Smart bones and lip syncing

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Smart bones and lip syncing

Post by wagmun » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:59 pm

I'd like to share my satisfaction and frustration rigging a hed with smart bones.
What I need is a head that turns with a mouth that speaks. Every viseme must me available in any view. The character may be saying "A" while at the same time turns to left.
I started concerned with the head only. Create a bone that allowed it to turn right or left. Tested it. PERFECT!!!!
With just one bone, I could turn the head whatever direction like a dial.
Vey helpful.
Now mouth.
Firstly, I found that having the mouth inside a switch layer, inside the bone layer, didnt't work. Smart bones act only on cirect layers. So, it had no effect on each viseme under the switch layer, and result was that head turned bur mouth stayed in place.
After several trials I gave up and decided to have on sole mouth and create one bone for each viseme.
The idea was: the viseme bone creates the mouth position and the head turn bone turns it.
Sounded perfect until I started rigging it. The result was som many tweaking in-between that I almost gave up.
I finally managed to create the first bon/action/viseme. Mouth position was ok, and mouth/viseme followed head movements.
I then satrted with second viseme.
After two day of cray tweakings I finally found thar when I tweak one viseme, the previous viseme whch was working perfectly is now damaged and needs retweaking.
Imagine doing that for eleven mouth positions.
I got the feeling I'm getting dumb and not understanding the full working principles of smart bones, especially whe parts of the drawing have to respond to different actions at the same time.
Am I complicating it?
(sorry for my english)
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Re: Smart bones and lip syncing

Post by slowtiger » Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:54 pm

No, you are perfectly right.

Since bones, including smart bones, only control what's directly inside the bone layer, but not anything deeper (like the layers inside a switch layer inside a bone layer), smart bones have no influence inside switch layers.

A switch layer can have bones, which will control any layer inside the switch layer - but this would need not only 11 mouth positions, but complete heads inside it. I'm not aware of anybody who tried this, nor do I know if smart bones will work inide a switch layer as they do in a bone layer.
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Re: Smart bones and lip syncing

Post by neeters_guy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:32 pm

wagmun wrote:Every viseme must me available in any view.
Smart bones are a great tool, but this "one-rig-with-all-phonemes-all-views" idea is best done with a 3D program. There are ingenious full turn rigs by heyvern, super8mm, selgin and others, but I've found that simple rigs work best in practice.

I recommend that you define the range of views and actions you need for a given shot and build your rig to match. For one scene, you may only need a 3/4-front-to-full-front head turn, which is easier to manage. In the end, you will probably need several rigs for each character to meet all your needs.
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Re: Smart bones and lip syncing

Post by wagmun » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:30 pm

Thanks for your ideas and considerations.
Since you confirm my expectations, a differente approach must be taken.
Thanks a lot.
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