Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Exercise 7: Can You Say That
Hash, Inc. Forums > Technical Direction and Development (Learning Animation:Master) > The Art of Animation:Master (TaoA:M) < New Users Start Here! > TaoA:M and the A:M Technical Reference
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
The Art of Animation:Master
Exercise 7: "Can You Say That?"

Part1 (13.9MB)

Part2 (23.7MB)

Name:  Den Dotson

Exercises Completed:  Seven
Date Completed:  Sunday March 20, 2005

Instructor:  Rodney (the keeper of secrets) and that guy on the web tutorials

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: Smooth sailing this time

Here is a link to the seventh completed exercise:

Thanks Rodney,
Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: Smooth sailing this time

Glad to hear it.
More than a few have reported difficulty understanding dopesheet lipsyncing.
Looks like you got through it just fine. smile.gif
Name: Chris Thom
Exercises Completed: 7 of 19
Date Completed: Sunday April 16, 2005
Instructor: AoA:M book
Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: I know I skipped 6, I'm coming back for that one later. This one was fun trying to create a good secondary action that fit the vocals. I hope you like.
Whoa... Very nice Chris! You put a lot of little details and secondary animation in there.

There is nothing quite like seeing Keekat in action.
With a little help from his friends he's got talent! smile.gif

Just realised that I have never done any of the Hash tutorials so I thought I would give exercise 7 a go biggrin.gif

Woo Hoo! David Higgins in the house! smile.gif

Are you telling me you used the dopesheet for this?
I ask because it seems rare to get Animation Master Masters to use the dopesheet in A:M and I'm always looking for feedback on its usage.

Even for those that enjoy keeping control over their lipsync using the dopesheet to block out a first pass can be quite a timesaver. After that, subsequent passes can add detail and the perfect level of personalization. any rate... it's good to have you with us David! smile.gif
Well I'm hardly a master animator!

Yes - I used the dope sheet (I'd only used it once before) but the results were just a little disappointing. The advantage of the dopesheet is that it lets you plan the animation. Its disadvantage is that it can't describe accurate mouth shapes for the timing of the spoken word - and it only captures the mouth movement and basic shape and does not take into account what happens to the rest of the face....

So I discarded the dopesheet and then redid it by hand. It took a couple of hours longer - but a far more 'natural' result even with the constraints of the models limited facial poses. What I should have done was just to add the additional facial animation/poses and remove the extra poses I didn't want leaving the dopesheet in place (I didn't think of this at the time Doh!)

For those wanting to get into facial animation and lip synch then I highly recommend getting a hold of Anzovins 'How to rig a Face' and 'How to animate a face'.

Hallo, Rodney!
I tried to do this exercise 7.
but I am not getting any keyframes
after using the dope-sheet.

Lip-sync have functioned earlier for me
but now it is gone! Why I wonder. Hope you have got the answer.

Sending an image showing the result after using the dope-sheet - no keyframes!!!
Dictionary.dic I have not moved.
Just a follow up.
As you can see using the dopesheet does not set any keyframes.
Trying to set a pose - a smile - somewhere along the timeline - sets the smile only at the beginning - typical Newbie!
What have I missed?
Too many variables...

If you can upload your project file here maybe that would be the easiest way to attack the problem.

Your images don't display the keyframe area (VIEW/TIMELINE) so I have to assume you've looked for the keyframes there with the "Show more than Drivers" icon toggled to on.

Hope this is what you are looking for?
No keyframes made of the dopesheet - as always before...
The project file
I've downloaded your project and at first glance it would appear that v11.1f might have introduced a bug in the dopesheet.

I'm investigating. wink.gif

What version of A:M are you currenlty using?
11.1 is the version...
The thing is that lip-sync has functioned before...
but now it is gone...
I do not think I have altered any settings that can have to do with it...
have to have some sleep on this... back in about eight hours...
Well... explored a little. The bug may be in v12.
I got v11 to work fine.

What you may need to do is right click on the playrange area, then RIGHT CLICK and select SET RANGE TO EXTENTS.

See attached image for a detail.
What you may be running into is the fact that A:M doesn't animate what isn't in the playrange. (I think!)

Your project is fine though.
No it did not function!
What to do?
Do what I do... break out The Art of Animation:Master and read.
The video tutorial works well too but reading the text often will help you understand what you might have missed.

Your Wink presentation of the problem is most excellent but it fails in two areas of investigation.

