IP Incubator Club Thread 2013: Bi-Week-006: June17-June 30- 2013


Hello Malcolmvexxed,

Roberto has the IP Club open to anything and everything, I believe. Please join up, it is always cool to have new people and projects. :slight_smile:


I think that prototype took me a couple months in my spare time to put together, but I was also learning Unity while making it. I would probably be able to throw something like that together in about a week now, using stock art. It was a good exercise just to see how it would feel which helps put things in context when designing it on paper / brainstorming.


PRODUCTION BLOG: Culture Siphons Blog I suppose

the first animation I really want to do is for my space goblin cooking show webcomic that I just started - http://www.coalminds.com/webcomics/gasstoves/gasstoves01.html . But realistically I need to start with something smaller scale before I tackle stuff like giant goblins cooking people in air conditioning exhausts tied to oil tankers. The main advantage with that would have been that the Goblins were going to speak in a gutteral mumble with subtitles and the humans are largely sedated, so it would have been easier on that level. Instead I’m going to do a short story I’ve wanted to tackle.

CATEGORY: Animation (Flash/Keyframe/Rotoscoping with IK/manually rendered ocassionally)


‘Blood Runs Dry’ is a short horror/drama film (~10-12 minutes) about two black men in the South in the 1940s. One is the aimless son of a former abolitionist, drifting through town. The other is an impoverished sharecropper at wits end. While hunting for rabbit the sharecropper is hypnotized by a demonic force which consumes him (not a full posession) through his anger and marks him in a way only the other force will be able to see. The other man, while saving a life, is exposed to a calming force and lets go of what anger he had. They’re drawn towards each other for a confrontation between their opposing viewpoints and experiences. Very little action, although there is gore in it and weirdness.


Take an extended break from webcomics and focus on animation, find the money spot between inverse kinematics-based tweening and naturalistic animation. A music client I just built a website for is going to let me use his studio for audio recording which is a bonus.



Steve Broome - all da things

START DATE: June 2013


WIP THREAD: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=7610561#post7610561


I’m getting closer to figuring out the look, which is clearer in my head certainly than on paper. Part of the issue is that I’m trying to use a vector-based program to imitate a look that’s far simpler to reproduce in bitmap. Namely I want the entire thing to look like old sepia toned or black and white photographs.


I built this automatic text parser which would have done all my lip syncing for me. The concept is that it iterates through a text field one character at a time and executes the functions, including a “space” which would count as a second long pause and another symbol which would count as half a second. Based on my testing I was able to do lip syncing very quickly with this model. Unfortunately AS3 has certain limitations that mean it would not work reliable and audio is off. Also text strings in AS3 can only react to the change event with user input. It’s not that bad I just have to rewrite a lot of the if statements as individual functions, but typing one sentence for a whole lot of dialogue would have been easier. Also I included the ability to control eye functions in this but will be separating them and just animating everything on the timeline. Here is the in-browser version:


I am looking into one more time saver before diving into the first scene.


Will post the script and some test animations in the near future. Here’s early image tests and the build for an IK test.


What’s tricky there also is when chains of words form one mouth movement.

for example. When a character says “get out.” the mouth actually forms ONE movement for both words in that it sounds more like a single two-syllable word: “Gitawt”.

In that regard a per-character parser won’t get you there, unless you have a “phrase/word pairing” analyzer that comes after.


True, for that I’d either have to write special character analyzers (which is pretty easy once you have the logic worked out, Id id it for duplicate sounds) or just do what I will be doing which is to re-type the words anyway as something that is not an exact spelling of the word but results in the mouth movements I want. This was actually a big part of the problem I learned, Flash is really inconsistent about its rendering time on issues like this. Lesson learned there. B/c of that I’m not too worried about having to re-write as individual functions. IF anything it’ll still be easier to just match up each word based on the soundwave.


I played around with Microsoft Sam in that way… just to see if its diction can be made to sound more natural. :stuck_out_tongue:

A soundwave based lip-syncer that visually analyzes the wave to form the mouth might actually be better in that it also solves the breathing… and expressions like when characters go "pffffttt… " and for how long they do that.


