This is a fun little video I put together for KidsCOR. This last month they did a series entitled “Is That Really in the Bible?”, which looked at some of the stranger stories in the Bible. As I was coming up with the concept, I noticed that Balaam and the Talking Donkey was one of the stories they were going to be focusing on, so I decided to more or less base the art and video around that. I found this amazing image of this donkey, and decided it would be perfect. Evidently the kids really enjoyed it.
For the video I drew heavily from Nacho Libre, mostly because I think it’s a hilarious movie. Animating it was pretty simple- I recorded the voiceover, and then in Photoshop I split the donkey head into a couple of pieces- the head itself and then the mouth. In Motion 4 I layered the mouth on top of the head and set the anchor point at the very top. From there I imported the voiceover and had Motion 4 analyze the audio waveform. Motion 4 has a nice parameter where you can set any parameter of any object (whether the XYZ Position, XYZ Rotation, Scale, etc.) to Match Move to the audio wave. From there you can set the floor and ceiling as well as tell it to only move on the peaks, only with certain frequencies, etc. It can take a little fine-tuning, and isn’t perfect, but it sure beats hand-animating every single mouth movement when close-enough is all you are shooting for.
I hope you enjoy!