1) I don't know whether you are in animation mode or not.
2) I can see that you haven't followed the exercise as described in the manual.

My suggestion... Go back and read the tutorial with an eye for what you might be skipping over.

That's a start at least.
Sorry I don't have 'the' answer.

Thanks Rodney!
You were right - I was not in Animation Mode.

I had a look at the tutorial: Can you say that - it is not telling me I have to be in animation mode - it just take it for granted!

Yes it is not easy to make tutorials knowing something - you take so many things for granted.

And if you are in a modeling window - the A-button - the Animation button is not greyed out! Why? Can you animate in a modeling window? No I do not think so... So it is a little bad programming from the beginning.

And reading the book - do it tell you to turn on the A-button? Well somewhere perhaps on page XX... not on every animation topic - I believe...

Just some questions because someones are telling using the dopesheet is no good:

Using the dopesheet you do you get smooth transitions between the phonemes, or do you not get the smoothies?

After doing the dopesheet can you use Muscle Mode to make some small changes?

If being able to use Muscle Mode you have to tweak the CP:s you are going to change?

Or do you only have the possibility to use Keekats ready made Poses?

And thanks again Rodney!

Name: Tom Jansen
Exercise: #7 Can You Say That?
Date Completed: April 23rd, 2005
Well, as you can see, I'm still experimenting with some "nite-time" lighting (and not doing a very good job). I have my key light with a blue tint, and have some yellow light coming from the street lamp you see at the begining (hence the camera movement, so I could establish that lamp). But I'm still not getting the control over my lights that I want. I did just pick up the David Roger's book, so I'll read up on it.

It's amazing how much you end up learning just by trying to go a little farther with some of these exercises. Simple things like making sure KeeKat's arms don't go strait through each other can be deceptively tricky.

Wow, KeeKat sure has a number of facial controls (though, interestingly, no controls for his ears). Sometimes it's not always clear when to use which control, especially when some of them overlap to an extent. Or how to know when one control might be over-riding another (like Hand Clench vs. an individual finger roll).

Also, what's the best way to animate the his Tail? I didn't like the movement I was getting so I removed it for now, until I can figure out a more natural sense of movement.

Here's what I've got so far:

Thanks for all of your valuable insights!
Glad you got the fix!

I hope to comment more when I get the time.
I'm enjoying your experiments taking the exericises to the next level.

If you are game perhaps we could work together a little and use your project to illustrate some lighting and and scenery tips to add into TAoA:M mix.

Exploring ways to light your scene and texture the brick wall in a way that doesn't shimmer would be great resources IMO.

Concerning Keekats tail... I don't have him handy but I found the null at the tip of his tail to be extremely versatile.

Keep it up!
in this picture, under the word secret, how do you get those letters to go away?
Does selecting them and pressing delete do it?
if you look in your project workspace next to the word secret there should be a minus sign click on it and this should hide the extra words.
QUOTE (KenH @ Apr 24 2005, 06:09 PM)

if you look in your project workspace next to the word secret there should be a minus sign click on it and this should hide the extra words.


Does selecting them and pressing delete do it?

WOW. Thats a no brainer! blink.gif thanks

and...if i delete them. wont there be any action?
arent those the lip poses to make the animation?
If you are game perhaps we could work together a little and use your project to illustrate some lighting and and scenery tips to add into TAoA:M mix.

I'd be honored to work with you and help in any way I can, Rodney!
Name: Tenez Waggoner
Excercise Completed: 7 Can You Say That
Date Completed: May 19, 2005
Remarks/suggestions: For the life of me, I could not get this one under a meg. So I had to zip it. Remember to save often folks. I finished the whole thing and I didn't save. Then it froze and I had to start all over. It worked out for the best though cause the first one had a lot of twitchy movements. I think this one turned out good.
Good job Tenez!

You snuck this one in on me... didn't see your post.

The soundtrack here doesn't give you a lot of time for secondary animation but I'd say you did great with it. Lots of secondary movement, blinking and the lipsync seemed spot on. You make it look like that crafty cat actually has a secret!


Any comment on the dopesheet process?

The dopesheet worked great. I don't know if I'd be able to do lipsync without it. Although it didn't come out perfect I still think it works nicely. I still couldn't figure out why his mouth starts opening before he talks.
I must be rubbish.. i couldn't do this exercise sad.gif

I was following the book, got stuck, watched the video then i was totally lost sad.gif

Will try again later unsure.gif
Hang in there. This exercise is easy to get lost in.
Lots of folks are here to see you through the rough spots. smile.gif
Back from vacation and jumping back in! biggrin.gif

Lesson 7!

