In February of this year, I recorded a fun pop song called “Want It All”. Over the summer, my wife Maureen and I made a (groundbreaking?) music video for it that features a variety of animated ‘puppet’ heads lip-syncing the lyrics of the song, against a 5-wall ‘room’ of video streams. These streams were fed mostly from video I shot on my Samsung S10, along with some occasional stock footage I acquired online.
The puppet heads were created using an Adobe product called “Character Animator”, which uses the laptop camera to track my own facial movements and map them onto the rig of the puppet head. I picked a different puppet from the program’s library for each verse. Some of the puppets resemble my own face, and some of them lean more toward the visual characteristics of the original library puppet.
I took the isolated vocal track from the recording of the song, and fed it into the software using the ‘lip-sync from audio track’ function. The result was pretty lame as far as lip-sync goes, but it did provide a good starting point for me to go in and manually edit each consonant and vowel in the song (called ‘Visemes’) by hand to ensure each puppet’s mouth was making the right shape for each sound. It was totally laborious, but whatever. It was fun, and I was completely in the zone!
Maureen conceived the video’s two chorus sections which complement the verses wonderfully. *Maureen actually went to school for this stuff!* Using Adobe After Effects, she positioned a virtual camera to capture different custom objects floating around in 3D space.
Next week, Maureeen will explain more about the objects, why she chose them, and how they were made. Stay tuned! Also, don’t miss the debut of the video at Nighthawk Chicago on the evening of Saturday, November 2nd.