Adobe Character Animator for Beginners - Lip Sync - Mouth Shapes | Gregory Forster | Skillshare

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Adobe Character Animator for Beginners - Lip Sync - Mouth Shapes

teacher avatar Gregory Forster, Teaching Adobe Character Animator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Creating Mouth Shapes

    • 3. Checking Mouth Tagging

    • 4. Recording Audio in Audacity

    • 5. Auto Lip Sync and Editing

    • 6. Adding Second Mouth Set

    • 7. Adding Alternate Neutral Mouths

    • 8. Anime Style Mouth Set

    • 9. Live Lip Syncing

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About This Class

In this class we will:

-Make 3 different mouth sets.  Use swap sets to trigger these mouths.

-Record an audio file and use auto lip sync in Character Animator.

-Use the live lip sync feature for real time lip sync.

-Learn some other tips and tricks for creating good mouths in Character Animator.

Meet Your Teacher

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Gregory Forster

Teaching Adobe Character Animator


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1. Intro: In this class we're going to learn how to lip sync using these mouth shapes you see here. We're going to learn how to name them in Photoshop so that it gets tagged automatically and character animator and how to tag them ourselves. We're going to use a free program called Audacity to record, clean and fix up our audio file. We're going to use Auto lip-sync and learn how to clean up any mouth shapes if they are out of sync. We're going to take a look at the lip sync settings panel. We're going to add a second mouth set. You can see here our character ate a blue Lollipop, and now his tongue is blue. We are going to add some alternate neutral mounts. And we are going to do an animation style lip-sync or a minimal style lip sync like this. And finally, we're going to learn how to use the lip sinking from live audio. And you can see just when I talk, the mouth goes, it's not the greatest. I'd say it gets about because Mao 70-75 percent, right. 2. Creating Mouth Shapes: I'm going to create all the mouth shapes we need for lip sinking. I'll show you the first two or so and then I'll speed up the video because once you've seen it twice, you kind of get the idea. This photo here is a screenshot of the lip sync panel in character animator. These are the mth shapes that it's looking for. So that's what we're going to make. And we have to name the layer or in my case, the folder, the exact name that it has here. So the neutral mouth needs to be named and neutral that em, mouth neat, M mouth shape needs to be named in, and so on and so forth. I'm gonna put this photo off to the side so it's out of the way. I'm making all these mouths with the pen tool to keep the style consistent. I'm gonna turn the opacity down on the neutral mouth because I want to see where it's positioned so I can position my other mouth shapes accordingly. Ten pixels for the stroke. Black, no fill. Highlight both layers and heck, command G on Mac or Control G on Windows. Rename it. And now I'm going to make the mouth. This characters sort of based on me when I was a kid and I had two big buck teeth. So let's give him two big campers up from I'm zooming in and out by holding Alt and using the wheel on my mouse. For color, I'm gonna make a new layer and put it on the bottom behind all of my lines. And I'm going to hit B for the brush tool. Make sure the brush is something solid. Leg the hard around brush. And color in the teeth and the tongue. You may have to turn the flow up if you're not getting a full solid color. I'm not renaming my layers in this case because I'm lazy. And I don't think it's that important since I'm grouping them all together in the folders. Renaming your layers is always a good habit to have though. But yeah, in this case I'm not gonna do it. Highlight all the layers and command G on Mac or Control G on Windows to group them and check that the layer or the folder is properly named. Next, I'm going to make the mouth shape, the UHF mouth shape. And I'm going to copy the at a folder because they are so similar that I can just copy it and then I'm going to tweak it a little bit. There are a lot of mouth shapes that are similar. I've grouped the mouth shapes together here into columns. The columns are all similar and just slight variations of each other. So you can kinda just make one of these and then tweak, tweak that one that you made for the other ones. Now I'm going to speed up the video because you get the idea. But there is more to this lesson, so don't skip it. But before I do that, I want to give some tips on what makes good mth