Instructor: the fine manual

Remarks: Went pretty easy over all. Noticed that the book says the words "I've" and "Didn't" won't be recognized by the dope sheet, but they were. Made it even easier! Moving on. smile.gif

Link to wmv file
(right-click, save as..)
Hey Snich,

Move your eyebrow raise just before "can you keep a secret" - it will read better.

Lookin good.

JP has a great suggestion... you can always get a little more out of a characters performance by sweating the details.

Good job!
Name: Paula Waslen

Exercise Completed: No. 7: Can You Say That?

Date Completed: Jun 9, 2005

Didn't run into any problems with this one.

KeeKat Speaks
Good job Paula, I like your secondary motion. smile.gif
Thanks Snich! I like the close up shot you gave yours. Nice added touches too.
Very nicely done. As was mentioned the secondary motion is a great addition.
It really give Keekat character.

It looks like you put some time into lighting the scene too.
Name: Doug Fall

Exercises Completed: Seven
Date Completed: June 22

Instructor: Rodney and the book

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: Did fairly well with the animation - ended up rendering in shaded format - over an hour otherwise and my laptop overheated about 70% of the way through twice in a row - not sure what I am going to do about that (maybe "Honey, I think we need another computer" or something original like that) I will have to say the dopesheet was a snap though I can imagine there are limitations also

Exercise7, avi
Laptop cooler is one answer, Power settings is the other. The later will slow things down to keep the CPU cooler.

I highly recommend the Griffin iCurve laptop stand. It raises your laptop up to eye level, and you can clutter your desk under it. It really feels like it's floating. There are a few stands with USB fans in them that keep it cool. If I'm listening to something through the speakers and want the fans off, I put my PowerBook on a reusable ice pack. It seems to work OK, but I'm not responsible if it breaks your computer.
PS do NOT use that laptop in the bathroom!
Doug said:
I will have to say the dopesheet was a snap

Interestingly enough, I've found that people are somewhat fearful of the dopesheet. That is until they actually use it. Then most think it easy.

Even once used however many animators shy away from the dopesheet because of what they hear other animators say concerning automation in general and automated dopesheets in particular. Most seasoned animators don't care for the dopesheet because they feel it takes too much control away.

I'd say that they might be using it wrong.

If the Dopesheet is used to rough out the animation and lipsync of a character it works extremely well. After a rough pass the animator is free to bring any level of detail they want to the effort.

Another secret to maximizing Dopesheets it to consider seriously how to edit channels that have been automatically created by the dopesheet. If the animator goes into the timeline/channel and adjusts keyframes to have zero slope and fine tunes the anticipation and inflection that accompanies the characters voice some outstanding lipsync is possible.

In short, no one says that the Dopesheet will do all the work for the animator... but it can be quite a useful tool in the animator's arsenal if used wisely.

Perhaps some day we'll see further enhancements to the Dopesheet.
But lack of usage isn't likely to encourage development.
Even if enhanced some animators will still reject the Dopesheet. Any tool is only effective if it is used properly.

Maybe if called an XSheet people would respond more favorably. biggrin.gif
Heh, good idea Rodney. We should call it the IncrediblySmartSheet instead. biggrin.gif
Name: Zev Eisenberg
Exercise Completed: Exercise 7 "Can You Say That"
Date Competed: 9 July 2005
Remarks/Suggestions: Wow, I had no idea animation could be so easy and so much fun, once you get the hang of it. Although I didn't go through and watch all the submissions before starting on my own, I think I did at some point. I appear to have been subconsciously influenced by ChrisThom- or are those just the natural actions for this clip? Anyway, I thought his was really good. It was cool figuring out the constraints for the clapboard. I went through a few different versions of the tail, from moving a lot to not at all. I'm sure that there's some expression to be done with it, but I'd have to discover it, not having a tail myself. Onward to modeling!

P.S. What oh what is the W axis of rotation? I have a black "W" channel in my timeline, and I can't figure out what it does...

P.P.S. If you look at my Take a Walk and Move It exercises, you'll see I had some issues with Rabbit's eyes being sunken into his head. I opened KeeKat for this one, and lo and behold his eyes were sunken in. I decided to use Eddie. Well, his lipsync didn't work at all. He kept looking like The Mummy sucking peoples' life forces out, with his mouth open really wide. I decided to switch back to KeeKat, and just have sunken eyes. But when I opened him in the action, his eyes were fine. They're still weird in the model window, though. It's driving me crazy.
Sorry for the late reply. I have about 4 Exercise submissions still to look at but I'm rather distracted right now.

Awesome animation! Just when I think I have a favorite someone comes along and posts a new favorite! Perfect storytelling and setup for why Keekat would want to say those words thousands and thousands of times in these exercises. wink.gif

W axis... easier to know than explain. I'll try to find the semi-official definition.
Think quarternalions and you'll be on the right track.

The eyes thing... I used to know the answer... honest!
For some reason the constraint is not active in the modeling window but is fine in a Choreography. If I ever find the post where this was explained I'll post it.

Keep animating Zev! smile.gif

Note to anyone whose posts I haven't commented on here in TAoA:M HQ.
I haven't forgotten you!
Name: Doug Wills
Exercise completed: Can you say that?
Date completed: 7/26 (but posted 8/6)
Instructor: Book and web tutorial

Comments: I have to say that when a computer decides to go belly up, it goes belly up. Took awhile to get the posted because of a catastrophic hard drive failure. Luckily, I have several hard drives in my system and the one that died was the boot drive. Didn't lose any data or A:M project info. Thank goodness, but it took me a little while to rebuild my system and reload my programs.

I spent the time reading Richard Williams "The Animator's Survival Kit" and watching the Jeff Lew dvd, along with the 2002, 2003 and 2004 SIGGRAPH cd's. Wow. A LOT of good info there. I can't say that I will worry about weighted cp's when face rigging, detailed analysis of anime rendering or putting feathers on a bird anytime soon, but the biggest things I got out of these tutorials was the way in which professional animators and modelers worked. To see the speed at which some of these people did their jobs, it started to give me hope that a larger project then these tut's can be done in a reasonable time frame. Just the study of the way these pro's setup their screens and what keyboard shortcuts they used was enough to get me excited about what the future holds. I now believe that with more experience, my animation ideas will become reality. Needless to say, it was a great feeling.

Back to the tutorials. I haven't posted number 6 yet. I will come back to that one later. After a dozen (failed) attempts, I have just decided that Shaggys hands don't want to play well. One time I got them constrained to the door knob correctly, but his elbows went crazy. Another time I got the elbows right, but when the knob was rotated the hands rotated on the same Z axis and simply mirrored the knob. I will worry about redoing that one later.

In can you say that I threw in a back ground and a light. I know I need to do a lot of studying about lighting (found a great web tut that I will do when done with these.) I just needed to try something to start to get a feel for it. I also noticed that many people in their examples did very little secondary animation. As a cat owner I can tell you that tails rarely stay still. Richards book opened my eyes to a lot of things that I probably would never have thought about. Running through an animation several time concentrating on different aspects each time makes so much sense, instead of getting overwhelmed trying to remember it all at one time.

Anyway, thanks for your encouragment Rodney. It really does help. File is too big to upload, so here's the link. Forgive the website. Spelling mistakes I didn't catch and basic text leave a lot to be desired. I'll worry about it later.

Name: Leo Mitchell

Excerise Completed: #7 Can you Say that

Date Completed: 25 June 2005

Instructor: Web tuts and manual

Remarks: I did this one a while ago, but things have been crazy and I haven't been able to touch Master for a while, but now I am back on track and looking to finish up and move onto better things.

Can you Say That
I was responding to your post and it magically transformed into a different post... strange... I was going to wish you luck on getting your new computer but I'm not even sure that was your post anymore.

Back to the tutorials. I haven't posted number 6 yet. I will come back to that one later. After a dozen (failed) attempts, I have just decided that Shaggys hands don't want to play well. One time I got them constrained to the door knob correctly, but his elbows went crazy. Another time I got the elbows right, but when the knob was rotated the hands rotated on the same Z axis and simply mirrored the knob. I will worry about redoing that one later.

Make sure you are using the Shaggy with "fixed hand clench".
It can be downloaded from the Free Models page HERE or more directly HERE

The books you mention "Animator's Survial Kit" in particular are highly recommended reads.

Unless I'm mistaken I think you should be getting close to completing the manual.
I have a file system to track progress but will have to check it out.

I'll review your status on my end but please keep me informed as I don't want to delay your certificate.

This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.