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Old June 18th, 2003, 09:03 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
How would you do this effect?

I'm putting together a "tribute" video for some friends of mine that will include "talking heads" interviews with some of their friends. I want to use their dog (a black and white border collie) for one of these interviews, a la "Babe."

I have access to Crazytalk and FaceStation -- the former animates faces, syncing lip movement to dialogue, for 2D stills. The latter does the same with 3D models, and is capable of creating a 3D "avatar" out of a 2D still of the front and side of someone's head. I should be able to make a 3D talking dog head this way. So . . . assume that animation part is taken care of. It's how to incorporate it into the video that I'm trying to figure out.

I was thinking of shooting video of the dog sitting on a director's chair in front of a green screen (I want to try to match the look of the talking head interviews with the live people). I'd then use Commotion Pro (or AfterEffects) to "remove" the dog's head. Commotion Pro has a motion-tracking feature that would let me size the "talking head" clip, and composite it in. If I'm careful I should be able to replace the dog's head with either the animated avatar (from FaceStation) or the animated 2D still (from Crazytalk). Once that's done, it's just a question of keying out the green screen and compositing in whatever background I decide to use.

Does this sound like it would work? Does anyone know any other way to do this, short of manually rotoscoping, which would take far too long, and is much more work than I want to put into this project.
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Old June 18th, 2003, 03:24 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,929
I don't have much advice to add, only to comment that this is an ambitious project. Something like this is usually the combination of feature tracking and 3D modeling/rendering, then compositing. I'm unfamiliar with the software packages you mention, but I'd love to see the result if you manage to achieve the effect you're looking for with one of these packages.
All the best,
Robert K S

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