The dupe character parser handled that by saying that if two of the same letter were consecutive to simply hold the post created by the end of the last letter, remove both from the text string, and run a delay for a quarter second. If nothing else I’ve figured out after months that language is too complex for what I was trying to do. Also English doesn’t have enough logic behind it for this to fully work anyway.


In the final analysis… you just have to figure out if, in fact, short of buying Maya with Facerobot… The fastest way is to just actually mark the sound wave with where the words are and just pose the mouth yourself. :stuck_out_tongue:

You would have to do that once or twice btw… to kind of know what the steps the software would have to take.

But I’m already thinking internally that it’s multiple “reads” or passes of things and there’s a lot of Bezier Curve plus-minus going on with the mouth poses.


That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m just marking the words by creating a separate layer called “labels” and then using Flash’s labeling. This will also give me some options for allowing easily customized variety in the lip syncing, like adding lips by changing the embedded animation’s, let’s say “lip type” frame (frame 1= woman’s lips frame 2 = woman’s thick lips frame 3= man’s lips) before starting the lip sync manually. Much of the actual mouth animation logic will still be preserved.


Turns out anything that uses functions including a currentLabel type of operation or the alternative which was to push the current letter into a variable manually whenever a new mouth animation needs to be run causes problems. Essentially the most reasonable way to do this would be to use “enterFrame” as the event listener, but enterframe (a) has to be escaped b/c it runs once per frame until it’s removed and (b) causes problems getting the frame animations to play after the escaping is done. So this removes the ideal solution which was to assign a “this” or “currenttarget” based logic to the function and then just apply that to whatever face I’m using lip sync on. Instead I’m avoiding events entirely and just manually calling the animation from the stage. At least I know now that the more involved actionscript way doesn’t work and can move on. Lots and lots of hours wasted though.


The only waste is if you learned nothing. :wise:


Unity is definitely the way to go if you’re a single indie developer, and I agree, it’s very good for building a quick prototype just to test out an idea. When I originally came up with the idea for Pole Force One almost two years ago, I threw together a really quick prototype using a test model I animated and some stock city assets, just to see what it might take to build a 3D side-scrolling game. I wouldn’t consider this at all a representation of what I will be making, but it’s definitely good to make these little prototypes to test out an idea and see if it’s feasible.

Do it! Make one of those old school Ninja Gaiden style games. Remember the one we played at the arcade when we were kids.

This would so rock

Awww I miss those days. I think those games were so much fun. 2d sidescrollers are the best.

Here is another favorite


I agree. When I first saw Grant’s prototype, it instantly reminded me of Double Dragon. Those were the days. :slight_smile:


Head up guys,
I am working on a game for work, but first I need to do some tech tests in Unity to see its viability.

I am in the process of doign some concept art.
More soon.


Double Dragon, Street of Rage, Battletoads, Scott Pilgrim vs the World… definitely going for something in that realm of gameplay, but adding in things like leveling up, attack / skill trees. More details to come!




Now you make me want to do a game. I have a friend doing a challenge. A game a month. Some of them look pretty good. :slight_smile:

HE is using Unity and some other thing connected to Unity to make it easier to use.



I would love to be able to program to make some cool games. Most of them would probably be scroll play. That 3d version grantmoore did was pretty nifty

Okay so I wanted to update ya’ll.

One thing that went right this week

I now have a more solid website up and running. Right now it is more blog than anything but will be updated more and more to show the process of creating a cinematic comic :slight_smile:

Also this week I should be receiving my Yiynova and start doing some rotoscope work. I can’t wait. :slight_smile:


You guys are making me question which project to prioritize now! I personally love the side-scroll beat 'em ups and think a lot of people would identify with that more than my more artistic game… which I could leave as a personal side project. Hmmm… going to have to ponder my plans this weekend.

In other news, when my contract is up end of July I’m probably going to spend Aug-Dec working almost full time on my IP’s (a little client work on the side). So I’ve been working on a plan to make sure I accomplish a lot during this time and prepare myself adequately.


I say do both. Concentrate on one treating it as your full time job while you are off and treat the other one like your after hours project of love but not to seriously on the secondary. Just do it during burnouts of one project.

Just stay productive during those months off! :slight_smile: