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Animating lip sync: The body

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Animating lip sync: The body

So now let's go ahead and pick this up where we left off and just animate the rest of the character. So we're going to animate the body of the character, just to give him a little bit more life. Now in a shot like this, where we're actually just kind of giving a head-and- shoulder shot of the character, we don't have to worry too much about the things that are off the screen, the things that we don't see. All we'd really need to do is give the character a little bit of body motion, just to understand that the body is alive and that it's moving. In the next chapter, we'll go through full-body animation, but for this we're just going to do just a little bit, just to kind of give you a taste of it.

Animating lip sync: The body

So now let's go ahead and pick this up where we left off and just animate the rest of the character. So we're going to animate the body of the character, just to give him a little bit more life. Now in a shot like this, where we're actually just kind of giving a head-and- shoulder shot of the character, we don't have to worry too much about the things that are off the screen, the things that we don't see. All we'd really need to do is give the character a little bit of body motion, just to understand that the body is alive and that it's moving. In the next chapter, we'll go through full-body animation, but for this we're just going to do just a little bit, just to kind of give you a taste of it.

So first thing I want to do is I need to select the body. Now typically, for a shot like this, I'm going to actually zoom in here, so I just want to animate the hips of the character to give him a little bit of bounce in this shot. One of the most important motions in this is when he shakes his head. Let's go ahead and play that. (Character: I've sworn off.) So in this we can actually add a little bit of body motion to actually help sell that. So I'm just going to select the hips, and I am going to set a keyframe at 1.

Then I am going to go a little bit further in. We want to anticipate that motion a little bit, so I'm going to go ahead and move him up just slightly. Now what this does is it lifts his shoulders, okay, so it's almost showing like a shift of weight. So as he comes down, I want to drop those hips and maybe even rotate him forward a little bit. So I want to make sure I've got a keyframe for rotation at frame 5 and then maybe even just tilt him forward just a hair, just to give him a little bit more life.

So let's go ahead and see what that looks like. (Character: I've sworn off.) Then we can again bring that back to 0. In fact, we can type 0 into Rotate X here and then just kind of bring him back to normal. So what we've done is we've dropped, essentially, we've dropped the hips, which makes it looks like he's doing a little slight shift weight. (Character: I've sworn off pancakes.) That gives a much better sense of motion. Let's go ahead and show this in full. (Character: I've sworn off.) That gives you a sense that his whole body is moving.

(Character: I've sworn off pancakes.) And let's go ahead and do this one more time. So the next big one is 'French toast instead'. I want to go ahead and accentuate that as well. So I'm going move here to right before he says 'instead', somewhere around frames 75 or 76, and again, I want to anticipate this, so I'm going to go ahead and set a keyframe here at frame 76.

Then as he says, "instead," I want to drop the hips. And then as he says, "instead," I want to bob him up a little bit and then settle him back down. So now we've got something like this. (Character: I've sworn off pancakes. I'm having French toast instead.) So you see how he says-- (Character: toast instead.) So that gives a much better sense of motion.

Now we can also do a little bit of motion here in the middle. So where he says, "I'm having," then we can also add a little bit of a bump there as well. So let's go ahead. We're at before frame 50, somewhere around frame 46, and then we want to set a 0 point. Then we want to anticipate this, by moving it down, so at frame 48, I'm moving it down, and then I want to pop him up somewhere around frame 51 or frame 52, and then again bring him back to 0 to kind of settle him back down.

Okay, so this is just rough, but you get the idea here. What I'm doing is I'm just giving a little bit of body motion to accentuate the dialog. It's the dialog that is really driving this animation. So let's go ahead and take one more look at it. (Character: I've sworn off pancakes. I'm having French toast instead. I've--) So there we go. So we can continue to fine-tune this and tweak this, but you get the basic idea.

So the basic process for animating this type of dialog is, we can do the mouth and the lips first, then we need to make sure we get the head motion, then the body motion. Now there are other ways to animate this sort of dialog, but the goal here is to show you that it's not just getting the lips correct; it's getting the entire character correct. Okay, so go ahead and tweak your animation and get something that looks good to you.

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This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 10008 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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