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Mimic 2 is the new version of the popular Mimic lip sync software for use in animation projects. What it does is analyze a sound file and assign a series of phonemes (basically the shape of the mouth when making certain sounds) to best imitate the sound file on an animated Poser figure. The resulting animation sequence can then be saved as a PZ2 pose file. This pose file can be loaded onto a figure (the figure must have the expression morphs that you created your mimc 2 pose with) which can be then posed through a series of frames to create a full motion animation. This tutorial will take you from preparing the figure in Poser (only necessary with Victoria 3) to exporting your completed Mimic file as a Poser PZ2 file for use in your animation projects.
Step 1 only applies to Victoria 3. All other Millennium figures, as well as those supplied with Poser, do not need this step. The reason this step is necessary is that V3 does not come with the phonemes already loaded, instead they must be injected in order to be processed in Mimic 2. While you can load a fully injected V3, this would put unnecessary burden on your computer system so it is best to create a CR2 specifically for use in Mimic.
Once you finish creating your Mimic PZ2 file, you can then apply it to any Victoria 3 character which has the phonemes loaded.
In Poser load the Victoria 3 SR 1.1 base model (Step 1). Go to your pose library folder “!V3 All Morphs INJ”, and Inject the “All Expressions” PZ2 (step 2). These will be all the morphs you will need for Mimic 2. Save the resulting figure as V3 Mimic (step 3). Finally, close Poser.
Now its time to open Mimic.
The first thing you will see is the Session Manager. What we want to do is Open or create a sound file. The sound file must be in the Wav format for PC's or AIFF for Macs. There are several ways of getting this sound. For testing you can try one of the sounds that have been included with Mimic. Click on the folder Icon (Step 4). What? you don't want to use a stock sound file? OK, the sound can be created in an outside program, and brought in using the folder icon and then browsing to the sound on your computer. Don't have an outside program? You do want to make this difficult, don't you? OK, good thing Mimic 2 allows you to record your own sound files. Using a microphone that you have connected to your computer, simply press the Record button(red dot) (step 5) and record your sound then click on the Stop button (black square) to stop the recording. You should allow your recording to run for a couple of seconds after your speech ends, as it is easy to cut off your sound too early if you are not careful. When your recording is ended you will be prompted to save the file (step 6). A graphic representation of your sound file will be displayed in the white section above your recording buttons.
Next you should type the text of the speech you just recorded into the box provided (step 7). This will help the program to assign the proper phonemes as well as give you a visual indicator on the timeline of where each word occurs. For those using the test sounds you will find the matching text files by clicking the folder icon below the word “Text” and then browsing to the “Evaluation_Sounds” folder. You may save your typed in text by clicking Save (floppy disc icon) next to the file icons.
Next you are going to need a configuration file. This file tells Mimic 2 how to assign the phonemes specifically to the model you are going to load into Mimic 2. These files use a DMC extension. There is one for each of the major millennium figures as well as a standard config file called P3_Standard.dmc. Most figures which have phoneme morphs should be able to use this file, including the stock Poser figures. However, the Millennium Figures have a more advanced set of phonemes so it is best to use the Configuration File designed specifically for the Millennium Figure you are working with (the term 'Millennium Figures' refers to Michael, Victoria, Stephanie, and the Millennium Boy and Girl figures). Click on the file icon (step 8) then chose the file appropriate to the model you are using.(step 9) I am using the V3.dmc for obvious reasons. The best rule of thumb is: if you don't have a configuration file for the figure you're using, then use a configuration file that is designed for a less advanced figure.
Next you will need to load your character (CR2) file from your Poser Library. Again, click on the file (step 10) then navigate to the desired CR2 file (step 11). I am using the V3 Mimic.CR2 that I made earlier. Then click “Open”. Before you click on OK take a look at the gestures buttons by default they are all set to on, you can click any of the buttons to turn its corresponding automatic gesture off. Gestures are provided to make the characters head more life like by creating subtle head and facial movements. Mimic 2 Pro users will have the opportunely to create custom gesture tracks in the Timeline later (you can refer to the gestures tutorial to learn more about that). and make sure the frames per second (FPS) match the setting of your animation. You have now finished in the Session Manager and can click on “OK” (step 12). Oh, and one more thing, if you haven't used Mimic 2 before it will probably ask you to locate the core Poser program at this point. If so, just browse for your Poser folder and locate the Poser.exe file (or equivalent Poser application file if you're working on a MAC).
The main window will open up with your figure in the display window. You can see how your lip sinc worked out by hitting the “Play” button (step 13). You can adjust the figure in the window using the small control buttons on it's side (step 14) just click and hold on the Corresponding button and drag to zoom or pan.
You can find out more about the display by going to the Display Tutorial.
You can also adjust the timing and duration of the phonemes themselves (step 15). click and drag the center of the Phoneme box to adjust the timing of the phoneme and click and drag the leading or trailing edge to stretch the phoneme. You can also change the strength of the phoneme (by right clicking on a PC or control-clicking on a MAC) and selecting edit strength, or just hold ALT key down on you keyboard while clicking on the phoneme, and simply drag the red section up or down to increase or decrease the strength. You can find out more about the use and adjustments to the phonemes by going to the Phonemes Tutorial.
The last thing you'll need to do is save your finished animation to your library for use in Poser. Go to the “File:Export Pose (PZ2)” drop-down menu located in the Mimic toolbar (step 16). Browse to the folder in your Poser Pose library where you would like to save the finished Mimic lip sync file (step 17). Then hit “Save” and you are done with your first Mimic project. The resulting PZ2 is a standard multi-frame file which can be inserted into any poser animation project.
Oh and one other thing before you go, if by chance you may want to come back and modify your Mimic 2 pz2 you will also want to hit save and save a Project file out, it will have a .dms extension and is mimic 2's format for saving your session.