Thursday, 7 May 2009

Animation and LipSync Style

This post had its genesis in an enthusiastic discussion at work on various Anime that we liked or mystified us in various ways - current and long past. So with the likes of Akira and Robotech/Macross childhood memories on the mind I was thinking about the very specific animation style used in anime and the 'lip sync'

So I grabbed a copy of some MacrossZero epsides - having a blast watching these! Here is a vid of some now classic Lip sync Anime from Robotech - in a different language even:

Then during our animation class some of us were talking about the muppets with respect to lipsync. Most of the Muppets can only deliver open-closed mouth shapes, not a visime to be found. This shows to me how easily we can adapt the idea of mouth motion with the sound and other body language to read the words as working.

Perhaps also because different people speak so differently, we fill in the rest. Some people speak without moving much at all and we Aussies slur speech together that we dont need so much mouth motion.

Here is a Muppet example

Then, listening to the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast, they covered a science news item on computers lip reading. I thought this was a pretty good test of how accurate lip sync may need to be. The article in electronic design does state how hard reading lips is and doing the lipsync work in class has me thinking it would be even harder than is implied here.

One of this weeks class resources was a tutorial by Aardman's Stefan Marjoram. This prompted me to have a closer look at some of the Aardman styling for lip sync. Which is, as the article states, poppier, plus as we know the mouths are uber-wide. Here is a claymation and CG example from them.

Lastly there are the many robots that feature in animation like Megatron. The trailer for the sequel has no lipsync - but is is very cool.

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