(This blog post contains the work between the 13th of March too the 19th of March)
I have spent this week adding facial animation, eye movement and eyelid animation to the character. I have also spent some time experimenting with how I will be lighting my scene for the final render.
For the lip-sync I split their dialogue into each individual word, and then broke each word into visemes. From there I simplified the visemes down into the shapes that their mouth will actually make when they are speaking, as people don’t form each individual syllable when speaking.
I had an issue with the rig, that the lips would only purse when the jaw was closed, so when forming sounds such as ‘B’ or ‘M’, where the lips have to join, the jaw would have to be closed, and couldn’t stretch out. So when animating, I had to have the jaw closed for a few more frames than I would have had when the jaw could stretch out with the lips still pursed.
I then added some base eye and eyelid movement to the character. With the additional eye movement, it should give the viewer a better idea on where the other characters are, and that there are two other characters in the scene. The base eyelid movement should also help add life and emotion to the character.
(I will be adding in blinking in the following week.)
I also started experimenting with lighting this week, I added a number of omni lights to create base lighting for the entire scene. I also added some lights to the lamp and computer, and added some ‘volume light’ effect to them to give a greater visual impact in the scene. Unfortunately the lamp creates quite bold shadows that draw the eye and create too much contrast between the light and shadow.
So I will likely either have to lower the power of the lamp, making the light less visible to the viewer, or increase the intensity of the omni lights lighting the scene. Increasing the intensity of the omni lights may be the way to go as the shadows they cast on the shelf in the background are too bold. The increased intensity may decrease the boldness of the shadows, drawing less attention to the background from the foreground.
In the next week I intend to add base eyebrow, blinking and hand animation to the character. I can then start cleaning up and smoothing out my animation, along with updating the facial animation to incorporate more emotion.
Once I am happy with the clean-up I can finalise my lighting and environment.