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Phonemes and lip-syncing

From: 2D Character Animation

Video: Phonemes and lip-syncing

Now that we have read the track and know where the phonemes lie in time, we can match up our mouth shapes to our phonemes. So let's go ahead and play the track, as we have read it. These pretzels are making me thirsty. (x2) These pretzels are making me thirsty. So now let's go ahead and insert in our mouth shapes. And I have already setup a simple set of mouths that has basically all the shapes that we need to animate to this dialog.

Phonemes and lip-syncing

Now that we have read the track and know where the phonemes lie in time, we can match up our mouth shapes to our phonemes. So let's go ahead and play the track, as we have read it. These pretzels are making me thirsty. (x2) These pretzels are making me thirsty. So now let's go ahead and insert in our mouth shapes. And I have already setup a simple set of mouths that has basically all the shapes that we need to animate to this dialog.

And let's go ahead and just do our animation. When we start animating we have to scrub against this waveform, recognize the phonemes and insert the proper mouth shape at the time. But we also, need to make sure that it all animates well together. It's not just a mechanical process of matching mouths to phonemes. You really have to make sure that the mouths flow properly in the animation context. So let's go ahead and do this. Now our first phoneme is going to be Th.

Let's go ahead and scrub this first word. (Recording: These...) So it goes "these," and you can see that the S is this kind of little tail end here. So up here is the Th, in the middle this broad part is the E and then at the end we have got the S. So we can almost just look at the timeline and see how this works. So right about here you can see this is where the Th starts. So I am going to go ahead and slug in that mouth sound. So I am going to keep it for two frames minimum.

So I am going to go here. We've started here at frame 2, and 3 our Th, then I go to frame 4 and I am in the middle of that E. If I insert in the E sound, you are going to see that I really don't have a lot of contrast between this Th and the E. So when it scrubs like this, you are going to see it's not really going to pop. If you wanted to be accurate, you could do it this way. But I am actually going to break one of my rules and that is I am going to actually open this mouth a little bit more, and I am going to put in the wrong mouth shape here.

I am actually going to put it an A just to get that mouth open a little bit more. Once I have got that A shape in, I can then bring it back down to the E. Now this will give a lot more contrast in how you animate. And then once I have that, then I am at the tail end where I have my S sound. So I am just putting in my hard consonant. Kind of closed teeth for the S.

So let's go ahead and scrub this. So you could see we have "these." Now just by opening the mouth here, you get a lot more contrast. And a lot of times when you are animating dialog you want to get contrast between your phonemes to make certain phonemes pop. So let's go on to the next word. These, okay now, the next one is pretzel. So we have got pr and then EH, puh-er-eh, pretzels.

So we need to put in actually three shapes in order to make this work. So right after the S sound, I am going to go ahead and animate that from frames 8 to 9 and then right here around frame 10, which is actually almost a little bit early, I am going to go ahead and put in that P sound. So I am just going to have a closed mouth shape, I am going to hold it for two frames and then I am going to go to an R shape.

Now what is an R shape? Well an R, if you think about it, R is almost the same as the Oo sound. So pr, puh-rr, but it's actually p-r and then we go into an EH, which would be this shape. So let's go ahead and scrub this. So we go Pa, two frames, r, two frames EH.

pr-EH and then we hold the Eh for a while and then we go into a teh, another t sound. And a T is a hard consonant so again we are just going to use that catchall consonant sound. So pr-EH-tz, I am going to hold that so that's a T and then we have eh-llll-ssss, these pretzels. Eh, that's not an e. That's not pretz-eels. It's pretz-uls. And so I am going to use that kind of EH sound.

So I am going to go ahead, and put in this Eh sound and hold that for a little bit. But as you can see on this timeline here, we have got actually a long L and then a long S. So let's go ahead and scrub through that. It goes from E to L to S. So it's kind of unspecific as to when this happens. So what I am going to do is this actually goes from about frame 19 to about frame 29. It's actually about 10 frames. So I am going to give each about 3 frames, just kind of break it up.

And we can actually almost see where the S starts. You can see this is where the L ends and this is where the S starts. So I am actually going to start my L right about here, and then hold it to about right before that start, again that is almost three frames, and then here at frame 26 I am going to go ahead and put in the S sound, which again is that hard consonant sound. And then right about here is where I am going to have the word "are." So I am just going to go ahead and close it.

Now typically, when animating dialog it's better to go a little bit early with the mouth shape then it is to go late. In fact, the Disney animators would always animate two frames ahead of where they were animating. Now a lot of this was because they would play their cartoons in big theaters and it would actually take a fraction of a second for the sound to actually hit the audience. Now for animating for something a little bit more immediate such as a TV or at the computer, you may want to animate right on the phoneme. It just depends, but typically it's better to go a little bit ahead, because it does take sound a little bit of time to hit the audience.

