Live Action v Animation

This video contrasts live action and animation methods of putting a character into a historic scene.

28 seconds into the blue screen sequence above the scene is frozen as a still frame. This frame is imported to Reallusion’s CrazyTalk facial animation/voice-synchronisation software. The voice recorded later is then synch’ed in CrazyTalk to keep the main character talking. Live action is hard to do. But a short burst of it is enough to give the character context so that the animated face can carry on the script.

Realistic scenes can be assembled to draw on the best attributes of each type of filming. Live footage excels with sensory material –ie- like a Roman emperor eating something, which could be hard to animate.    Voice-synched avatars excel with long complex scripts and scenes. Principles and techniques to look for and discuss are:

  • The importance of bringing the past to life.
  • Voice-synched software for extended or complex scenes.
  • Blending characters into scenes through colour/contrast.
  •  Use of blur and colour de-saturation to match the image least-editable (the character was altered to match a faded 60s movie).
  •  Use of archival footage in place of live action.
  •  Potential to use miniatures/avatars instead of live character.
  •  Re-usability of avatar with voice-synch.
  •  Chroma (blue screen) key.
  • Re-usability of blue-screened actor to introduce other live sets (aboard ship etc).
  •  2D v 3D characteristics (live actor moved only laterally).
  •  Simple props: Elvis towel for toga, plastic sword, rubber Roman helmet with knight visor.
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