Sunday, 8 April 2012

Flash testing

Okay so today i thought i'd pluck up the courage and start trying out the lengthy process of testing out lip syncing on flash.. no body movement yet, but just one step at a time... kind of a good thing that i didn't actually.. i'll let you know why.

So i did the same thing as last time, i made the crucial mouth movements on my carrot (in the steamer this time) on Photoshop and then imported them into Flash to animate with.

Immediately i noticed when they were imported, the quality of the images were DIABOLICAL. So i'm gonna need to find out how to sort that out, all the layers were grainy, pixelated and fuzzy?!! contradictory it might sound, yes, but that's just how bad it was.

Anyway, I ploughed on, as it was only a test anyway. I followed the dopesheet for this scene and keyframed every appropriate mouth shape to the sound. Which actually, didn't take too long.. Obviously if the dopesheet is correct that is..

So the next tribulation I came across was when i exported out of Flash, completely forgetting that that never goes smoothly on my computer. So had to export it as a series of images and exported it in photoshop instead.

Then i took this file into Final Cut Pro and put the sound on top. I'll be honest, the sound didn't match up properly, some bits were fine but others were quite off. I have no idea why or how my dopesheet got mistakes in it, maybe i'll have to revise them just to make sure. Either way, on final cut pro, everything is easy enough to edit, cutting out frames and shoving it together again. Of course, only if the body of the carrot isn't moving. Which it wasn't because it was a test. But had i just leaped into full frontal animation, cutting out parts and mashing them together in final cut would not have been so easy. Everything would have jumped and been glitchy.

Anyway, here's a little tester for you:
The quality is shocking, but it was more successful than when I used Toon Boom.

A few hours later...
I revised over this last test to try and rectify some of the problems i'd faced.

First, i researched on how to maintain the quality of all my photoshop files when importing them into Flash... I found that i could either do a hunk of giant Actionscripting that i don't have the time for, or i could export each layer as a separate PNG file and then just import them all into Flash- which is what i did! it was an improvement on last time, still not extremely crisp but it was a quality that i guess i can accept.

I also redid my dopesheet for this particular scene. Oh my lord! i don't know how it went so wrong- but it turns out, i was like a whole 4 seconds out O_O" oh well, that's all sorted now..

Another thing i did was change some of the mouth positions as they seemed a bit off and added a few more.

And just to test all these out, i redid the animation just for good measure- and it looks like it lip syncs a lot better :) he has no eyes at this current time, as that's the next thing i need to test.

Another few hours later...

I tested out the eyes- a lot quicker to animate than the mouth. However, i was a bit lazy with the eyebrows- i only made 2 different positions. It still looks a bit stiff- which only means one thing... next test- body wiggling.

I'm not sure if the carrot actually needs this body wiggling of which i previously spoke about. So i thought i'd animate the background and then have another look... this is the first test for the background animation. i'm not sure if i'm completely happy with it.. it's hard to animate steam on flash... and bubbling water for that matter... but i have panned across some steamy ceiling very slowly at the top which i think is quite effective- even though you don't actually get to see much of it in this short clip.

I think it'll do for now- until i can think of a better way to animate the environment... I'm thinking, with some sound effects of the water, it'll be more effective and hopefully more convincing.. i think i'll go on to lip sync the rest of the clip now.

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