Tuesday, March 25, 2014

xtranormal STATE test animation - Gettysburg Address

This was one of my efforts using State, and probably the one that's gotten the most hits on my YouTube channel (5300 over 5 years or so... sigh...). Probably one of the least creative in terms of what it required of me, but in its way, maybe one of the better efforts.

There were two ways to get dialog into a State animation. One was simply to type text in, as advertised, and let the program use its licensed voice synthesis modules to create the dialog, and auto-animate the mouth movements to match the phonemes. The other way was to take recorded dialog and map it to one of the characters, and again, the program would create the mouth animation.

In this case, I was using recorded dialog. This is Sam Waterston reciting the Gettysburg Address (oddly enough, I seem to have uploaded it on the Fourth of July). Sam Waterston also provided the voice-overs for President Lincoln in the Ken Burns series The Civil War, and so is likely to sound familiar to anyone who's seen it. One of the characters in the Choo Choos set wears a top hat, and so was the obvious analog for an Abe Lincoln role.

This was made entirely within State. It was possible to have various camera angles within the same scene, and even to have characters orient themselves to different cameras, as you can see when "Lincoln" turns to address and approach this or that camera. There was no need to post-process this, at least not as I recall.

The music, incidentally, is Winston's Diary by the Eurythmics from the soundtrack of 1984, something I listened to literally hundreds of times on the bus to and from classes when I was in university.

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