I have only tried do to a lip-sync animation 1 time before, and that’s almost a year ago. So it was much appreciated when Paul, our teacher, had a lecture in the class. He introduced us for some new working methods that I hadn’t used before.The main new thing was to block out the vocal first.
But first I had to find a rig that could be used. The first I opened was the Tito rig. Only a face, but the face are perfectly mapped and look awesome, but when it comes to the phonemes, I wasn’t very impressed. It’s just a small selection of phonemes there.
So I tried out a new one, a bone-based rig. Paul said professionals work with those kinds of controllers, but it takes a long time to do just a simple and basic lip-sync test. You get extreme control over the mouth area on the face. Maybe too much control. So I followed Paul’s advice and moved on.
The next was almost the same as the rig I tried for about a year ago without success. But I wanted to give it another try, when it suddenly occurred to me that we got full-body animation with lip-sync project too. So why don’t be smart and find a rig with a body and a head set up to do some lip-sync. Easier said than done.
Got a tip from Mats, my classmate, that I could try the lowmax rig and make the phonemes I need and just save the frames with each phoneme. A good solution. I used about one hour to make the phonemes. Paul said was clever to have about 10 of em.
Next thing to do, were to find a sound clip, but unfortunately www.dailywav.com didn’t work at my computer, so I went to www.soundsnap.com. Not as good, but works. Just one problem, it’s a limit on 5 free sounds, so choose wisely. So after a while I had downloaded 5 sound clips and made a choice of going for a pickup line: “Hey! I lost my number, can I have yours?”
And the rest was really pretty much straight forward. Well, I tried to make a tongue, to get more variety in the phonemes, but I didn’t work as it was suppose to and didn’t really wanted to use much time at it, so I just deleted it. Didn’t do anything anyway.As mentioned I blocked out the vocals and moved on with the other phonemes. But of course things looked a bit wrong, so I lay the project down for a while. So when I started it up, I Mr. Alexander Fusdahl saw it, and helped me see what was wrong, I need to move the key frames a bit to the left, so the movement of the mouth came before the sound. Something I had forgotten. This fixed most of it, so I just had to do some retouching here and there.
Now I had just made the mouth sync to the sound. What about the movement of the head, eyes and eyebrows? Since it was a cheesy pick up line, he had to look very confident when he asked for the number, and while he says he have lost his, I wanted him to like look away. People tend to do that when they tell a lie.
I still got a long time before we have to deliver, but it’s good to be done, and get the result up one the page. I might to changes to it, and if I do I will let you know.
UPDATE! I had some time to make some changes, so I did. It's not very much that are different, but I tried to give it some more life. I have added some blinking and a bit more motion to the head.
I found Jonas Manke's animation reel youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aG3tGgZPjU. Some of the lip sync there is great. I especially like the last singing part, he shows so much emotion. I tried to get some emotion into my scene too, but hard with only 3 second of movie.
And Fernardo Herrara - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0rsANRa4YQ - got some awesome lip sync. Great animation.