So here I am going to actually go a little bit early in my "are" shape. So I am going to go AH-r. And now the R again, the R shape is actually pretty much the same as the Ooh shape. R and again hold that for at least two frames, and then I have got my M shape. Making me thirsty. And again, it's just A. So now, we have worked away about half way through this track and you can see what the process is.

It's really just scrubbing through the track, seeing where the phonemes are and applying the proper mouth shape to the phonemes. So let's go ahead and see the final version of this. (Recording: These pretzels are making me thirsty, these pretzels are making me thirsty.) So there's the final version. So let's go ahead and scrub through it once just to see how this works in slow motion. (Recording: These pretzels are making me thirsty.) So there we go, these pretzels are making me thirsty.

So as you animate your phonemes to the track be sure to get contrast between your phonemes, so that your vowels will go ahead and pop out of your consonants and be sure also to give at least two frames per a phoneme so that your dialog doesn't appear chattery. So that's how you get your mouth assigned to your sound track.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 2D Character Animation
2D Character Animation

73 video lessons · 22099 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 2m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 16s
  2. 48m 21s
    1. Designing characters
      3m 22s
    2. Tracing characters
      4m 32s
    3. Creating joints that work
      3m 53s
    4. Working with outlines
      4m 0s
    5. Accessorizing your characters
      2m 21s
    6. Creating parts for replacement animation
      1m 41s
    7. Rigging hierarchies in After Effects
      5m 33s
    8. Rigging replacement animation in After Effects
      5m 52s
    9. Rigging with the Puppet tool in After Effects
      3m 16s
    10. Rigging Flash characters
      5m 50s
    11. Rigging replacement animation in Flash
      4m 25s
    12. Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash
      3m 36s
  3. 55m 29s
    1. The first law of motion
      3m 3s
    2. The second law of motion
      3m 45s
    3. The third law of motion
      3m 19s
    4. Using slow in and slow out
      5m 34s
    5. Arcs and smooth motion
      5m 4s
    6. Understanding overlap and follow-through
      5m 16s
    7. Animating overlap and follow-through
      5m 46s
    8. Understanding squash and stretch
      3m 10s
    9. Animating squash and stretch
      4m 40s
    10. Squashing and stretching characters
      5m 16s
    11. Understanding weight
      3m 27s
    12. Understanding anticipation
      4m 54s
    13. Animating anticipation and weight
      2m 15s
  4. 45m 50s
    1. Internal vs. external forces
      4m 45s
    2. Bringing characters to life
      4m 57s
    3. Animating blinks
      4m 37s
    4. Animating changes in eye direction
      2m 43s
    5. Animating head turns
      8m 1s
    6. Creating a strong line of action
      4m 16s
    7. Creating strong silhouettes
      2m 19s
    8. Pose-to-pose animation: Blocking
      4m 32s
    9. Pose-to-pose animation: Animating
      4m 21s
    10. Pose-to-pose animation: Finalizing
      5m 19s
  5. 46m 53s
    1. A walk in four poses
      2m 27s
    2. Motion of the head and body
      1m 32s
    3. Walk cycles and backgrounds
      1m 40s
    4. Skeleton motion and walking
      4m 2s
    5. Animating a walk: Contact position
      3m 0s
    6. Animating a walk: The feet
      9m 10s
    7. Animating a walk: The body
      5m 19s
    8. Animating a walk: The legs
      8m 21s
    9. Animating a walk: The upper body and arms
      3m 46s
    10. Animating a walk: The head
      2m 50s
    11. Animating a walk: Squash and stretch
      4m 46s
  6. 26m 52s
    1. A run in four poses
      4m 10s
    2. Animating a run: First pose
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a run: Second pose
      3m 45s
    4. Animating a run: Third pose
      3m 27s
    5. Animating a run: Fourth pose
      5m 1s
    6. Animating a run: Upper body
      5m 50s
  7. 37m 6s
    1. The basics of dialogue animation
      4m 35s
    2. Reading tracks and assigning mouth shapes
      5m 33s
    3. Phonemes and lip-syncing
      8m 36s
    4. Animating dialogue: Animating the body
      6m 27s
    5. Animating dialogue: Assigning mouth shapes
      4m 10s
    6. Animating dialogue: Finalizing
      7m 45s
  8. 1h 27m
    1. Animating a scene
      2m 0s
    2. Setting up the scene in After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Animating the feet in After Effects
      10m 40s
    4. Animating the legs in After Effects
      4m 21s
    5. Animating the upper body in After Effects
      9m 44s
    6. Animating the mouth and blinks in After Effects
      7m 5s
    7. Setting up the scene in Flash
      4m 6s
    8. Animating the feet in Flash
      9m 0s
    9. Animating the body in Flash
      5m 23s
    10. Animating the legs in Flash
      7m 24s
    11. Animating the hands in Flash
      11m 54s
    12. Animating the mouth in Flash
      12m 26s
  9. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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