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Cararra and Mimic Pro Experiment and Question
Posted: 16 February 2014 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]
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View the animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

This is my first experiment with Mimic Pro Standalone and Carrara 8.5 Pro. 

I processed an audio file from a previous experiment in the stand alone version of Mimic Pro using my edited Genesis DMC file.  I couldn’t figure out how to import the PZ2 output from Mimic into Carrara.  So I imported it into DAZ Studio and then imported the DAZ file to Cararra.  Then I applied some quick brow movement in a NLA clip. 

Is there a way to import a PZ2 file directly into Carrara, so that I can eliminate the DAZ Studio step?

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Posted: 16 February 2014 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Could you use File—>Import?

Another Possibility may be to create a folder for it in the Pose directory of one of your runtimes that is in your Content browser?

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 09:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the information.

Unfortunately File—> Import didn’t work, that is why I felt the need to post the question.

Importing the PZ2 to DAZ and saving it in a content directory might work. I was looking to see if maybe I was missing something for a native Carrara technique.  Maybe I need to break down and buy the Mimic Pro for Carrara plug in. =)

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Posted: 16 February 2014 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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joeping - 16 February 2014 09:08 PM

Thanks for the information.

Unfortunately File—> Import didn’t work, that is why I felt the need to post the question.

Importing the PZ2 to DAZ and saving it in a content directory might work. I was looking to see if maybe I was missing something for a native Carrara technique.  Maybe I need to break down and buy the Mimic Pro for Carrara plug in. =)

I think you mis-understand. I used to save various aniblocks in D|S by baking them to D|S keyframes and using the PFE script. I just manually created a folder under Poses in the runtime of my choosing, then saved the resulting file to it. Before I figured out how they worked I wasn’t as disciplined. I just created a folder in my documents and saved them there. I couldn’t get at them, so when I figured out where they should go, I simply moved them to the location I had created in Runtime—>Library—>Poses—>My folder name. As long as that runtime is referenced by the Content Browser (not Smart Content) they should show up the next time you launch Carrara.

As an added bonus, I select my character in the instances palette and double click the icon in the browser and Carrara applies it to the figure. I’ve DLed plenty of free Poser animated pose files and still poses and have never needed D|S to access the .pz2.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Make sure to name the file specifically so you’ll know what it is as Carrara or Mimic will probably give it a generic thumbnail.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks Evil,
I didn’t understand what you said correctly.  Your explanation of the method worked out awesome and eliminated the need to go into DAZ Studio.

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Posted: 16 February 2014 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Sometimes my shorthand makes sense to me and nobody else. wink

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 17 February 2014 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks for sharing you knowledge Evil Producer.  It helped me greatly with today’s experiment.

View the revised animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

This is my first experiment with Mimic Pro Standalone and Brekel Pro Face Kinect Motion Capture Lip Synchronization combined in Carrara 8.5 Pro on a Genesis Figure. 

I captured myself saying 13 sentences from the TMIT database using Brekel Pro Face Kinect Motion Capture. Then I processed the audio file in the stand alone version of Mimic Pro using my edited Genesis DMC file.  In Carrara 8.5 Pro I imported the resulting two PZ2 files into NLA clips and applied them in additive mode to a genesis figure.

Not perfect by any means, but I am pleased with this as a base for further editing.

What do you think?

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Posted: 17 February 2014 09:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yeah, I like it.
I agree that some tweaking for a bit more natural transitions into and out of “w” shapes might really sell the effect nicely as a great base to start from, and then alter a few things between different characters for individuality, etc., but that’s a great response by the software and your efforts, I think. Great job!

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Posted: 18 February 2014 09:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks Dartanbeck,

View the revised animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.
This is a revision to yesterdays experiment with Mimic Pro Standalone Lip Synchronization with in Carrara 8.5 Pro on a Genesis Figure.  The main difference is I didn’t use the motion capture from my last experiment.  That eliminated most of the jerkiness of the movement.

