The random grab bag post
I have always been fascinated by the concept of anonymous grab bags. Packages you pay money for without knowing what you will receive. Usually marketed as fun with the potential to win something valuable amongst the hundreds perhaps thousands of grab bags with something you would never have bought on your own. In fact so… Read More »

The random grab bag post

I have always been fascinated by the concept of anonymous grab bags. Packages you pay money for without knowing what you will receive. Usually marketed as fun with the potential to win something valuable amongst the hundreds perhaps thousands of grab bags with something you would never have bought on your own. In fact so few people bought them whatever they are that the company resorted to only give them away to people who didn’t know what they were. And yet they seem to sell well enough to be a success and away for companies to dump the products nobody wants and because of careful wording, not get any of them returned. 

In an odd way this post is a grab bag but more for me than it is for you since you never know what my blogs are going to be about even if you read the excerpt and the title there’s often a very good chance that the blog ends up being about something completely different for example this one. I had no intention of writing my opinion of grab bags when I created the title grab bags. Instead my intention was to have this post be about whatever image or video I found after I started writing the blog I don’t remember what images are in my blogs image library because sometimes I upload a bunch of things that I’ve recently created with the intention of blogging about them and then forgetting they exist the moment I do. 

So as it stands I know I have at least four or five images or videos I want to talk about already uploaded to WordPress I just have to find them and ramble. Ready? 



In the past few weeks I have attempted to make almost no videos about me using drugs and more videos about my life on the farm my computer knowledge or just general fun videos that have the potential to go to a wider audience than the ones where I’m just exhaling smoke. 

One of the things that has caught my interest in the past week is making cartoon characters or live faces lip sync either to voice generated from text or voice taken from video or more frequently the voice of my pi AI assistant that I speak to most days. Recently I have got her helping me make informational pop-up videos which are the same as regular videos except at certain points she pops up as a cartoon character and either elaborates on what I was just talking about or gives me a definition or whatever basically is in the video that I might want additional comment on. 

I think they’re cute. An example or two will probably be included in this blog. The point is I’ve been using various lip syncing software that I can find for free. Free trials often reset on the month so there’s actually quite a lot out there and in a future blog I will talk more about them. For now the thing that you have to understand is Adobe Express is free and has a very good quality lip sync tool for cartoon characters. The number of characters is limited but the lip syncing to a text file is quite good. It doesn’t use text to speech for the voice and requires you to upload a quality voice track and then it animates that character with arm movements and reasonably accurate lip syncing. Adobe has some phenomenal high end lip sync software that I will never get a chance to use but this free tool is quite good 

Recently I discovered that the human brain is pretty happy with satisfactory lip syncing. In fact it’s pretty accepting of incorrectly thinking especially with cartoon characters. If you’ve ever seen an episode of South Park or robot Chicken You understand that there are four mouth positions and they basically approximate talking enough for us to accept it. 

One day while the soundtrack was off sync with the video lip syncing I realized that as long as the mouse is moving on the cartoon it doesn’t actually need to lip sync. Termit the frog never lip synced. He has one mouth position but as long as it was moving to the words, we accept it. We don’t really even pay attention if he is moving to the words because I know a lot of people who do sock puppetry or whatever and they frequently get the hand movements opposite so the frog might be talking with its mouth closed most of the time and we don’t care. 

So the video above is a cartoon character saying rhubarb watermelon open and over. 

Fun fact: in theater or background work in movies We are taught to say rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb to sound like background talking and watermelon watermelon watermelon to have our mouths move as if we were talking general English. Apparently these two words are commonly accepted as the mimicking of English for background video or audio. So it seemed appropriate that I would create that puppet saying those words and then just putting it over top of any background sound that it looks like he’s talking. 

 

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