shapes. So if you look at any cartoon or even humans, when people talk their top jaw there, top teeth stay in the same spot. And the bottom jaw moves up and down for every mouth shape. So remember that top teeth, top jaw stay put. They stay in the same place. And then when the mouth opens, the bottom jaw opens. My mounds have a little tilt to them and I don't like it. So to fix that, I'm going to make all the folders visible. And I'm going to highlight them mouths that are tilted, that I wanna change. I'm going to hit Command T on Mac or Control T on Windows to bring up form mode. And I'm just going to rotate and reposition the ones a little bit. Okay, let's take a look at what we have. Looks good. You'll notice I have every Mth shape except the surprised mouth shape. Leaving that one out because the o, the OH mouth shape or the, our mouth shape is perfect for surprised. So when we go into character animator, I'm going to tag one of those mounts shapes as surprised, and that'll save time. Hong journaling. 3. Checking Mouth Tagging: We have to go into character animator and check to see if all the tagging got done correctly. I'm gonna set up a puppet of bit real quick. This was all done in my last class. And you can watch it here on skill share. That was about iss and the eyebrows and the pupils. Oh, and one thing I forgot to do is give the mouth independence. So I'm going to go back into the Photoshop file and do that with a plus sign. Okay, now I want to see if all the layers got tagged correctly. And then I have to do something about the surprise mouth. Because remember I didn't, I didn't make a surprise mouth. Neutral is neutral, smile is smile. M is n, and so on and so forth. It looks good. Now I'm looking at the O mouth shape and the arch shape. And I think the arch shape will look better for surprised. So I'm going to highlight the layer mark And as surprised down here, now it's doubled tagged and that's fun. It will be used for to tags. And if you don't want a smile or a surprised, you don't need them. You do need a neutral mouth. But smile and surprised or extras, they're not they're not required. And back and RIG mode, you can see if I opened my mouth and it goes too surprised. If I smile, it smiles, and if I make no face at all, it gives me the neutral mouth. If you feel like character animator is mixing up your smiles and you're neutral and you're surprised. Make a blank facial expression, make no faces at all. And click on the Set arrest pose button up here. And that will reset it. Also, if you're doing facial capture and you don't see these red dots on your face. Do the same makeup, blank facial expression, and click on the Set rest pose so character animator can read your face now. 4. Recording Audio in Audacity: Audacity is a free program for both Mac and Windows. It's really easy to use. It's really simple and I use it over other complex audio programs. I'll have a link to the download page somewhere around this class. Once you install and startup on Udacity, you will see this under this drop-down here. This is my audio input devices, and these are the microphone's. I wanna use my microphone called H1. So I'm gonna choose that. If you don't have a good mic, that's fine. Use whatever you have. And I'll show you how you can clean it up as best you can. If you don't have a mic at all, you can just open a random audio file you downloaded from the internet, just speaking, no music or anything like that. Okay, so I choose my mic and then I just hit record and record my line. Hit stop when I'm done. Let's listen to it. Breaking news. Teachers in from the conflict tree. Dan no more, takes no more mushy Leila stage. There's some background noise and some other problems we're gonna fix. First, let's do something called normalize the audio. Right now it's pretty low volume was. When we normalize it, it will make the sound to our selected decibel level. Basically it will make everything louder. First, select the whole clip. You can double-click on it. And it will select everything. Or you can hit Command a on Mac or Control a on Windows. And that's selects everything to. Then up in the top toolbar. Apologize you can't see it on my video. But go to Effect and select normalize. And we want to set the normalized peak amplitude, two, negative three decibels. You can do anything. I would say negative one is the highest. You should go. Negative one, negative two, negative three. Anything in that that range is good. Click OK. And you can see it's now louder. Breaking meals digits from the cafeteria. Dan no more, no more emotionally less. But it also made the background Static louder was take a listen. You hear that static, we want all that gone. To do that we