Rotoscoping, character animation and compositing for satirical comedy videos.
I was recently tasked with some rotoscoping and compositing work for a couple of satirical videos (to be released soon). Here’s a snippet of one of them. I rotoscoped Ariana Grande out of her Focus music video, replacing her with an animated Donald Trump character:
Some of you may have started playing around with Adobe’s new creation, Character Animator. If not, I’d suggest you check it out – it makes character animation a breeze.
However, if you’ve tried creating your own characters, you have may run into problems getting them to animate how you’d want. Here are some handy tips on getting it right:
Dragging limbs skews the whole character
If you’ve got this problem, you’ve probably got the wrong ‘mesh shape’ for your character. You will almost always want a ‘contour’ mesh shape, but Character Animator (by default) tries to detect whether it should use a rectangular mesh for your character’s ‘rubber sheet’, or a mesh which hugs the contours of you character.
See the images below for how to fix this: Limbs do not move like they have a bone structure
If you’ve added ‘mousetrack/draggable left/right hand’ anchors, but the characters arms are more like that of an octopus than a human, then you need to add some elbow and shoulder anchors:
The feet move slightly when you tilt your head
Although the rest of the character may be set up correctly, you’ll probably want to ensure that your character’s feet stay firmly on the ground – at least while you are simply moving the head/arms. You can fix this easily from with Character Animator, by adding a couple of ‘fixed’ pins into each foot (and ideally ankle too):
Hopefully, that’ll help you solve some of the most common problems encountered in Character Animator. If there’s something specific you think I should tackle, let me know…
Playing around some more with my webcam, I cooked up this 3D Earth with Papervision and made it controllable through a webcam (if you have one). The motion detection is rather flaky, since it tracks the centre-point of a whole area of motion – if you move a lot it will just get confused 🙂
I started playing around a little more with my webcam and extended my previous webcam motion detection example – this time to control the camera of a virtual 3-D space from motion detected in the user’s webcam. It detects motion area and general direction, albeit with dubious accuracy, but you get the idea.
Due to popular demand, I’ve posted the source code for you lot to play with. It contains the FlashDevelop project file (it’s compiled with the flex 3 sdk) and my cut-down 3-D engine, Pant3D 🙂