The 3D head comes with a model of the vocal tract including teeth, tongue, larynx and nasal cavities. These structures lay all inside the head and are therefore difficult to visualize. With SpeakingHead you slice through the head at any angle and any distance from the center. This allows you to see new perspectives of the vocal tract and of the speech organs in motion.
- To rotate the head around the y-axes drag it horizontally.
- To rotate the head around the z-axes drag it vertically.
Your can zoom the head in and out with the scroll wheel or the scrolling function of your track pad.
You can position the head on the screen by dragging with the left mouse button or with two fingers on your track pad.
You can ajust the background lighting of the head in Preferences > Head or Display > Customize Head…. Simply move the slider between bright and dark. On the bright setting the background appears white and the model is lit brightly. On the dark setting the background is black and lighting is reduced.
The color setting for the head are in Preferences > Head or in the menu Display > Customize Head… . The colors of the following aspects can be adjusted:
- Flesh: Color of the flesh visible in a section.
- Bones: Color of the bones visible in a section.
- Hair: Color of the hair visible from outside as well as in a section.
- Teeth: Color of the teeth visible in a section.
You can export a PNG image of the head with the Export Image button or by menu File > Export Image…. The background color of the current view will not be rendered into the image. Instead the background appears transparent. The image will be rendered into the resolution you chose in the save dialog. Resolutions greater than 5000 x 5000 pixel are not supported.
The sectional plane slices through the head at any angel or depth. The cutting line is displayed on the mini head in the lower left corner. Your can change the color of the line in Preferences > Head > Slice Indicator.
You can rotate the sectional plane by dragging over the mini head or by dragging over the big head while holding shift.
Your can change the distance of the sectional plane to the center by scrolling on the mini head or by scrolling on the big head while holding shift.
Play / Pause
To start or pause the animation use the Play/Pause button or the menu Controls > Play / Pause (cmd + R). Playback will start at the timeline cursor position. By pausing the timeline cursor will remain where the playback has stopped. If the timeline cursor is not set, playback will start at the beginning of the timeline or at the beginning of the selection.
To stop the playback and reset the timeline cursor use the Stop button or the menu Controls > Stop (cmd + ESC).
To enable repeated playback use the Repeat button or Controls > Repeat (cmd + L). If the time has a selection the selection is repeated, otherwise the whole timeline is repeated.
To mute or un-mute audio playback use the Mute button or Controls > Mute (cmd + M).
To reduce playback speed use the Speed field or the associated slider. The speed can be set in the range between 1% and 100%.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) codifies the most common speech sounds found around the world. It is used to transcribe speech phonetically. The IPA symbols can be used to describe the animation of the speech organs in SpeakingHead. Consonants determine place and manner of articulation as well as vocalization. Vowels determine openness, place of the tongue and roundedness. These properties are reflected in the animation of the vocal tract of SpeakingHead.
You can input IPA symbols with your keyboard. However, many IPA symbols are not available on a standard latin keyboard layout. To compensate you can either switch your keyboard layout in the operating system or you can use the build in IPA symbols panel by clicking on the IPA button. If you choose to automatically open the IPA symbols panel (Preferences > IPA Text) the IPA panel will open when you activate the IPA text field (i. e. by clicking on it). The IPA panel layout is arranged according to the official IPA tables.
The IPA text field provides most functionality you are used to from a regular text field. You can copy and paste plain text to and from the IPA text field. Although input is limited to 1000 characters at the moment.
To inspect and edit individual phones more closely you can zoom into the timeline and text field by using the slider on the right hand side.
The IPA text is saved to an XML representation and includes the location to an audio file if one was loaded. As long as you don't move the audio file, it will be loaded along with the IPA text file.
The colors of the following UI elements can be adjusted in Preferences > IPA Text:
- Text Cursor: Color of the text cursor in the IPA text field.
- Text Selection: Background color of a selected IPA text section.
A phone represents a single vowel or consonant and is graphically represented as a two dimensional box. The length of the box is associated with the duration of the phone and the height of the box is associated with articulation strength.
Articulation strength captures the difference between a pronounced articulation, where the mouth is opening wide and the facial expression is strong and a low effort articulation where the movement of mouth, lips and tongue is minimal. You can adjust the articulation strength with the hight of the phone box.
The phones duration is divided in two parts: the preparation phase and the articulation phase. In the preparation phase the articulary organs are moving to the position where they can pronounce the phone. When the place of articulation is reached the articulation phase is executed. You can adjust the preparation phase by dragging the line indicator left or right.
Both, the preparation and articulation phase together form the duration of the phone box. Adjust the duration by dragging the right edge of the box left or right.
The settings of the default phone are used, when a new phone is inserted. You can adjust the default phone by clicking on the Default button on the control panel. Here you can change the articulation strength, the duration and the preparation indicator.
The timeline just below the IPA text field tracks the progress of the animation. If an audio file is loaded the audio waves are drawn onto the timeline. If the audio is longer than the animation the timeline is extended.
Playback always starts at the position of the cursor. By clicking on the timeline you can move the cursor to a new position. The Stop button moves the cursor to the beginning of the timeline.
If parts of the timeline are selected the playback will be limited to this area. The Stop button moves the cursor to the beginning of the selection. If the Repeat mode is activated the playback will loop back to the beginning of the selection.
The colors of the following timeline elements can be adjusted in Preferences > IPA Text:
- Timeline Cursor: Color of the timeline cursor.
- Timeline Selection: Color of the timeline selection.
- Audio Visualization: Color of the waveform of a loaded audio file.
To import an audio file use the Audio Import button or the menu File > Import Audio…. Supported audio formats are among others AAC, AC3, AIFC, AIFF, MP3, MPEG 4, WAVE. The import is limited to audio files with a duration shorter or equal to 2 minutes.
The head can be viewed from different perspectives, meaning from different viewing angles and with different slicing angles. The combination of viewing angle and section plane is called a Perspective. You can save Perspectives and access them later in the Perspective Panel.
To add a Perspective open the Perspective Panel (Perspective button) and activate the edit mode (Edit button). A plus sign appears at the end of the list of Perspectives. Press it and the current Perspective is save to the panel.
To activate a saved perspective simply click on it in the Preference Panel. You can also use a shortcut for the first 10 perspectives (cmd + #) or access them via the menu Display > Perspectives.
To rename a Perspective activate the edit mode and use the text box under the Perspectives preview image.
In edit mode you can drag and drop perspectives to change their positions. A position change affects the shortcut number that is associated with a perspective.
You didn't get the Perspective right the first time? No problem, simply adjust the Perspective, change into edit mode and click on the Replace button in the middle of the review image.
To remove a Perspective activate the edit mode in the Perspectives Panel and use the X in the top right corner of the Perspective you want to remove.
If you need further help please don't hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.