Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes

So now let's go ahead and use the knowledge we've gained to actually animate a full line of dialog. Now, I have a file here called Pancakes, so let me go ahead and play this dialog, and you'll see why. (Character: I've sworn off pancakes. I'm having French toast instead.) Okay, so that's a very simple line of dialog. So let's go ahead and start working our way through this and actually assigning phonemes to the sound. So the first thing we want to do is we want to work on this a bit at a time. I notice there is a big space here around 45, and so let's go ahead and zoom in so that we can actually see this timeline a little bit more clearly.

Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes

So now let's go ahead and use the knowledge we've gained to actually animate a full line of dialog. Now, I have a file here called Pancakes, so let me go ahead and play this dialog, and you'll see why. (Character: I've sworn off pancakes. I'm having French toast instead.) Okay, so that's a very simple line of dialog. So let's go ahead and start working our way through this and actually assigning phonemes to the sound. So the first thing we want to do is we want to work on this a bit at a time. I notice there is a big space here around 45, and so let's go ahead and zoom in so that we can actually see this timeline a little bit more clearly.

So let's go ahead and focus on the first word. So of course, it starts at silence, which means we can select our starting face, or starting expression. In this case, I'm just going to do a neutral expression, but we can certainly change that if we want to make him look more surprised or whatever. So let's go ahead and select all of the lower face sliders, and hit S to set a keyframe. So now let's go ahead and scrub through this. Okay, so you notice the first bit of sound starts at 3, and this first word is 'I've'.

(Character: I've.) Okay, so let's take a look at this. The I starts at 3, and the V, it comes in right towards the end, right around 6. So let's go ahead and dial in the 'I'. We can do that simply by selecting this Jaw slider and opening up the jaw. Now, remember the 'I' is kind of more like an 'IE'. But in this case, it's going to be an 'IV', as in Victor, so we're just going to go from a wide-open mouth to a V.

So we're going to go-- (Character: I've) So here we need to go to the 'V' shape, which is pretty much the same as that 'F' shape. So first thing I'm going to do is 0 my jaw and go ahead and set a keyframe at frame 6, close it down, and then I'm going to dial up the F slider, so that we get a nice strong 'F' shape. One of the things you're going to notice here is that because I set a key at 6, I also have a key at 1 for this F slider.

There's nothing in between this. So it's already starting to in-between that F. You can see here, it's starting to move even at frame 2. So what we want to do is make sure that that goes back to 0. We want to make sure that the I is pure, or basically we have that open mouth is without any hint of that F, because it will be stronger. (Character: I've.) And then as it comes down, it morphs into the F. So now we have-- (Character: I've.) Now the next vowel is S, so it's I've sworn off pancakes, so it's going to be "I've 'S'." So the next vowel comes in right around 8.

So what we need to do is take out the F. I'm going to slide this down to 0. In fact, I can just type in the number; I'm going to slide this down to 0. And then I'm going to start bringing in the S sound, and I'm going to do that using this Dial slider. But notice we have the same problem we had with the 'V' sound and this F slider, which is there's nothing keeping this at 0 until we get to frame 8.

So if I were to put this into kind of at the start of an S, we'd already have it here at 6, and you can see that, again, we've got these teeth showing, so we really don't want that. So I want to make sure that that's at 0 here at 6. So now what we want to do is accentuate that S a little bit, so I'm just going to move this over a little bit more. And now the next vowel is going to be a W, or an 'oo' sound, so sworn.

So as we go into -- you can hear the-- S, S, S, right there at 11 it starts to change, and it's full on by frame 12. So what I need to do here is bring this Dial slider all the way down here. Now the one thing that you're going to notice here is that there is going to be an in-betweening problem because this is just going to be sliding straight across. So you can notice how it kind of closes, and so it doesn't really give a proper in-between, so we may have to do this one a frame at a time.

So I'm going to go from this to this, and at frame 9, I'm going to open this up a little bit, and then we should have that. Now remember this is a W, so it starts with a closed 'oo' and it opens up. Okay, so we're going to open this up right around frame 14, and of course with this, we can also open up the jaw. So again, we have the same problem here with the jaw, which is, we don't have any keyframes for it.

I need to make sure that it's at 0 at frame 12, and then when I go to frame 14, is when I open this up. So it's only going to in-between over these two frames, not from frame 6. (Character: I've sworn.) So now the next vowel is N. So an N is kind of an open consonant sound, so we can actually bring this all the way here, all the way up. So I'm going to grab the Dial slider and just bring it up to the top right corner and then close down the jaw.

In fact, if I want to, I can 0 that out. That encloses it a little too much, so let's go ahead and open it up a little bit. So now we've got-- (Character: I've sworn.) Sworn, and then again, we have 'off', which is basically back to where we were at 14. So I need to again bring this into an 'oo'. (Character: Sworn off.) And then we go into an F. So again, what we need to do here is get rid of this, so bring that Dialogue slider to 0.

So I'm going to go ahead and just type those numbers in here, just zero that out, and then I'm going to bring up the F again. But remember, we need to start at 0. If I start this in here, it's going to be in-betweening from 8, so I'm going to go back about two frames, make sure I set a keyframe for it, then go to 23, and again make that off sound. But again, I've got the jaw. Notice how the jaw is still open. So let's go ahead and close the jaw as well.

(Character: Sworn off.) So I'm going to close that, and it needs to be closed by frame 23. (Character: Sworn off.) So here at frame 20, 21, I think at 21 we still need to have it a little bit more of an O shape, so here we go. (Character: I've sworn off.) That looks good.

I've sworn off. Now we need to go to P for pancakes. Again, what we need to do is have a closed-mouth sound, so I'm going to bring my F slider to 0 at frame 25. I want to close this off before I start the P sound. And then at frame 26, I want to get that tight lip. So I'm going to bring my Dial in a little bit like this, so somewhere around here.

I just want to make sure that those lips look like they are kind of tightened up. But again, I'm getting a little bit of an in-between here, so I want to make sure that I still keep that at 0 for a couple of frames before. And now we've got P. In fact, if I want, I can take this Jaw slider and kind of smash it down a little bit, so I can close those jaws a little bit. And then we're going from the letter P into the letter A, pancakes. So you can see how the dialog is growing here. Pan. This is mostly A and then N, cakes.

Okay, so you can see the A is kind of coming up here right around frame 28. So again, all we need to do for that is to drop the jaw and zero out that Dialogue slider. So now we've got -- Okay, so N. N is kind of almost like that, so-- (Character: Pancake.) And then A again, K-- And then if want a S, we can actually bring that in on the Dial slider.

But again, we need to make sure that we zero it out before we bring it in, so at frame 37, I'm going to zero the Dial slider, and then bring it into more of an 'S' shape, and then make sure that my jaw is at 0. (Character: cakes.) Okay, and then once we have that, we can close everything out. So I'm going to zero out my Jaw and zero out my Dialogue slider.

So let's go ahead and play this. (Character: I've sworn off pancakes. I've sworn off pancakes. I've sworn off pancakes.) So that looks pretty good. As you can see, it's just a very simple process. I'm going to leave the last half of this for you to animate, and then we're going to come back and I'll show you what I've done, and you can compare that to what you've done. The process is really very simple. Just read the track, understand where the phonemes are lying, and make sure you get your dialog to match.

Some rules of thumb are make sure that each shape is at least two frames long. If it's shorter than that, the mouth is going to appear to stutter. So try and keep every shape on for around two frames at least. Of course, if there is a longer vowel, you can go longer with that. And also, there may be times where the dialog is faster than one phoneme per frame. In that case, you just need to approximate. So go ahead and work through the rest of this track.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 9938 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.