Video:How to Create Phonemes (Lip-Synching) Animationswith Mark Zamora
Animating speech can be tough, so get some handy tips on creating lip-sync animations with phonemes in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Create Phonemes (Lip-Synching) Animations
Hi, I'm Mark Zamora, animation expert, here for About.com. In this screencast, I'll show you how to create lip-sync animations.
Animate a Mouth Talking Using "Phonemes"
Animating speech can be tough, because you have to match the mouth movement of your animation to the audio track. If you're looking for realistic mouth-movements, it's best to look at how the mouth changes with each sound. These are what we call “phonemes,” which are basically the puzzle pieces you use to create good lip-sync animation.
What do "Phonemes" Look Like in Animation?
Starting off with vowels like A and I, the lips are pulled wide, the mouth and teeth are closed a bit, and the corners of the mouth are up a little. The E is pretty similar, but the lips are stretched even wider, the corners of the mouth higher, and the mouth and teeth are a bit closer.
Animating the U is completely different since the lips are pursed together, almost like a kissing motion. The mouth is round. The O is similar to the U, but the lips don't purse outwards as much, the mouth is opened more. The F and V have a similar sound, and are similar to animate. The teeth are down on the lower lip.
Animating the L is about the same, except that the tongue presses against the teeth as well. But the same mouth shape. The M, B, and P all require the lips to be pressed together, the M is longer than the B and P though. And then the rest of the letters, C, D, G, and so on are very similar: mouth is pretty closed, in a natural wide position, and the teeth are nearly closed.
If you're looking into starting animation, making yourself a reference sheet of these phonemes can be a great tool to have! So when you're working on your animation, listen closely to each syllable. But, like I said - these are just the basic puzzle pieces so you'll have to keep in mind that every body talks and looks different. Some characters may open their mouths really wide if they're being really expressive, or they may hardly open their mouth at all. It just depends on the character.
For more on animation, be sure to visit compute.about.com. Thanks for watching!