Animating an appealing lip flap

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MetaFrosty
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Animating an appealing lip flap

#1 Post by MetaFrosty » Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:31 pm

So, one of the things I wanted to do in my VN is lip flaps during character speech. Alternating between the open and closed states doesn't look very good though so I tried adding a third frame, but found difficulties in making a nice looking animation using a mouth that was smiling.
Instead of making a separate lip flap for each expression, I figured I would make a single generic animation for the speaking in all expressions and drew a bunch of different mouth shapes but I'm not really happy with the results. It feels awkward and I'm struggling to arrange the animation in a way that doesn't. The problem is probably in the mouths themselves though and I'm not sure what to do to improve that.
Should I keep trying or just use static mouths? I feel like it might seem weird if the blinking was the only part of the sprite that animated so ideally I'd rather they weren't, but I don't know if the effort is worth it.
Any advice?

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Re: Animating an appealing lip flap

#2 Post by fioricca » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:54 am

I don't know a lot of games that have lip-flap -- I think Pirate Mermaid has that but it's still in production and it wasn't included in the demo. I tried my own lip-flaps for Lemon Project and the feedback that I got was mixed; some liked it and some didn't. I'm wondering if the lip-flap feels strange in your screenshot because the eyes aren't animated as well though? ^^";;

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Biomass
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Re: Animating an appealing lip flap

#3 Post by Biomass » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:11 am

imo its not really worth the effort to just animate the lip flaps. if you animate anything, then you have to animate everything otherwise it looks weird and creepy. See Persona 4 Arena for an example of what I mean. Full animation games like Nekopara look a lot better than just animating the lips.

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truefaiterman
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Re: Animating an appealing lip flap

#4 Post by truefaiterman » Thu Mar 12, 2015 5:25 pm

You may be interested in watching some Remember 11 gameplay, it has lip flaps, too.

https://youtu.be/NLDa_u4-fJE?t=1m25s
Artist and voice actor, trying to actually write stuff.

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YonYonYon
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Re: Animating an appealing lip flap

#5 Post by YonYonYon » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:29 am

The thing with your mouth is that it placed in the wrong place. In your .gif she looks like she's doing duck-face kind of thing.
Like this:
Image
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If you'll move the mouth a little bit right
Image

It'll look better, I think.
Image

Also, in that tiny picture, her mouth looks all pink like this:
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As if she's sticking out her tongue.

So, it would be better to paint the mouth darker like this:
Image
ImageImage

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MetaFrosty
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Re: Animating an appealing lip flap

#6 Post by MetaFrosty » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:53 am

YonYonYon wrote:The thing with your mouth is that it placed in the wrong place. In your .gif she looks like she's doing duck-face kind of thing.
Like this:
If you'll move the mouth a little bit right
It'll look better, I think.

Also, in that tiny picture, her mouth looks all pink like this:
As if she's sticking out her tongue.
So, it would be better to paint the mouth darker like this:
Thanks, this was pretty helpful!

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Maverynthia
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Re: Animating an appealing lip flap

#7 Post by Maverynthia » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:25 am

Honestly, I'm seeing lip flap as a mandatory thing in VNs now that an optional thing. Every "Premium", "Plus", "<customfancynamingforremakehere>" seems to add lip flap if the original didn't. Compare Hakuoki PSP to the PS3 version and there you go (Even though the PS3 lip flap looks like shite). They'll toss it in there even if it looks like shite.
Some companies are even going further and animating the sprites now like D3P and their Forbidden Romance games. (And that's a mobile platform!)

Not saying you have to of course as I think most people don't expect animations nor voice, BUT it could go a ways to make your project look just THAT must better and just THAT more not looking like Ren'Py default.

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Re: Animating an appealing lip flap

#8 Post by Endorphin » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:19 pm

Hello there~

It's also not so much about the lips as it is about the jaw.
Open and close your mouth--you will notice that your jaw moves too.
This is an important part (and thankfully easy to solve) or it looks static and wrong, while it's hard to point out.

Good work, nevertheless!
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