Hey everyone! We’re back with another Back to Basics video and in this one we’re giving you a consolidated version of our Animating Dialogue livestream. I want to show you my approach because it is one of the more structured types of animation. I show you how I take the dialogue, break it up into thumbs and how I work out where I hit the mouth shapes and the gestures. So let’s get started!
I start with a character that is made up of simple shapes. Breaking down a character into simple shapes helps you with the first pass, because it allows you to keep things simple and in proportion without over complicating things with extra details. Details are something that you want to apply last.
The next step I follow is to break down the phrasing of the dialogue. I break it up so that I can understand where my first sets of poses are going to be for the character. I call this step my quick thumbs. In my video, I’ve broken the dialogue into 3 phases and I’ve drawn out how the character gestures to those phrases. Generally, I put the gestures 8 to 10 frames before it goes into the dialogue. This is because when a character delivers a line, we see them deliver the emotion of that line in the gesture first. After the gesture, the second thing we start to hit is the expressions. The last thing we hit is the actual dialogue.
This is because when a character delivers a line, we see them deliver the emotion of that line in the gesture first. After the gesture, the second thing we start to hit is the expressions. The last thing we hit is the actual dialogue.
In TV Paint, we can draw notes for ourselves when we hear the sounds we want to hit. It’s great because we can see the waveform of the audio, and that is a visual aid to us finding the right frames. I draw very loose expressions with the mouth shapes about 2 frames ahead of the sound I’m hitting.
I go back to my thumbnails and I block out 8 poses for the scene. These are what we’re going to rough out at the right frames for the dialogue and then I go through some charting. Charting is a fairly lengthy topic, so look out for a future B2B episode on that.
To conclude the video, I show you the tied down keys and give you my general rule of thumb:
- Hit the gesture 8 to 10 frames before the dialogue.
- Hit the expression and mouth shape about 2 frames before the dialogue.
- And finally, hit that dialogue.
Thank you to all of our lovely patreons for making it possible for us to make these videos. I hope you enjoyed this video of animating dialogue. Hit us up in the comments section on Youtube or our other social media to give us your feedback and thoughts. Until next time!
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