For this project, I decided to do a lipsync from Disney’s Emperor’s New Groove. I chose the scene where Yzma is checking that Kronk has the poison to kill Emperor Kuzco. The short section I modeled my sculpture on is when Kronk does a little “monologue” about which poison he has. The script follows as:
“Oh right, the poison. The poison for Kuzco. The poison chosen specially to kill Kuzco. Kuzco’s poison. That poison? … Gotcha covered.”
For the sculpt layers, I made fourteen different layers:
- His confused starting look
- His gasp when he realizes what Yzma is asking
- I (sounds like eye)
- T | S | N | E (sounds like ee) *
- Th | L *
- Uh | ih *
- F *
- Ch | Sh *
- Ah (sounds like apple)
The layers with an asterisk (*) are layers where one mouth position works for several different sounds, as shown with the different letters or sounds in the “title” of the layer. With the F layer, it also works for the V in “covered”. It is not named “F | V” because I was originally unsure if I was going to use that part of the clip.
After sculpting all the layers, I realized I had sculpted all the eyebrows to very beginning expressions that don’t stay throughout the piece. In order to complete my project on time, I had to make the choice to keep them the way they were.
I exported my Mudbox file to Maya. Here, I started using the shape editor to start keying my frames. At first, this was very difficult. I was looking at the reference video to try to key the mouth movements. I also had to key in where the layer would start, be at its max, and where it would end. This way, the layers would blend nicely with each other and look natural. When I first started keying, I forgot to key the first 0 position, so when I played the animation, three layers were laying on top of each other at different strengths making my project look very wrong. I soon found the reason and fixed it.
After meeting with Professor Chen, I was able to import my audio into Maya which made everything so much easier! I didn’t have to keep estimating from the reference video (which I had put into After Effects to see the frames).
In order for me to wrap my head around where things needed to be keyed, I wrote out all 341 frames in my sketchbook and put the layers start, max, and end positions above the corresponding frame.
After finishing all the keying, I noticed that when I tried to do some head movements and rigging (and just reopening my project from day to day) my program was running incredibly slowly. It was found that my file size was way too large. After talking to Professor Chen, I deleted some unnecessary layers that were in my file, optimize the file, and cut its size down by almost half. It made working much easier.
Professor helped me do some exports in After Effects because my rendering (done in two segments) was causing some sort of exporting glitch. I was able to edit the one we exported in class to make it into my final. I added a title slide for about four seconds, then my animation plays. My model also has a background picture of the room where this conversation is taking place.