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Thread: Facial Motion Capture in After Effects (Voldemort)

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    Default Facial Motion Capture in After Effects (Voldemort)

    Hello fellow digital directors

    A few years ago I did a test video of facial motion capture using just After Effects. It was a success... kind of. There were a few teething problems, which were fairly easy to solve.
    Well, lately I've been redoing my technique and have come up with the following. The uses are truly limitless! Aliens for short films anyone? Talking paintings?




    Very pleased with the result. After Effects rocks!

    Anyone got any ideas for more things that would be funny or cool with facial motion capture?

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    Is this a standard effect in 'After Effects', or is additional software required?

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    That's the best bit only AE itself is required!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewPerks View Post
    Talking paintings?
    Not wishing to steal your thunder, Matthew, but Crazy Talk software was designed to do specifically this (and now a lot more, apparently) and has also been around for a few years. Mike Shaw, a well respected film maker in the amateur community produced this back in 2008 ...
    (But from a technical perspective, your work with AE looks far superior)

    Last edited by TimStannard; 05-05-2012 at 10:20 AM.
    Tim

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    Yeah, I've seen that stuff before You can't control the expressions as much as you can with AE, but it's a decent alternative.

    My goal was more motion capture (capturing an actor's performance), rather than automated animation. Mouth movements, for example, aren't as accurate, which means that it might not be as desirable if you're going for anything other than a fun youtube video, or solely animating paintings (it's an excellent video, by the way!). The Voldemort video wouldn't have worked if it was animated with Crazy Talk (which I actually got the idea from, after messing about with it a few years ago). Not claiming to have invented anything here (thus no thunder was stolen ), I'm just imagining how many creative avenues it opens for narratives.

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    Interesting - and explains why your results are (as I noted) far superior. So how did you capture it then? Did your actor have little "x"s on key points of their faces to allow for the motion tracking? Some shots of the work in production would be fascinating.
    Tim

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    That's precisely what I did, only it was dots rather than X's. If you want to see the source footage, I can upload it, but it was essentially the same setup that you can see in the top right of this video:



    The dots were placed at key points on my face, and the hat was for anchoring the head (if the dots were on my forehead instead they'd have been influenced by my eyebrow movement).

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    Asked and answered. Thanks Matthew.
    For your next challenge - think about how you might apply this if the "target" character wears glasses. I guess you'd need the model also to wear classes of a similar size and put anchor points on those?
    Tim

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    That's a really good question... I think what I'd do is treat the glasses as another layer entirely, and separate it into two pieces; the lenses and lens frames (basically the front of the glasses), and the arms that go to the ears.

    I'd anchor the lens part of the glasses to three dots; two near each temple , and one on the ridge of the nose (these places don't move much).

    For the arms I'd probably try putting them on the image that gets wharped or "animated", but I'm not sure if that would make it look like they were bending.

    I wouldn't have the actor actually wear glasses as it could interfere with the actual tracking of the face.

    I'll give it a go, and post back the result

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    Okay, here's the result, haha...



    Not the best face to do it with really, as it lacks texture, so you don't notice movements as much as, say, Voldemort or the rock face.

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