3-D Printable Face Objects for Lip Sync
- Monday, 24 October 2011 09:11
- Last Updated on Thursday, 27 October 2011 12:23
- Written by Marc Spess
Stop motion fan and 3d generalist (as he likes to be called) Marshall Miller is offering free 3-D head objects for use in replacement stop motion lip sync and expression. With the advent of 3-D printers such as used in the film Coraline, 3-D replacement parts are more than just a curiosity. They are a convenient way of making replacement animations with a high grade of accuracy.
Why is this important? Well for one, you can replace a mouth with a new mouth that will fit in the exact same spot as the previous mouth. That will give you a seamless and concise pose from one to the next with less jitters and strobing than by sculpting and molding alone.
So to use these mouths you will need to download the file set here. Unzip them with 7-Zip if you can't open the download on your computer. The objects are made in 1:6 scale or for figures that are human in proportion at 12 inches tall.
Here is a list of what the file extensions mean and what they do:
Next you need to have the mouths printed through a company like Shapeways here. All you need to do is upload the proper files included in the zipped file. According to Marshall, you can print the faces even cheaper at Ponoko, for about 1.75 a piece.
If you are new to the idea of 3-D printed parts, here's a brief video showing how it's done:
After receiving your mouths from Shapeways you will need to create a head armature to accept the replacement upper head brows and lower faces. This can be done by pressing the parts into clay and carefully prying the faces off again. Make a mold of this clay ball and cast it in something like Alumilite resin and you will not have a key. From here you can grind out the area where the teeth will go to add sculpted teeth. You can also hollow out where the eye balls fit with a dremel tool and insert small spherical eyes, held in place with clay or stiki wax.
To alter the phoneme (mouth positions) of these 3-D parts you can add clay over the printed parts and mold them. You can use epoxy putty or Super Sculpey to alter the mouths and brows too or use them as-is.