We gotta ship SOMETHIN’!!

Sometime things just seem to fall into place.

I treated myself to a little birthday gift. I was looking at trying to incorporate Papagayo lip-sync data into the .MHX2 rigs and was getting nowhere trying to get the humanoid models to:

A) accept .dat targeted lip-sync data

B) accept and merge multiple motion caption files

C) export all that to Unity and look nice

For whatever obsessive reason, my brain cannot come up with game ideas that involve characters that are static blobs / robots with very little animation / monsters with one or two simple expressions, meh and pure volcanic rage.

Nope – I have to have humanoid NPCs – somewhat realistic, and certainly with enough responsiveness and emotion on par with Saturday Morning Cartoons… Talk about a challenge.

So when I encountered lip-sync packages on the Asset Store, I did some research and settled on LipSync Pro. Having a bit of animation experience I knew the more phonemes a character has, the more realistic dialog will be, and LSP seemed to fit the bill. It even works with Fuse characters, which aren’t as impressive as the .MHX2 rig – which works beautifully with Tore Knabe’s Realistic Eye Movements.

So I installed LSP, downloaded a Fuse model and amused myself with some impromptu dialog recorded from my three year old. I got big laughs from the kids when I showed them a sample of a truck drivin’ redneck dude asking for treats because he used the potty.

Suffice to say, I was impressed with the results and began wondering how else I can use this. I started rebuilding my VR Bum sim because I was getting atrocious frame rates so I’m pulling all my assets back into Blender to see how many polys I can slash off everything and optimize the level. Sovereignty is on hold until I can get some new dialogue recorded and I have a ton of 2D game design before I can start on my platformer based on my kids artwork.

I was scrolling thru some old projects when I happened to see my old 3D animation work folder and I searched it for things that I could adapt into a VR diorama. And lo and behold, my ‘learn Blender’ project  – a music video for Mojo Nixons “Ufo’s Big Rigs & BBQ

So, I’m chopping it down to a minute length – adding various animations to the Fuse character, a background and will add some 3D animated video to it so it looks like the Fuse character is delivering a performance in front of a screen playing highlights of the song.

I asked on /r/vive if people would like to offer feedback on a WIP and they seemed pretty desperate for any VR content, so that, coupled with the itch / drive to put something out there, will have me busy for a while. VR is only going to get bigger and more crowded, so the quicker I can get my name out there, the better. Here’s hoping its worth it.