Here are two timelapses we set up for some dialogue scenes from An Gadhar Dubh.
In the second video you can see the jaw substitutions on the bottom of frame, alongside the dialogue X-sheet.
We used a similar method for all characters with dialogue, many of which needed multiple angles; so for Peadar, the main character, we have 25 mouth shapes (9 key mouth shapes with softer variations for nuanced performance) and 25 heads in a full rotation. Thankfully the heads viewed from the back don’t require jaw substitutions (we’re not that mad), but we ended up with about 440 different jaws for just that one character.
There are more posts on the processes and techniques we’ve developed for An Gadhar Dubh here: LINK
Here is a little bit more from Eimhin’s upcoming project An tEarrach Thiar, featuring a fisherman character who appears towards the end of the film.
This fisherman featured in the 1932 documentary Aran of the Saints, courtesy of the IFI Film Archive, was the basis of the below design:
A little bit of research for this scene’s location:
Here’s the layout sketch with annotations. This layout sketch went through a few iterations before getting the right level of ‘shape’ in the strata of limestone rocks on the beach.
Below is an earlier, more generic looking beach:
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.