Topic: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

I don't know if this has been posted already but these look super helpful for those who like to use
as much physicality in animation as possible. They look like a great alternative to CGI mouths.

https://minifigs.me/shop/phonetic-heads-for-animation/

Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

Great find
They also offer bricks with custom text or image
https://minifigs.me/shop/custom-design- … message-2/

Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

Yep! I've used them several times, they used to be able to produce actual logos and official sports teams
but they got told off by Lego apparently mini/eek


Robukka wrote:

Great find
They also offer bricks with custom text or image
https://minifigs.me/shop/custom-design- … message-2/

Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

Yeah, but I think that if you can do them really well as a VFX then that's way better because their printing is a bit different to Lego's and so may look slightly out of place. Also, they have limited types of faces and it would be a pain to have to swap the heads in each frame.

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Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

They're cool, but it would be nice if they had more than one face. It's kind of limiting if all you're characters have the exact same face.

Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

It's a neat idea but a little pricey, esp considering I mainly use only four mouth positions for lego dialogue (M E A and O) so the whole set is overkill imho. Plus as Dragon Brick mentioned, it's a pain physically replacing the heads, esp on very new figures with a tight fit.

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Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

It might be a pain but that's what they did for Nightmare Before Christmas and other studio stop motion films. If the option is to do mouth animation on the set or in post production, I feel it is "better" to do it in the set, by swapping heads (or putting mouths on the characters like some animation studios do).

Having said that, it's probably a lot easier to do mouths in post.

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Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

It's a neat idea, but if you want specific heads for 10 or so characters like I often have in my films, it is easily going to cost you a lot of money. Also, I honestly don't think the effect is as smooth as doing it in post. They used them for minilife TV for a few episodes, but it never looked as good as when they did it in post, as the heads rarely lined up with each other, making it really distracting. I much preferred it when they added it in post, and they must have too, as they have since gone back to doing that!

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Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

The problem with me is that these would never get away with being normal LEGO heads. They're very obviously from this site. I mean, I think they look cool and everything, but it would be so much better if they would, as others have mentioned, produce them in more variety.

Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

Dr Neo Lao wrote:

It might be a pain but that's what they did for Nightmare Before Christmas and other studio stop motion films. If the option is to do mouth animation on the set or in post production, I feel it is "better" to do it in the set, by swapping heads (or putting mouths on the characters like some animation studios do).

Having said that, it's probably a lot easier to do mouths in post.

I agree. I planned to do a certain singing vampire video with three faces using head replacement, but I found that since the vampire figure was very new, the parts fit much too tightly to change the heads without accidentally budging the whole body around, and at that tiny lego scale, that made a huge difference. For the final video, I used the actual face for scenes where he didn't change expression for long periods of time, but for the lip sync I ended up taking photos of the three faces I'd bought and did the face digitally in post. It was also very time consuming to do it that way, but much less expensive. I also used an older and more broken-in pair of legs for the vampire figure, even though they didn't have the details printed on the front of them.

I suppose it's always a trade off of expense, vs time spent working on it, vs quality or fresults. But hey, that's the creative side of things, finding a balance of the most economical way of achieving a desired result.

I'd also like to take a moment to mention a great example of some great head replacement using existing heads, which can be seen in Undershadow's "The Embodiment of Adventure" http://www.bricksinmotion.com/films/view/8586/ and while it's not phonetic lip sync animation it really does a lot for the character expression and shows what you can do with a variety of heads, and how well it works even if they don't all have the same mustache!

https://bricksafe.com/files/thistof/hillbillyheist/DtubeNowOnline2.png

Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

This product looks enticing, but I've already found a solution using Emmet heads. There are so many expressions that Emmet uses in The Lego Movie that ended up as sets - and the same for Kai and Lloyd from The Lego Ninjago Movie. I use Emmet's library of heads for Bob in my series Bob and Randy. Funny, I use about seven or eight different heads for the extremely eccentric Bob, and only one, same, stoic face for Randy ...

I also agree with Thistof. These aren't close enough to Lego brand heads for my liking.

Re: Phonetic Custom Printed Heads for Animation

I used the phonetic heads in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6oJsEXKrEA. I didn't notice the heads being of inferior quality, I actually thought they were well made, but then again I am new to Lego in general so I probably lack the knowledge to know the difference.

The only gripe I have with these is that minifigs.me didn't include an instruction book or something which would make it well worth buying at the rather steep starting price of £24.99. Although they do include the letters for the corresponding heads, nobody speaks sentences the same way as they're written, for example 'right' sounds like 'rit' when spoken.

I am still pleased with the purchase, however, and will make a few more videos using them, but I think at some point I'll probs just do it via whatever software I'll be using in the future as changing heads and figuring out whatever head to use is just very time consuming.