This page exists within the Old ArtZone Wiki section of this site. Read the information presented on the linked page to better understand the significance of this fact.
The phoneme system is the core of Mimic's functionality. A phoneme associates a sound with mouth and other facial morph targets (figure deformations) that cause the figure to create realistic movements. Figure creators such as DAZ set up morph targets to closely match how the mouth looks when making a specific sound. A phoneme can contain anywhere from one to a dozen morph targets. DAZ's Millennium Figures are fully set up to work within Mimic. Some of the default figures included with Curious Labs Poser version 3.0 and higher also include some of these customized morph targets.
Mimic's primary function is to automatically match up a sound file to the corresponding phoneme set, thus freeing up animators from countless hours of tedious work. Mimic 3.0 allows you to edit phonemes directly within the Timeline, giving artists much greater power and flexibility to fine-tune their animations before exporting them to either DAZ Studio or Poser for final rendering.
To begin this tutorial, load the Mimic session file you created in the previous tutorial by selecting File > Open and navigating to the correct folder and file. If you have not exited Mimic since completing the last tutorial, then you may simply proceed to the next step.
The first step is to identify the two portions of the Mimic interface that we'll be focusing on during this tutorial. The first is the Phoneme Track in the Timeline, which is where the phonemes actually do their work. The second is the Phonemes section of the Phonemes and Expressions window. Add phonemes to your animation by clicking and dragging your selected phoneme from the Phonemes and Expressions palette to the Phoneme Track.
Editing or customizing a phoneme involves adjusting the morph targets that are associated with that phoneme. You can add custom morphs into one or more phonemes as desired, then save the result as a customized Mimic (.dmc) configuration file, which you can then use in other sessions or distribute to other Mimic users.
This example uses the stock morphs included in the Victoria 1 figure that ships with Mimic. Each figure will include different morphs and you should either create or load a custom configuration file for each figure to ensure maximum lip-synching fidelity. For example, if you are working with the DAZ Victoria 3 figure, you should load the victoria.dmc file in the Mimic Configuration_Files folder. For this tutorial, let's stick with the default.dmc file.
In the Phonemes and Expressions window, scroll through the Phonemes section until you locate the + EH (Ed) entry. All phoneme entries use the following syntax:
From the explanation, you can see that the + ED (Ed) entry means the following:
This particular phoneme has one or more copies underneath it. Clicking the + sign displays the copies of this particular phoneme, including EY, AE, and AW. In this case, the phoneme creators felt that those sounds produced facial movements so similar to the EH sound that they simply copied those movements to the other phonemes. Try double-clicking one of the copied phonemes and looking at its Phoneme Definition window. To customize a copied phoneme, click the Uncopy button and assemble a new set of morphs. For this tutorial, we'll work on the AW phoneme. This phoneme is for the “Eh” sound as pronounced in the words “Ed” or “Elephant”.
The first step is to load the figure into either DAZ Studio or Poser.
TIP! Already familiar with the morph targets you're using for your new phoneme? If so, you can skip this step and move directly on to the next step. Mimic allows you to do all of your configuration setup directly within the application, eliminating the need for DAZ Studio or Poser for this purpose (you still need either DAZ Studio or Poser for final rendering). You can even preview your work in the Preview window! Clicking the Preview button in the Phoneme Definition window temporarily changes the figure in the Display window to show what the current phoneme looks like.
If you are using DAZ Studio, go ahead and launch the application, then import the default Mimic figure as follows:
Please refer to your Poser documentation for information on importing figures into Poser.
When creating a new phoneme, you would normally adjust the head morphs manually until you get the look you want, however, since we've already done the work for you, just follow the instructions below.
If you are using DAZ Studio, adjust the figure's head morphs as follows:
Whether you work on an existing configuration file or want to save your changes for a later session, you'll want to save your new phoneme(s) to a new configuration file. Do this by selecting File > Save Configuration File from the menu. A standard Save As dialog box appears. Select your desired save file and filename, being sure not to overwrite any existing files.
TIP! Remember that there are several ways to save your Mimic work. Saving a configuration (.dmc) file saves your phonemes, gestures, and expressions, but does not save your current session. To save your session for future use, save a Mimic session (.dms) file. Lastly, you can save multiple-frame pose files (.pz2) for use in DAZ Studio and/or Curious Labs Poser.
Now that you've created a phoneme, here's how to add it to the Timeline. You may either:
Please see “Phonemes” for more information about working with phonemes.