Shapekey Test

We've been planning to post info about the gameplay for a long time now, but we'd rather not discuss it just yet. Instead, we're going to show some interesting stuff.

One of the playable characters in the game is going to be Eslie. I'm going to write about her technical properties today but her story and personality will be covered in another post.

Her lip-syncing is kind of difficult to create and adjust with her being part wolf. Morph targets - or shape keys - deform her base mesh into a given position (for example, her mouth making different sounds). It can be adjusted, how much (a gaping mouth-morph target can be adjusted to become a slightly-open-mouth morph target by changing the values) and when (they are made into keyframes) the mesh deforms. With some effort, these morph targets can be adjusted so Eslie can (almost) perfectly lipsync any given speech.

A demonstration of this:

I (Geril) used a free software called Papagayo that creates lip-sync using sound and text. It's not very accurate, and it doesn't adjust the jaw movement unfortunately, so there's still a lot of adjustments to make after it finishes. It's better than creating it all from scratch, though.

The importing didn't go very well, but I managed to put it all together in Blender ver. 2.63. I also added some very basic facial mimicry to see how it would look.

And the character can now sing. Not in perfect sync, of course, and without any animation on her body... in T-pose. But it's working. (Makes a great imitation of the decapitated robot in the first Alien movie.)