use an effect called noise reduction. Now highlight a part of the clip that is only static. No speaking, just static, just background. Now go up to effect again and choose noise reduction. So step one, we're going to click this get noise profile. We only highlighted the static. So you are telling audacity what type of noise you want removed. So click get noise profile. Nothing happened yet. Now, highlight the whole clip again. Go back into effect, noise reduction and click OK. And now the static is gone. Sort of breaking news. Teachers in from the cafe two-year Dan, No more more serious, takes, no more emotionally. It takes. I'm going to clip the beginning and the end of the clip. We'll highlight, click delete. There's still some static. It's enough to be noticeable. Breaking news, teachers in from the cafeteria. Dan, No more more serious, takes, no more emotionally low-stakes. So I'm going to go through the process of noise reduction. Again. Highlight the static, get noise profile, highlight everything. Ok. And that sounds good. Static is gone. Breaking news. From the cafeteria. Dan, no more machine takes. No more machine takes. I found that you can do noise reduction twice, and it seems to be okay. If you do it again, it starts to cut the voice out. You can kind of hear it even on the second noise reduction, the voice changes a bit. So once or twice for noise reduction, but no more than that. Another thing you could do says, since this is a little kid speaking, you could pitch the voice up a bit, make it, make it a little higher. To do that, I highlight everything. Go to Effect and change pitch. Here you choose how many half-steps you want to pitch it. If you want to go up, you is a positive number. If you want to pitch down, use a negative number. I just want to change it a little bit. Not drastically. So one half-step is okay for me. No more machine takes no more stakes. And there we go. Sounds good. Now to export, go to File, Export and export as Mp3. You can also export as a wave if you want. I sort of remember having to download something extra to be able to export as mp3 because I'm on a Mac. I honestly don't remember because it was so long ago. But if you do get an error when trying to export as an, as an MP3 and you're on a Mac, you will have to do an extra step. I will try to provide a link to that process if you need it. But click OK. For the next dialog box when saving. That was just an MP3. Or if you want to save the whole audacity project, then you go to File Save Project As and it will save the entire audacity project. I don't need to do that. So I already exported as mp3, so I'm just going to close it. 5. Auto Lip Sync and Editing: We want to bring that audio file that we just created into character animator. I'm going to double-click on a blank part in the project panel up here to import the file. Okay, you can see it's available up here. It's called mars sticks. Now I'm going to click and drag the file down into the timeline under the puppet. Like so. Fun. That takes. Now Mom Muschelli. Click on the puppet in the timeline at the bottom, and in the right panel, we have all the behaviors. If the red record light next to the behaviour is on, that means you can control and record that behavior. You can click on a red light to turn it on and off. If you hold command and click on a Mac, or hold control and click on a windows. You turn off all of them at once. And that's what I, I command collect and turn them all off and I'll show you why in a second. To auto lip-sync the character to the audio clip, we need to make sure the puppet is highlighted. And go up to Timeline and compute take from scene audio. But you'll see we get this error. We are getting this because our lip-sync behavior is not armed for recording. So let's arm are lip-sync and try again. Go up to the timeline. And you see now it says compute, sink from seeing audio. That's what we want. Now it says the correct thing. And I wanted to show you that air because I get it a lot, not realizing I have an arm, the lip-sync recording behavior. And that's it. It loads and creates the mouth shapes itself. Infinite convicted. And no more mushy. Mushy. In funding. And no more washing machine. It looks all right. It's about 90% of the way there. It didn't look so good in the middle at some parts. So let's learn how to go in and fix those up manually. To zoom into the timeline. Have your mouse in the timeline area, hold all, and use the mouse wheel. Zoom in so you can see the individual mouth shapes. It starts with an F shape. When he says bringing here. So that's not a right. To change a mouth shape. You can right-click on it in the same track. And it brings up this selection with all the