This is my first post. I've been wanting to add animated characters — particularly with speaking and movement to my eLearning courses. So I found some examples in the forum, and decided to give it try. It took a bit of trial and error, and I ended up liking my finished product so much that I wanted to share.
Creating my speaking character
Here's what worked...
1)I used the One hand on hip, one hand out as my base pose as my base.
2) I used characters with different facial expressions (e.g., neutral, talking, angry, worried and surprised).
3) I cropped each character's facial expression leaving only the mouth
4) I made multiple copies of the base character — one for each mouth. For each copy, I used the free form Shape tool to outline the mouth, filled it with the complexion of the character, removed the outline and grouped the character and the fill shape together. This step masks the mouth.
5) Then I took the original base character and put it on top of the "mouthless" base character. I used the align center and top options to make sure they were layered perfectly one on top of the other. I also had to go into size and positioning to eliminate any mis-alignment that the tool didn't take care of.
6) I used the original base character overly to correctly position the mouth. Then I deleted the ORIGINAL base character exposing the previously mouthless character. Then I grouped the cropped mouth to anchor it in place.
7) I did that for each mouth (five in all) that I used. Each one runs 1 second.
I hope this all makes sense. I've probably spent way too much time on this so sorry I don't have any pictures to go along with these steps. But I'm posting the link to my project so you can see the finished result.
If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.