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Speech & Motion test

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I was recently asked to make my character Scifer into a broken-up Flash model that could be easily animated in programs like AfterEffects and Toonboom studios. A friend of mine is working on a series of cool little sci-fi animations based in his own universe, and Scifer may very well be appearing in them.

Made this little test to show the way Scifer moves, his paw-gestures, lip-sync etc.

To be honest, I started out with JUST the head doing lip-sync, which didn't look very good at all. So I animated the full-body motion to add a bit more characterisation and disguise the dodgy mouth-movements. xD

Anyway, hope this test wets your whistle a bit. Watch this space for further animashun. :B


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you did pretty good.

keep at it, you'll get it.


Your lip sync is good, but the way you make the character act needs a bit refining. It's good enough to animate with, but if you want to make it better....

It really doesn't look like he's pointing at the ship, unless it wraps around in front of him or the end that's off-screen is just absolutely huge. It doesn't look like he's pointing at anything, really. If he's pointing at the ship, his hand should sweep into the distance. If he's wagging his finger at the person in front of him--which would be equally as effective--he should point lower, like chest-level (unless the person he's talking to is really tall). If he's just gesturing to make his point, he should raise his finger when he says "perfect" or whatever word he wants to emphasize the most.

I don't know if you wasn't to give him such a terrible poker-face and totally transparent body language, but maybe that's in the character's... character. In case it's not, you shouldn't emphasize his every movement so much.

His ear should flip when he's lying, but you overemphasize the movement by making his ear flip too much and by making him look to to the side when he's pausing. I think it'd work better if he remains looking forward and his ear doesn't fall back so much. The pause with a bit of ear twitch is just enough to indicate that he doesn't quite believe his own words but he's pressing forward anyway.

His tail looks kind of mechanical. It only wags at the end. Not that he should wag his tail more, but his tail is a part of him and should be as expressive as his arms as he talks. He should whip it a bit behind him once or twice to show his agitation. It should at least move a bit so it's not so rigid behind him as he talks.

Personally, I don't think making him smile at the end is necessary, but that just depends on the character's disposition. It looks like he's saying, "I'm innocent in all this." If you're intending that the person he's speaking to is suddenly giving him the "really angry face," he should cringe a bit and take a step back--which may look more natural.

Even though he's the only character on the screen, you should keep in mind what the person he's speaking to is doing and how he/she is reacting.

I hope that's helpful.

And please, don't loop the animation. Add a start button from now on. I'm tired of telling authors that looping is annoying.

Scifer responds:

Yeah, there are certainly a few drawbacks to this style of cut-out animation; one of which is that a lot of the character's actions can appear very wooden. It's all a case of how much time you're willing to spend making extra 'parts' for each individual character.

Scifer does have a bit of a poker-face at the moment, but that's only because of his permanently knotted brow. xD I didn't think it would be so noticable as all the shots he will be appearing in, in the final animation are mid-distance shots, where the characters are both surrounded by a lot of detail.

Still, thanks for the crit. I've taken it all onboard. Cheers!



We do not need this. If you have a Youtube or DeviantArt account, please post this there. Again, this does not need to be public. Regardless, I would like to your more from you.

Scifer responds:

Aye, it's already up on DeviantArt, but I tend to find people only leave one-word comments. Newgrounds is much more brutally honest, which I find very helpful to when it comes to improving my skills.

And it's nice to know you're looking forward to my future endeavours. ^^

Just FINISH!!!

AHHH!!! You're doing great work, just stay persistent. Everything looks perfectly fine and there aren't very many flaws. Just finish it. XD

Scifer responds:

Heh, glad you like. Gave 10 seconds worth of animation a 9 eh? I hope the finished product doesn't give you a hernia. xD

Cheers bud!

Since it's a test,

I don't see it in the portal to stay, but it's very smooth animation and good voice acting.