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Old February 1st, 2002, 07:54 AM   #1
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Special Effects... does your dog really talk?

"I thought you said your dog does not bite?"
"That is not my dog."
w/ apologies to P Sellers

I'm interested in knowing how one would go about animating an animals lips to look like they are speaking without the ol "peanut butter on the roof of their mouth" trick...

Anyone know of a technique?
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Old February 1st, 2002, 12:44 PM   #2
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What system are you running?

If you have photoshop, you could import each frame into the program and try some digital manipulation and move the mouth with the smudge tool?

Other than that I have no other ideas, any one else done this?

Ed Smith
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Old February 2nd, 2002, 08:43 AM   #3
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What you are talking about is a complete craft, or art. Special
Effects take a lot of practice doing it, good. It might be possible
to do this stuff on your own (look at the creators of 405 the
movie, although these guys already had lots of experience
in this field), but it is gonna be difficult and very time consuming.
What they usually do is create a 3D head of the animal (or
part of its head) and animate it in a 3D package (like Lightwave,
Maya etc.) or morph it (going from one image to the other in
a graceful way). It might be possible to hand morph the mouth
yourself if you have a couple of mouth position (in real life)
from more or less the same angle...

There is not an easy way or a push the button effect for this.
You really need the programs, skill and patience. The photoshop
idea might work as well if your good in that program. Use your
creativity and I'm shure you can come up with an solution that
works for you and your movie!

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
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Old February 3rd, 2002, 12:01 AM   #4
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Rob is quite correct. The effects that you see on ads and films are the result of many animators often working for months with tools that are often proprietary or beyond the reach of most hobbyists or casual professionals (ex: RenderMan, Maya, et.al.)

You can, however, get very respectable results for short pieces with a rotosplining and motion painting tool such as Commotion Pro 4 (app. $1200). Using -carefully- shot and planned live footage of, say, a dog you can make the facial expression emote. But be prepared for a steep learning curve and a lengthy effort even for a few seconds of efffects.
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