mouth shapes in it. I'm going to choose the n, b, p mouth. You can drag the edge of the visit him to make it longer or shorter. If you hold all, you get this little cuts symbol. You can click to split the vaccine. And that looks much better. I'm gonna use the dragging of the edges, the right-click and the all click here to clean up the rest of this. A lot of it is trial and error. You could also left-click on a visit to highlight it. And you can change in form that can change it with a keyboard press, just press the first letter of the visiting you wanna change it to if you want to. If you want the L vising, you hit the L key on the keyboard. A mouth shape is aim, then you hit a on the keyboard and so on and so forth. Infinite convective says in funding, and no more machine takes, it takes, no more machine, takes L mom. And no more machine. No more. No more Muschelli unless you can also zoom in and out with this slider down here. Breaking news, aged in from the Catholic tree. And Dan, no more machine takes no mom Muschelli, less date. Alright, I'm happy with that. It looks clean. And before we go on to the next video, I want to show you the lip sync settings. I'm going to delete everything. I just to show you this feature, you go up to character in the top toolbar and go to Preferences. Click on lip-sync. The visiting team detection slider lets you choose how accurate you want the lip sync to be. Maybe how accurate is a bad way to put it. It lets you choose how many visits uses. So first, let's move it all the way down and you can see how it looks. Do auto lip sync again. You can see it only used like about 20 total visitor seems. Linking means it did inform the Catholic Church. And no more machine takes L Moll machinery and I'm gonna delete this, turn the vizier is all the way up and do it again. Lots of visit comes as time. So this is all up to your character, your voice, your mouths, and your preference. I personally leave the slider at about 75% of the way up and that seems to work fine for me. The cafeteria and no more machine takes, no more Muschelli takes. I will talk about this other setting here, the camera based muting. In the live lip-sync video. I'm going to undo all that I just did and go back to the lip-sync. So I had, I had before, and I'm using Command Z to undo on a Mac meals controls eta on the windows. And no more, no more Muschelli. 6. Adding Second Mouth Set: I'm going to add a whole other set of males that we can switch between. I want to be able to choose between our original mountains or this new mouth set. I'm going to make. This guy likes to eat blue lollipops. So I want to have a mouth or his tongue is blue instead of red. So I'm just going to copy the original mounts and change the color of the tongue. To do that, I will highlight all the layers of the original Mouth. Command G on MSc, Control G on Windows to group them together. Our color red tongue. Copy that folder by dragging it down to this little plus sign here and rename it blue tongue. Now I'm just gonna go through all the mouths and change the red tongue to blue. If you hit G in Photoshop, that brings up your paint bucket fill tool. And you can just click on it to change colors. But make sure you're on the correct layer. Okay, I'll done. Let's go save this command S or Control S and go back into character animator. You'll see our mouths are messed up. Now. I messed with the file structure, so it's not picking up, but now it's any more. Let's go into rig mode and Senate, right? First, let's create a swap sit trigger by clicking on the mouth folder and dragging it to the left trigger panel and dragging it onto the create set. A swap set is when only one thing can be active at once. Maybe it's a layer, maybe it's a folder for us. It's a folder. And putting a swap set on the mouth folder makes sure that only blue tongue is visible or red tongue is visible. If one goes on, the other goes off. And that's what we want because we don't want to mouths go in at the same time. Only one. Red tongue is default. That's good. That's what I want. I'm going to check latch for both red and blue tongue. That means I don't have to hold the trigger in. I can just press it once to activate it. I'm going to make the triggers Q and W. But the swaps, it only fixes half, half the problem. Our mouth folder is tagged mouth, but our mouths are actually now a layer deeper than they were before. So I'm going to untagged the mouth as a mouth. And I'm gonna highlight the blue tongue and red tongue and tag them both as a mouth. And I'm just going to check that they are auto tagged correctly. And it looks like they are. That should be good. Let's go back and check it out. I changed my mouth sets with the trigger so I need to arm the Triggers panel and the behaviors kind of peaks. Now. Gonna record the mouth set change, thanking meals. And no more mushy peak see about halfway through the mouth said changes to the blue tongue. Now this is a very minor change to the mouth sets. It doesn't really add much to this puppet. But I wanted to do to learn it. Because if you make, say, a completely different sad mouth set or an angry Malthus set. And you change it when the character gets angry or sad. That will add a lot of dimension to your thanking meals. And no more machine takes no mom Muschelli. 