A: As I’ve explained at length elsewhere (see the answer to my earlier question), an external tongue (which isn’t really a tongue but a long, thin membrane covering the inside of the mouth) does not move. This means your lips cannot move and must be held in a fixed position. The only possible way to create an articulated mouth, which the public would accept to be “anatolian” (in English, “ancient”), is to have a flexible tongue. This can be achieved by having a flexible tongue as a stiff segment in the mouth. You can “extend” the tongue with its flexible membranes until they contract over the top. That is, an external tongue must be “fixed.” The point where the membrane contracts over the top of the soft tongue is the point where an articulating mouth begins.
Q: I’ve noticed that the animation for the figure, which is supposed to be in the same pose as it was in the earlier version, is far less lifelike.
A: Yes, this is a problem that has been identified within the group as well as at a few other conferences where the animation of figures is given a more lifelike feel. This is the result of several factors, all of which are relatively straightforward and easy to overcome. The first is to make the animation as clear and simple as possible without any unnecessary movements of the mouth or gestures. If the mouth is held still in animation, the animation “wiggles” in a way that makes it harder to tell where the mouth ends and the lips begin, resulting in a very poor sensation. There are some tricks, however, that can help with this. For the first couple of seconds of animation, the mouth is “fixed.” I’ve shown examples both in video form as well as in a written description here. The second factor is making the mouth flexible to facilitate the movement of the lips that are to occur. The third factor is making the mouth look as lifelike as possible, even where this isn’t possible through animating the mouth only until the lips are fixed. So in our example, the mouth doesn’t move, but it is possible to move the mouth to point somewhere (with or without the aid of a brush). The fourth, and, crucially, the only one yet discovered, is making sure the hands are free during the animation. I have the image above as an example of this sort of gesture in action, showing how the hands must be free while the mouth is
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