I used the audio from yesterday of myself reading 13 sentences from the TMIT database. Then I processed the audio file in the stand alone version of Mimic Pro using my edited Genesis DMC file and eliminating any lip motions that popped.  In Carrara 8.5 Pro I imported the resulting PZ2 file into NLA clips. I created 3 Brow NLA clips (Up, Down, Squeeze) and 4 Eye NLA clips (Right, Left, Up, Down).  These were placed in additive tracks over the lip sync NLA track.

I may have removed too many mouth movements in order to get a smoother lip sync result. What do you think?

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Posted: 19 February 2014 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I like it. There are a couple of spots that I might tweak, if this was a finished part for production, but I like the ‘less’ approach. I feel that the animators for Star Wars - The Clone Wars 3d animations did an amazing job of this. Like, for the “r” sound, they used more tongue motion than lip pursing, which really made their synch look natural.

Yeah, I like what you’ve got going here. It seems that you spoke out the pronunciations in the sentences on purpose as part of your test. Perhaps not. But when you see someone speaking fluidly, like they’re talking about something that just rolls out, you’ll notice that their mouths don’t phoneme to each sound - but is more a blur. This is why I just cannot understand how people can learn to read lips!

I can tell you’ve already noticed this though, because you’re working it out really nicely… Bravo!

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Dartanbeck @ Daz3d          Check out the Carrara Cafe          ►►►  Carrara Information Manual   ◄◄◄

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Posted: 19 February 2014 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks for the tips,

Yes I spoke the spoke out the pronunciations in the sentences on purpose as part of the experiment. 

Holly wetcircuit posted a great link in scififunk’s mimic forum http://www.disneyresearch.com/project/dynamic-visemes/.  It changes the way to look at lip sync.

This also turned me on to the TIMIT Database, which contains a bunch of sentences used to test hearing aids and voice recognition systems.  These seemed like a good base to test out lip sync techniques and results.  Plus they are kind of tongue twisted for a non performer like myself. =)

I used the sentences found here http://data.cstr.ed.ac.uk/mocha/mocha-timit.txt

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Posted: 19 February 2014 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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joeping - 18 February 2014 09:47 PM

This is a revision to yesterdays experiment with Mimic Pro Standalone Lip Synchronization with in Carrara 8.5 Pro on a Genesis Figure.  The main difference is I didn’t use the motion capture from my last experiment.  That eliminated most of the jerkiness of the movement.

I like it very much. I like the head and eye movements best. Mouth movements, which are probably the hardest to capture, IMHO, need some work though. But the experiment is very promising, even illuminating.

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Posted: 19 February 2014 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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joeping - 19 February 2014 03:20 PM

This also turned me on to the TIMIT Database, which contains a bunch of sentences used to test hearing aids and voice recognition systems.  These seemed like a good base to test out lip sync techniques and results.  Plus they are kind of tongue twisted for a non performer like myself. =)

I used the sentences found here http://data.cstr.ed.ac.uk/mocha/mocha-timit.txt

Oh! Those are cool… Hahaha. I love weird sentences that make you think there should be more story… Like an oddly specific Magic 8 Ball.

“Carl lives in a lively home.” “Most young rabbits rise early every morning.” LOL

They also remind me of those memory mnemonics, like “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” to remember ROYGBIV

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Posted: 07 March 2014 01:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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View the animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

This is my first attempt with the Carrara Mimic plug In.  The audio is from the 11 Second Club March Contest ( http://www.11secondclub.com/competitions/current ).  This time I tried to remove the “swimmy” motion of the previous experiments.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated before I submit it to the Contest.

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Posted: 10 March 2014 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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View the animation on YOUTUBE.COM by clicking here.

This is a speed test of the Mimic Plug in for Carrara Pro 8.5
I found the audio file, imported it into Carrara via the Mimic plug in.  Added an aniblock for the body movement.  Added a NLA track with emotions. Pointed the eyes at a target and moved it around. It took an hour from idea to final render.

I should have bought the Mimic Plug in for Carrara long ago.  It’s so much easier being able to edit everything in one place. 
Thanks for the help.

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