Billy Whiskers is a cat who solves mysteries. But the biggest mystery for stop motion film maker James Wilkinson was how to create smooth and effective lip syncing on a budget.
The solution was to create a system using servos, a 3d printed armature, an arduino and Adobe Animate.
This system allowed lip syncing movements to be pre-programmed in Animate and the servos move to position for each frame creating accurate lip syncing and giving the animator one less thing to think about while animating the rest of the scene.
The experimental technique was used to create a short film Billy Whiskers: The Mystery of the Misplaced Trowel. The film was also unconventional in other ways, the armature for the main character was entirely 3d printed on a budget 3d printer. The film is a one set, one character murder mystery and filmed at full scale.
The finished film can be watched below and a bunch more information on the project can be seen at billywhiskers.co.uk