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Creating stock mouth shapes

From: 2D Animation Principles

Video: Creating stock mouth shapes

One popular technique, when animating dialogue, is So as you can see, I've got these twins between each one of these keys.

Creating stock mouth shapes

One popular technique, when animating dialogue, is to have a library of mouth shapes. Now, in 3D, you can do this very easily, and then create blend shapes or morph shapes between each key frame mouth shape. So, in Flash, I've done something quite similar to this. And, I've used the old technique calling them A, B, C, D, E, and F. And these labels do not refer to the phonetic sounds that come out of the mouths. These are simply labels, that make it easier to track the shapes in the program. So, the A mouth of course, is the closed mouth.

And this refers to the M's and B sounds. You've got the wide open D mouth, and the ooh mouth, which is labeled F. Let's have a look at what that looks like, when we play that through in Flash. So as you can see, I've got these twins between each one of these keys. And I can play this in pretty much any sequence. It's qui, it's quite flexible. Now, if you're following along in Flash, and you want to know how to do this in Flash, it's far beyond the scope of this lesson. But fortunately, I've already covered this topic in great detail in the previous course. And, let me show you that.

It's called, Rigging a Face in Flash Professional, and, like I said, it goes into quite a bit of detail and all the nuts and bolts. So, back to the current project, and so, we have the A, F mouth. And, let's see how I built the dialogue scene, and the strength of Flash in this case, and also, you could do this in 3D, is that you can slug out the dialogue independently of the overall body animation, so in this case. >> This is way too much for me. >> There's our line. And you'll see I've put my standard stock library shapes, here at the end of the timeline, just for safekeeping if I ever want to use any of them again, they're nicely laid out there.

They won't actually appear in the final animation, all that we'll see in the final clip, is this sequence here. So, how do you approach this? The most important mouth shapes to nail, that you really have to get, as precise as possible, are the closed mouths. They're really going to catch the eye. So let's hide the animation, and just play the audio. >> This is way too much for me. >> You'll notice that I put down some blank key frames, just some labels on the timeline, at exactly the points where I hear that closed mouth shape. There's also on here, for the ooh shape. These are the ooh shape after the closed mouth shape, is by far the most important.

So let's listen again, and watch where these hit. >> This is way too much for me. >> So you'll see as you hear for way, and much, and then me, you'll see they, the little timeline, move over this. >> This is way too much for me. >> So, that tells me, that this is where you put the closed mouth. So, I drag my A, my closed mouth shape, and I put it over here. You'll notice that the closed mouth is held for two frames. This is because if you hold a closed mouth for just one frame, often it doesn't read. The eye just doesn't see it. So you really want to try to find a way to hold your closed mouth, for at least two frames.

>> This is way too much for me. >> Great, so once you have these done, the next thing to do, is to do the chewing action. And that, basically means you've got a closed mouth in this instance and, alright, an ooh shape here, and a closed mouth here. The mouth has to open and close, does it open and close once, or twice? Can you get away with one chew, or do you have to do two? And how wide open does the mouth move? The widest open mouth shape I've got in the library, is the D mouth, the next is the C, and the Medium one is the B mouth. I I can also make intermediate mouth shapes, and, drag these over, but the path to follow in general would be, the louder and the broader the line of dialogue, the more open the mouth should be, so try to follow along with that accent.

>> This is way too much for me. >> Since the biggest accent was way. Both in the character animation, and the dialog, that makes sense that the most wide open mouth would be on this point. And, as you can see from here, I've done one chew, and then a slight second chew, leading into the ooh shape. >> This is way too much for me. >> If your animation's looking strange, it's probably because you've got too many chewing movements between these bigger blocks, or not enough. The other thing to watch out for, is the E sounds. E sounds will correspond to the, to this shape usually, the, what I call the B mouth.

So whenever you hear somebody saying, we, you can usually hit this B shape, and hold it for quite some time, and you'll see, my B mouths are all over the place here, they're, more than one, and we actually end on a B mouth, slowing into that. >> This is way too much. >> Okay, so let's move out. And now, the next step, is to drop that mouth into the character scene from the previous section, and let's see what it looks like. >> This is way too much for me. This is way too much for me. >> And as you can see, we're following, our eye actually follows the body action more than the mouth, which goes to prove, that the mouth action is secondary.

It's the body action that's really more important. It's critical the mouth doesn't do, anything wrong, of course, because I could conceivably catch the eye. So, when you have a mouth action, or a dialogue animation that's well done, corresponding with a body animation that's well done, it's very difficult to go wrong.

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This video is part of

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2D Animation Principles

35 video lessons · 6362 viewers

Dermot O' Connor

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  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 18m 9s
    1. Understanding appeal and design
      4m 3s
    2. Comparing body types
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding silhouette
      1m 52s
    4. Creating gesture drawings
      2m 50s
    5. Tying down the drawing
      2m 57s
  3. 18m 10s
    1. Comparing storyboard styles
      5m 8s
    2. Understanding shot composition
      4m 36s
    3. Demonstrating lighting
      4m 8s
    4. Understanding the 180-degree line
      4m 18s
  4. 13m 8s
    1. Understanding X-sheets (dope sheets)
      3m 25s
    2. Comparing frame rates
      4m 39s
    3. Creating sweatbox notes and preparation
      5m 4s
  5. 18m 42s
    1. Understanding arcs
      7m 38s
    2. Squash, stretch, and volume
      4m 59s
    3. Comparing timing and spacing
      6m 5s
  6. 10m 4s
    1. Using anticipation, overshoot, and settle
      4m 2s
    2. Breaking and loosening joints
      2m 43s
    3. Leading action
      3m 19s
  7. 19m 51s
    1. Understanding primary and secondary action
      4m 14s
    2. Using overlap and follow-through
      6m 0s
    3. Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves
      4m 34s
    4. Moving holds and idles
      5m 3s
  8. 15m 52s
    1. Understanding walk and run cycles
      5m 24s
    2. Creating eccentric walks
      6m 50s
    3. Animal locomotion
      3m 38s
  9. 14m 31s
    1. Finding dialogue accents
      2m 42s
    2. Creating dialogue through body movement
      2m 46s
    3. Creating stock mouth shapes
      5m 4s
    4. Using complementary shapes
      3m 59s
  10. 13m 8s
    1. Creating thumbnails
      4m 31s
    2. Comparing straight-ahead and pose-to-pose animation
      4m 37s
    3. Adding breakdowns for looseness
      4m 0s
  11. 2m 9s
    1. Next steps
      2m 9s

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