7. Adding Alternate Neutral Mouths: I want to add some alternate neutral Maltz. He's always smirking. I want some other options and some other emotions to do there. I'm gonna go into Photoshop and in my red tongue mouth set, I'm just going to make a few mounts. Start with a sad one. And maybe this SEC mouth. I'm going to rename my layers. And I'm going to rename the neutral layer. I'm going to group all these mounds together with command G on Mac, control G on Windows. And I'm going to name the new folder neutral. It's good practice to keep the neutral mouths grouped in the neutral folder. One, because it's clean and it's organized. But more importantly, number two, it stops a triggered mouth from overriding the lip-sync. There will be more on that in the live lip-sync video, I will show it to you. It's kind of hard to explain, but just understand that this is the best way to do it. One of the better ways to do it. But don't forget we have to mount sets now. So I'm gonna copy that neutral folder to the blue tongue set. I'm going to save that and go back into character animator. Okay, now we need to create a swap set for the neutral mounts. Drag the folder here. And remember what a swap set does. It only lets one of the layers be visible at once. So only one of our neutral mounts can be visible. Now, latch for all of them and make half smile default. And do the same with the blue tongue. And I'm going to give them the same triggers of a, S and D. So I don't have to remember six different triggers. Men just gotta remember three different ones. And it works. And I remember, I will show you in the live lip sinking video why doing the neutral mouths this way is better than the alternative. 8. Anime Style Mouth Set: If you watch Japanese animation, you'll see that the lip sync is different. It's not trying to be completely accurate. There's only a couple of mouth shapes. And is that this type of mouth is perfect for multiple languages and languages other than English. You can watch a Japanese cartoon with the English audio on and it doesn't lose anything. It's still, it looks good. You can watch it with any language audio on and it still works. It doesn't, it doesn't lose anything. So we're gonna make that style of mouth. You can call it Anna Mae. You could call it simple, minimal, and not specific to any one language. Since we already have a swap set for our mounts, I'm gonna come here and I'm going to start a new mouth set. I'm just gonna make two more melts. One that is open a little bit and one that is open wide. Using the same techniques to make these mounds as I did the originals. I'm going to copy the neutral folder from the original mouths and drag it in here and rename it. Okay, there we go. In anime mouth folder with a neutral folder and two other mounts. Let's save and go into character animator. Go into rig mode. And I need to add this anime mouth to the mth swap set. So I'm going to drag it over and drop it on the mouth part here. Move it to the top and give it a trigger and select latch. My neutral folder got tagged automatically by character animator. But mouth too and mouth three aren't going to be tagged as anything. So what I'm going to do is use mouth too and tag all the mouth shapes that are opened about halfway. And then use Mao three and tag all the mouth shapes that are open wide. And I'm going to tag neutral with mouth shapes that have the lips closed. Just making sure I didn't miss any here. Go back to record mode. We have some mouth triggers recorded already. Sort of record over these. So we can see the anime mouth. Oops, I forgot to make a swap set for the neutral mouth's. So I'm gonna do the exact same thing as we did for the other two mouth sets. Okay, back to record mode, to record the enemy mouth. Here a chord. They're just a farm that have victory and takes no more Malala's page. I kinda mess that up. I want the mouth to be active for the whole clip. So I'm just going to adjust it in the timeline to make that happen. Breaking meals, teachers in from the conflict tree. Dan, no more machine, takes no more muscle. Relax a bit. That looks pretty good. Similar to animate, I guess, a little bit. I want to watch that one more time from the cafeteria. And no ball machine takes no more machinery, less stakes. I like that. But let's try messing with the lip sync settings. I'm going to turn the visit comes all the way up and see what happens. Do auto lip-sync. Breaking news, detailed in from the conflict two-year Dan no more machine takes, no more. Malala's takes. About the same, I guess maybe a little better. But I'm going to undo that and go back to what I had. I just wanted to see how it looked. Breaking news featured in from the cafeteria and no more stakes, no more Malala's steaks. 