An attempt at head turning

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An attempt at head turning

Postby stephen » Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:56 pm

Here is my feeble first attempt at making a head turn.
I took my avatar drawing and, as has been described elsewhere, I put the face features into separate layers offset from the face in the Z dimension. I added shading and shadows and a highlight on the forehead. The results is a little wierd. Sort of like a baloon with a face drawn on it.

The quicktime file:
http://home.rochester.rr.com/morgana/newme.mov

The project file, if you are interested:
http://home.rochester.rr.com/morgana/newme.moho


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Postby Toontoonz » Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:53 pm

Interesting effect.
Have you tried doing the 3D animation effect as described in the Moho Users Manual in tutorial 6.8 (the "Import a Basic 3D Model" section) to compare the difference in final animation and amount of work one has to do to get the animation to work?
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Postby stephen » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:13 pm

Toontoonz wrote:Interesting effect.
Have you tried doing the 3D animation effect as described in the Moho Users Manual in tutorial 6.8 (the "Import a Basic 3D Model" section) to compare the difference in final animation and amount of work one has to do to get the animation to work?


No. I don't have any software that lets me make a 3D model.

Actually, I was surprised at how 3D my test looks. The shading adds to the effect a lot.

I think I got carried away trying to make it look 3D, what I would really would like is for it to look more like a 2D cartoon. The problem is, before I added the shading and highlight, it looked to much like the face was flat and being rotated.

Look at 7Feet's posting "Just a Start" in the Share Your Work section. That was wonderfully done. It looks like a cartoon head turning.

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Postby jorgy » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:20 pm

That does seem to work quite well. May I ask why you used two different "heads"? On the extreme look left and then right, you can see the second one behind.

Iit looks like what you have set up will be easy to use in animation.
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Postby stephen » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:33 pm

jorgy wrote:That does seem to work quite well. May I ask why you used two different "heads"? On the extreme look left and then right, you can see the second one behind.

Iit looks like what you have set up will be easy to use in animation.


I did it all first without the second head, which is just a copy of the base face, without an outline, and hair, pushed back in Z. Without them, from the face forward it looked pretty 3D but it looked like the back of the head was flat when the head turned left/right.

I realized that when turning to the left, for instance, some skin should show up behind the face outline to show that there was a back to the head/neck. Also more hair should show up. The same when the head is pointing down, more hair should show up at the back/top of the head (oh well, thats where my hair is, what can I say :)) . So even though none of the examples on the forum said to do that, I gave it a try.

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Postby Toontoonz » Thu Mar 31, 2005 6:50 pm

I think the Wings 3D program is free.
http://www.wings3d.com/
And if one looks around on the web there are lots of free 3D models to experiment with - however, I don´t know if they are all in the correct file format to work in Moho.

Yes, I saw 7Feet´s test animation. It has interesting effect to it in the face.

After I did my own test "3D 2D" character animation - getting a similar effect as yours, my first reaction was "Why would I want to be making a 3D animation with a 2D animation program (Moho) - why not just do it in a 3D program and render it as either 3D or flat 2D cartoon style?"
Examples: Done in 3D program rendered as 2D animation:
http://amfilms.hash.com/search/entry.php?entry=728
http://amfilms.hash.com/search/entry.php?entry=548
http://amfilms.hash.com/search/entry.php?entry=1055

I will have to experiment with this Moho 3D character technique some more and see some more examples and why it would be better to do it in Moho as opposed to a 3D program.
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Postby stephen » Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:10 pm

I re-rendered it without highlight, shadows and shading. I like this better.

http://home.rochester.rr.com/morgana/newme2.mov


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Postby jorgy » Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:15 pm

Toontoonz wrote:I will have to experiment with this Moho 3D character technique some more and see some more examples and why it would be better to do it in Moho as opposed to a 3D program.



I'm spending my time learning animation with moho rather than any other package, 2d or 3d. For me, there are two reasons to use moho with 3d models, rather than a 3d modeling and animation package.

First, is ease of use. Features like bones and particles make it much easier to do animation.

Secondly, I like the look of the output, called "2 1/2 D" by some. This is exemplified for me in the "BSKYB Health & Safety" video you can view in the Moho gallery. Being able to move the camera around in 3d space and import 3d models is pleasing to my eye, and drives my creativity.

Okay, so there is a third reason: this forum. The users, and the support from Lost Marble are second to none.

Just MHO.
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Postby stephen » Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:16 pm

Toontoonz wrote:I think the Wings 3D program is free.
http://www.wings3d.com/

<snip>

After I did my own test "3D 2D" character animation - getting a similar effect as yours, my first reaction was "Why would I want to be making a 3D animation with a 2D animation program (Moho) - why not just do it in a 3D program and render it as either 3D or flat 2D cartoon style?"

