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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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Your guests are going to LOVE that on Halloween night! That is just too amazing! Great job!
 

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Devilishly Dutch
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You did an amazing job! Enjoyed watching your videos :)
Ever consider using the older version witchdoctor song? I have a copy I"d be happy to send you. Just send me a PM.

MsM
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You did an amazing job! Enjoyed watching your videos :)
Ever consider using the older version witchdoctor song? I have a copy I"d be happy to send you. Just send me a PM.

MsM
MsM,
Yes, I wanted to use that one, but my wife thought this one was better. Oh well :)

Thanks for the comments everyone. I still need to tweak the movements a bit, but overall I am really happy with how they turned out.
 

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That is awesome! :D

I like how the backup singers aren't animated to the same exact moves... adds more character / looks more 'real'. Any plans for animated 'stage lighting'? ;)

It's also nice to see someone animating something other than a talking skull. "Not that there's anything wrong with that" [Noooo!]

- Hook
 

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BAD INFLUENCE
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Great job , like Hooked on scares said, the back up singers were most impressive with individual movements. Now THE question, did you use VSA, how did you split the tracks, vocal from music? Again great job!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is awesome! :D

I like how the backup singers aren't animated to the same exact moves... adds more character / looks more 'real'. Any plans for animated 'stage lighting'? ;)

It's also nice to see someone animating something other than a talking skull. "Not that there's anything wrong with that" [Noooo!]

- Hook
Thanks! I'm going to finish it off with a tiny skeleton body attached to the regular sized Lindberg skull - thought that would be interesting (maybe a Tiny Tim or something a little larger). All of these guys are going to be on a bail of hay.

Haven't thought about stage lighting - any suggestions? I am going to have some LEDs in each pumpkin to light them up from the inside though.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great job , like Hooked on scares said, the back up singers were most impressive with individual movements. Now THE question, did you use VSA, how did you split the tracks, vocal from music? Again great job!!
Yes, I used VSA (awesome program). I started out plotting manually the open and close movements and soon realized I'd be done by Halloween 2010 if I was lucky. So, I went to Better Buy and bought a usb gamepad. I used the realtime capture function and just moved the joystick in sync with the lyrics.

I noticed a problem though at first. When I first had my servos set up, I had minimum values of like maybe 1310 and max values of around 2100. The problem was when I did the realtime capture, I noticed that when the joystick was at its center position the mouth would be partway open. So, to fully close it and open it I'd have to push the joystick all the way to the right (partway open to close) and then all the way to the left (close to open) and then when I'd release the joystick it would go back to partway open. To fix this, I adjusted the rod attached to the mouth and servo horn so that the mouth would be closed when the servo was at just above center position (like 1510). Minimum value was like 500 and max was still 2100 (default was 1510). Then, when the joystick was at its center position, the mouth would be closed. You just need to remember to NOT push the joystick to the right (otherwise the mouth might "implode").

Anyway, to make a long post even longer, for the actual recording, I printed out the lyrics on a few pages of paper and decided who was going to sing what parts. I went through each copy and highlighted the parts for each pumpkin. Then, I just put some headphones on (made it easier for me to concentrate) and played the song using the real-time capture feature for each channel.

Once I had the servo values all set, it is a piece of cake to record numerous songs. I can whip one out in just a couple tries now (I'm a VSA fiend! :))

Sorry for the long-winded post, but hopefully that helps out.
 

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Haven't thought about stage lighting - any suggestions? I am going to have some LEDs in each pumpkin to light them up from the inside though.
Hmmm.... yeah, some diffuse light inside, so you can see the mouth of the pumpkin. Other thoughts:

- A servo-controlled spotlight (bright LED flashlight with a colored cellophane 'gel'). Could snap to one 'performer' during a solo, and have its own character at other times (do figure 8's at certain frenetic points in the songs)
- Local bi-color or RGB lighting for the front of each pumpkin. Could change color during different routines / different parts of the song

If you made the light inside the pumpkins colored, you could contrast with the local front-light. For example, orange light inside the pumpkins, but green light lighting the fronts. BTW, there's some great deals on high-powered LEDs from Hong Kong on eBay

Just some pie-in-the-sky thoughts...

- Hook
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hmmm.... yeah, some diffuse light inside, so you can see the mouth of the pumpkin. Other thoughts:

- A servo-controlled spotlight (bright LED flashlight with a colored cellophane 'gel'). Could snap to one 'performer' during a solo, and have its own character at other times (do figure 8's at certain frenetic points in the songs)
- Local bi-color or RGB lighting for the front of each pumpkin. Could change color during different routines / different parts of the song

If you made the light inside the pumpkins colored, you could contrast with the local front-light. For example, orange light inside the pumpkins, but green light lighting the fronts. BTW, there's some great deals on high-powered LEDs from Hong Kong on eBay

Just some pie-in-the-sky thoughts...

- Hook
Cool ideas. What does it take to control an LED from VSA? Or can you? I have an SSC32 controller for the servos.
 

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I think someone on the forum had just asked about the SSC32 being used to light LEDs. The SSC32 does have a mode where it'll just turn the outputs on and off (versus put out a servo pulse). The outputs would be good for one normal high-bright LED (25mA @ 5V).

Over the last year, I designed a board that can dim LEDs through VSA. The outputs are capable of running higher voltages and more current (150mA @ 50V), so you can use more/brighter LEDs. My signature has a link, if you're interested.

On the subject of joystick control (and the need for offsets), MonkeyBasic just released 'TrackSkull', which lets you record skull movements either with a high-speed IR camera, or a joystick. The performance can be exported to VSA. I wonder if this might make things any easier.

- Hook
 

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If you can't wait to see the reactions from your guests, you should have asked all of us to turn our cameras on (if we had them). My jaw hit the FLOOR!!! I Love it!!! Great job!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think someone on the forum had just asked about the SSC32 being used to light LEDs. The SSC32 does have a mode where it'll just turn the outputs on and off (versus put out a servo pulse). The outputs would be good for one normal high-bright LED (25mA @ 5V).

Over the last year, I designed a board that can dim LEDs through VSA. The outputs are capable of running higher voltages and more current (150mA @ 50V), so you can use more/brighter LEDs. My signature has a link, if you're interested.

On the subject of joystick control (and the need for offsets), MonkeyBasic just released 'TrackSkull', which lets you record skull movements either with a high-speed IR camera, or a joystick. The performance can be exported to VSA. I wonder if this might make things any easier.

- Hook

Excellent. I'll have to check out the board. I did find TrackSkulll a few days ago but haven't had a chance to really play with it yet.
 
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