Below are some examples of our method in planning and executing the lipsync for An Gadhar Dubh.
Working in Flash, we build up a rough pass of the mouth shapes required, then start building up the forms of the face, keeping in mind the structures, both hidden and visible, which are creating the mouth shapes, and using a combination of tweens and keys extend it out to a sophisticated enough collection of mouths for the acting of the piece. Once the key mouth shapes are done for one angle, they are then duplicated, altered and generally edited to create a full compliment of jaws for the rotation of the head.
We use a similar method for the other characters in the project too, along with some slightly more straightforward top-lip/bottom-jaw animation for some of the other characters:
After the animation plan is done, these vectors are imported into our die-cutter and broken into the required layers (e.g. back jaw, tongue, teeth, top jaw) and are then cut out on Fabriano stock.
We’ll be sharing some more of the practical builds of these mouths once we get around to photographing them!
Be sure to check out the previous posts on the film here: An Gadhar Dubh
Here is a little description of the process we’re using for designing and building characters for the film.
The characters are designed in the regular fashion, using pencil and paper. Then they’re brought into Flash, where the breakdown positions, segmentation, and turnarounds for the different cut out parts are made up. This allows us to cut at different scales and replace out worn parts that will match up accurately with the originals.
These are then spread out as a layout document in Illustrator and outputted to our die cutter.