The first Animate Lipsync dialogue exercise tackled by students at Animation Apprentice is how to animate a character speaking a line of dialogue – with no mouth. Students almost always look skeptical at this idea – how can you animate Lipsync with no lips?
The answer, of course, is that it’s all in the acting and the performance. If the body language is working, then the audience will believe that the character is speaking – even if the character itself has no mouth.
Animate Lipsync with Monty
This why our first Lipsync exercise typically uses the free “Monty” rig, a green pea with legs – but no mouth. To see an example of Lipsync animation with Monty, take a look at the animation by Rich Jeffrey below.
Lipsync with “Monty” by Rich Jeffrey
In Rich’s animation, the body language communicates the dialogue, even though Monty has no mouth. This is the secret with all Lipsync – get the acting right, and the Lipsync will follow. In fact, most animators leave the Lipsync until (almost) the very end of a shot, focusing their efforts instead on the acting and performance. For more on how to Block Out and Animate a Dialogue Shot, follow this link. And to find out how to get the best out of Monty, see this blog post.
Animate Lipsync & Dialogue Resources
To find more resources on animating dialogue and lipsync, follow the links below:
- Why Animators Should Hold Ms Bs and Ps for two frames
- Why Lipsync Should be “Two Frames Ahead”
- Why Lipsync Needs Wide and Narrow Mouth Shapes
- The Secret to Animating Dialogue and Lipsync
- Speed Lipsync – How to Animate Dialogue Fast
- Why Animators Should Open Wide on the Big Vowels
- Dialogue and Lipsync Tutorial
- Animating Lipsync – Avoid Famous Lines of Dialogue
- How to Block Out and Animate a Dialogue Shot
- Why Animators Leave Lipsync Until Last
- Lipsync Resource – The Sesame St Sound Archive
- Why Animators Need to “Hit The Accent”