<snip>


Well, though I got off on a tangent trying to make it look 3D, what I was trying to do was learn the technique of making a head that you can turn with just one drawing. I actually would rather it looked 2D, but it doesn't quite, even without the shading.

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Postby Toontoonz » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:00 pm

jorgy wrote:First, is ease of use. Features like bones and particles make it much easier to do animation.

Secondly, I like the look of the output, called "2 1/2 D" by some. This is exemplified for me in the "BSKYB Health & Safety" video you can view in the Moho gallery. Being able to move the camera around in 3d space and import 3d models is pleasing to my eye, and drives my creativity.

I see myself using Moho to make 2D characters in 3D-type environments or settings with depth in them. I have yet to import a 3D model into Moho to try it out or have seen many examples of it in action. Please post some if you have any.
The selling point to me on Moho was the bones feature and working with vector drawings. And particles sure save time and give one lots of options.
Moho sure has lots of possibilities to explore! :D :!:
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Postby stephen » Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:17 am

Toontoonz wrote:I see myself using Moho to make 2D characters in 3D-type environments or settings with depth in them. I have yet to import a 3D model into Moho to try it out or have seen many examples of it in action. Please post some if you have any.


Maybe you've already seen this, but look at this post:
http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=59

7feet posted this a while back. He made a 3d model for a head and mapped 2d features to it.

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Postby 7feet » Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:35 am

Hey Stephen! One of the reasons I had such as easy time of it was the part about having a, not entirely, but pretty well Charlie Brown kinda head. Which made it a little easier to do.

It would make it simpler if you had the Moho file up for you animations, but I have a few suggestions.

First is to, as long as the head itself is in it's own layer, to eliminate the line shapes from anything that might be considered the "outline" of the piece. And then use the layer outline trick, where you set the layer shadow on, no offset, no blur, but a bit of expansion. Do this on the master group layer that contains only the head. This will make an ouitline around the head no matter how many shapes are floating around trying to make the head shape look proper. So, you could have that back head shape be more prominent, and since the only outline you will have on the whole "head" group will be due to the shadow, you can feel a lot more free to move things around. Like a Back of the head shape. If the basic head shape and the back head shape have no outline besides the shadow, you can use them to modify each others shape. You still only end up with one outline. When the two shapes are at a little Z distance from each other, you can create a more convincing idea of a humanlike turning head. I originally was going to suggest to you, Stephen, that you use some point animation to adjust the profile, as the the (your) head turned right and left to give a suggestion of a jaw. Even though it's a thing just hatched in me head, I think the idea of using muiltple non-outlined shapes to define a space(with the layer shadow bit) may get closer to making the technique more ...well, less horrribly difficult.

First, I would say, move the eyes in your head a [i]little[/i bit forward (in Z) you want them to look as if they are rotating aroound the axis if your characters head. Seemed a little tight. If you are going to make layers move in 3D in Moho, it's impotant to keep in mind where in 3D space those lil' bit in 3D might be. Take your head. Use the Orbit Workspace Tool. Are the face elements actually moving around the center of this hypothetical head? That is what can take a long while to set up.

The other bit is that the "face the camera" part only works on the right-left movement. Up and down has to bee pretty subtle,.
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Postby stephen » Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:25 pm

Thanks Brian, I'll try what you said.
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Postby stephen » Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:18 pm

7feet wrote:The other bit is that the "face the camera" part only works on the right-left movement. Up and down has to bee pretty subtle,.


Hi,
I don't understand that. Am I supposed to use "face the camera" on the parts of the face?

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Postby 7feet » Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:12 pm

Not necessarily. In my case, I made the basic face shape "face the camera". that way, at least when the head turns right and left, the head shape doesn't rotate, just the features. This keeps the whole head from getting narrower when you move the features. Now, one of the reasons I could do that is because the head's a almost a circle.

For your piece, you could do this if you kept the movement of the features pretty subtle. But that's probably hardly worth the work. What you might try is to make the head shape an interpolated switch layer. Make, say, 2 copies of the head shape inside the switch layer. Leave one alone, and the other two move the points around to make it look more like a still of the head pointing a bit to the right and left - give it a bit of the jaw coming out, more hair on one side, less on the other. Unfortunately, you can't just flip the layer or points, but you could make a copy of the layer, flip it, and use it as a reference to make the two directions look consistent. The reference layer would have to be outside the switch layer, or ya won't see it. Heres a rather silly example
Image
Heres the Moho file. Head as a 3 piece switch layer, face as a group layer. Ears are tricky, didn't have time to do 'em. I'll put up the Moho file for my baby character over at my post later.
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