Thursday, October 17, 2013

38: Lip Syncing

Probably the first thing I learned at Disney was the different mouth shapes for lip syncing. Here is a chart similar to the ones they used at Disney some 20 years ago. There would usually be a person who would scrub the audio using a jog shuttle and they would write each shape by its corresponding letter on a dope sheet.

Nothing much has changed since I learned these shapes other than it can now be done on computer using software like lost marble's Papagayo. This great little tool is able to scrub the audio and then all you do is put in the right mouth shape for the corresponding sound yourself. When you are all done then you can export a data file and then import that into Blender. So long as you have the corresponding shapekey names to the Papagayo files, Blender will set up all the right mouths on your character to the correct sound. This tutorial by bugzilla2001 shows you how.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

37: Re-topology

You all may have seen models created with Sculptris, Mudbox, Zbrush or Blenders own Sculpt mode. These can be really beautiful and detailed models and 9 times out of 10 they are unusable for animating. So understanding the reasons for edge loops as by now you should. You will find this next YouTube tutorial by Jjannaway3D,really helpful in finding a way to get these models back to an animatable form. Retopology is by far the best process for doing this. Now all your creations will be able to be used in your animations.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

36: Rigging With Rigify

Addons are a great way of making everything you do in Blender that much easier. My favourite so far is Rigify. Its a lot like 3ds Max's Biped and can be used in virtualy the same way. This quick tutorial by Blender Cookie is a fantastic starter for anyone just wanting to start animating their character without to much fuss.

35: If You Need More Panels Create Them

I know sometimes I want a panel that has just the right set of tools in it that make my work-flow go smoothly. Blender's Python script allows you to make them yourself. For advanced users this can be a real boon as you will over time develop your own way of working. this tutorial by Jonathan Williamson Is a great help in that direction.

34: Using Drivers With Shape Keys

Facial expressions really make a character. Just having your character open and close their mouth doesn't cut it as good animation. You really need them to say something with their face. This tutorial, at the RivenPhoenix YouTube channel although part of a series of other tutorials. Will give you an insight into how to use shape keys to do exactly that.

33: Drivers and Custom Properties

One thing I found very useful in 3Ds Max was the ability to create a unique slider that controlled shape keys or bones. The freedom this gave when animating a character was liberating. This tutorial at Peripheral Labs YouTube channel shows exactly how to do this in Blender. It is a little fast but the results will open up a whole new world of possibilities for animation in Blender.