9. Live Lip Syncing: Is the live lip-sync. So what you gotta do, you can see right here we have this as the web became. And this is the microphone. So you've gotta have your microphones set up. If that's off, where you can see it doesn't work. Now if you have your microphone on and you don't see I have this is mine. So if you're talking into your microphone and you don't see this bar going, it's not picking it up. Where you need to do is you need to go up here to character. Go to Preferences and audio hardware and default input. You gotta choose the correct microphone in there in the input. And it should work. And you can see just when I talk, the mouth goes, it's not the greatest. Mad say it gets about because Mao 70, 75%, right? Yeah, but it's another option. I would, I would recommend doing it the way we did before. I would only use this if you're doing it in a live setting, almost like a zoom call or whatever. Something live where you have to use this. Yeah, you just talk and it works. Let's do let's see our as is the blue tongue and there we go. There's our blue tongue. And here is, Here's a little guy. And two more things. So remember, for Go to the character preferences, lip-sync settings. So this camera based muting right here. Now this is on none. So what that means is my mouth can be closed and it's going to lip-sync. So watch. I'm not gonna say anything, but it's going to pick up noises for lip-sync. Bread. You can see, hmm. It will pick up noises that aren't coming from you, that aren't coming from your mouth. So if you only want, if you want the lip-sync to strictly only work when your talking camera based muting, put it up too strong. So that means if you see noises, your mouth has to be open for the lip-sync to work. And you can see it. It almost doesn't work now. So it's not going to pick up any background noises. Yeah. I hope that made sense. I would leave it leave it somewhere. Somewhere around there. Okay. And so remember, I've been talking about we put neutral. We put our mouths into the neutral. Sorry, no more anime mouth. Ok. We put our neutral mouths. We put our males into the neutral folder. And the reason we did that. Okay. So I have an example here. Where did I put it? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So in the in the mouth set, I added this. There's you mouth. So now it's in the swap set. And I'm going to show you why it's not good to do it that way. Okay. So yeah, you can see now the mouth as Armed where you can see I'm talking and it's not doing the lip-sync. That's because this mouth is overriding the lip-sync. What we want is for that mouth to only show when I'm not talking. Which is what happens when it's in the neutral folder. So you can see the mouth stays that way until i and trigger it. And then it will go back to talking. But that's not what we want. We want it to go whenever I talk and not one that trigger says to talk. So there we go. So this is the, this is the kou mouth in the neutral folder. And you can see you when I talk, it goes, and when I stopped dogging, it goes back to that neutral mouth. So that's the reason to put mouths in the neutral folder as opposed to making them a swap said making them a mouth on their own. And that's it for this class. We have, we did a lot, we did lip syncs. We have to two different styles. We have three full different sets of mouths. And yeah, we did a lot of triggers. Yeah. Okay. We learned a lot. Remember if you have a problem, if you have any problem, put it in the discussion, puts your question in the discussion and include the puppet file. Remember the puppet file to make that. What that is, is it wraps the character animator file n, the Photoshop files together into one. Because if you send just the character animator file or just the Photoshop file, you can't really tell what's going on. You need both. So to do that, you go up to File Export Puppet. And then now we'll give you a puppet file. Ask your question in the discussion. Put your puppet file, I'll take a look, I'll fix it for you and we can see what went wrong.