. (Dress in layers)

After that we'll be moving to our regular classroom to introduce some basic key-frame facial animation workflow.

Part 2

Once we're back to our regular class, I'll introduce you to the Simon 2.0 rig. and some basic lip sync workflow. we start with posing to create four primary viseme shapes. B/M/P, EE, AH and OO

The highlighted ones above: these are my 'primary colours' for lip sync animation

For the demo, I'll use this audio clip trimmed from 'the Simpsons'.
(for basic audio editing I use Audacity; an excellent, free, open-source program.)

My electricity

I'll start by placing these primary viseme shapes on the appropriate frames to match the phonemes I'm hearing in the audio clip. The end result should be that Simon looks like he's speaking the line.
After the demo, students will practice the same.

Homework for next class: Students will pick an audio clip 6-10 sec long (max for this is 300fr) and start by animating just the lip sync only. They will have this finished to show for next class.

Part 1 of this assignment (Lip Sync) will account for 10% of your final grade.  Progress must be shown for feedback next class. Part 1 will be due at the end of class 04

Part 2 of this assignment (Pantomime and Facial) will account for 20% of your final grade. Progress must be shown for feedback in week 05. Part 2 will be due at the end of class 06

Lip Sync Animation (LS)
This is a multi-part assignment.
Part 1 is just the lip sync, due in week 4.
Part 2 will be the pantomime acting along with facial performance, due in week 6.

Part 1:
Students select an audio clip between 6-10 sec long (300 frames max) and use the Simon 2.0 rig to animate the mouth to match the phonemes. No body or other facial animation is required in the first part of the animation. Students must show their work for feedback in week 03, hand-in will be due in week 04

Part 2:
In the second part of the assignment, students will shoot video reference and then create the pantomime (body) and facial performance to match the lip sync. Staging will be a mid shot (framing the character from the waist up) Students must show their work for feedback in week 05. Final hand-in will be in week 06

What I'll be grading on this assignment:
  1. Do the viseme shapes match the phonemes in the audio clip
  2. Does the lip sync animation transition smoothly between the poses with few pops or hitches?
  3. Are the viseme poses broad and clearly defined?
  4. Is the audio clip appropriate for a demo reel, with wide variety in phonemes, pitch and tempo?
  5. Has the student shown work in progress for feedback at week 03 and week 05?
  6. Does the pantomime performance match the dialogue
Some additional tutorial material: a couple of demos using Maya v2011 and the Morpheus rig. The workflow here will be similar to what we do in class, though the specifics of the tools will differ slightly.