Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Virtual Muppet Setup Prototype is Working!



So if you've followed this blog, I've journaled this hobby of how to create a virtual Muppet system. Think Henson's Kermit the frog, or sock puppet.  Something that can be used to generate puppet-style animation as quickly as you could with live-action.  Only, with the obvious benefits of CG.

Well, I'm proud to say that I've gotten to a point where I have a working proof-of-concept prototype!
It's a bit raw, but I believe that I can fine-tune it to create a system that'll be entertaining to watch, and a joy to perform.

This is my first recorded test to see how it feels.
I'll tighten him up, build a set, and see about working out a sketch.  Something to really run him through a production.

It's a bit glitchy, but I'm willing to embrace it, as it's a byproduct of the capture system.  I'm sure it can be fine-tuned.. and that's also part of what these next round of tests will work on.

The character itself is interchangeable..  It can be customized with fully rigged/enveloped textured/shaded assets with as many blend-shapes for facial controls that you want to attempt to puppeteer.

There is a setup that can be implemented that'll allow for OSC midi or keyboard input.. but at this point I'm not concerned with that level of fidelity in the face.  I think a few basic shapes and as you can see here, he can be quite emotive.

Anyway, I feel this is a great success at this stage, and am rejuvenated and inspired to move to the next stage during performance testing.

I hope you enjoy.

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