Lip Sync


LATEST WIP: 3/8/05

Greetings all,

I’ve been working for a while in the 3d stills section on creating my first XSI project: a head. Well, I think I’ve mostly finished the model (except teeth and hair) and I’m working on animating it now.

He’s going to deliver an edited version of Bella Lugosi’s “atomic supermen” speech from Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster. It’s a crazy mad scientist type speech. Very cheezy. Here’s a my attempt at the first few words. C&C greatly appreciated before I continue! Please be honest… I’ve got a strong stomach. I’d rather hear bad comments than no comments because at least then I know what to fix. (~2 megs)

For any interested, here’s the link to the modeling thread:

And here’s a quick render just so you can see what he looks like. (actually a bit old)


Hi Colin!

Great start :slight_smile: The most obvious thing to me when viewing this is that it appears very linear, with no easing in or out at all. Especially the head movement which is very jerky. Perhaps you have all your keys set to linear with the plan to change them later, if so that’s cool

The second most obvious thing I’d like to mention is that the eyes are constantly staring at the camera. I’m sure that even subtle eye movements (a small dart here and there, but they only need to be very small, don’t overdo it!) would add a tremendous amount of life to the eyes. At the moment he has the typical cg dead-eye look :slight_smile: I also notices he blinks once, and it is a very slow blink (I counted 8 frames). I would add a few more blinks, and make them a maximum of 4 frames each, to appear more natural. I can understand that maybe the slow blink might be a bit more dramatic, but just try blinking slowly, it’s really hard!

Again it appears his mouth movements are all set to linear keyframes. I also feel that each mouth shape is too exaggerated. The “ow” in Strauski, and “ear” in years. I would shoot for more subtlety in his mouth, but then again I have never done a lip-sync this good so what would I know? :scream:

Feel free to disregard any of this advice :slight_smile:

Look forward to an update!


:thumbsup: Good your work of Lip Sync man. I don’t know Maya and I don’t have good English. It visits my topic and see my work hereafter I will also make Lyp Sync. congratulations.:thumbsup:



Thanks for the tips! you're definately right that the head movements look jerky. They're actually not linear, though it certainly looks like they are. I shall go over them again and try to make it look smoother. Thanks. :)

Funny you should mention the eye thing. heh. I recorded myself on DV for an animation reference and sound. However, the funny thing is... I was going through and I realized that for the entire duration of the one minute clip, I never blinked once! So I added the one because he looked a bit unnatural not blinking at all, tho I think it'll create a creepy effect if he blinks very little during the animation. Good call about shortening the blink. It is hard to do it that slowly!

 The mouth stuff is harder cause there are soo many different weights getting animated all at once.  :(  I'll look over it to try to make it a bit subtler / smoother. I was trying to make all the syllables very clear so that there was no doubt that the face was actually making the sound as opposed to sort of weakly immitating. Overshoot rather than undershoot? Well, I'm glad to know it looks too much. I'll reduce. Thanks!

3dstrong. Thanks man. I’m heading over to your thread now. :slight_smile:


I like it so far. The model is very good.

The animation does look a little twitchy, particularly when he mentions the professor’s name. Also the lips during the “00”-sound don’t appear right. They seem thin-- as if he’s curling his lips inward instead of out.


Don’t emphasize every syllable. Unless the dialogue itself is emphasizing every syllable, we just kind of mash through the phonemes when we talk. Try to get just enough mouth movement in there so we believe he’s talking, but don’t overdo it.

The closed-mouth phonemes (m, b, and p) are the most important to hit, and those are usually the ones I go in and key first. Then I go for the emphasized syllables. After that, it’s usually just a matter of adjusting ease-in/ease-out and adding the occasional moving hold.

I also think you exaggerate the phoneme shapes a bit too much. He kind of reminds me of Dory talking whale in “Finding Nemo.” Tone that down some.


Update. Thanks for the tips. I went in and smoothed out the animation a bit with the graphs. I also toned down the phonemes to make it appear more natural. Is this better? As for the lips turned in on O, I realized that I had forgetten to key the in point for a B and that his lips became slowly more and more Bish towards one B, making everything look very odd. That said, my O shape sucks. :slight_smile: But it’s hard to do.

Another problem. Since I started toning everything down, the tongue animation has gotten messed up becasue I set up expresseions to animate the tongue automatically with phonemes but now the tongue only animates a little. I will probably need to redo this at some point to allow manual tongue animation. sigh.

Any comments? Once again, tear it apart. :wink:



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