Simple Lip Synch Exercise

Talking mask on a stick, with Pupils on a layer BEHIND the mask, showing through the Cut-out Eye holes. A copyright-free voice track of a simple phrase gives students a chance to locate & identify the PHONEMES on the track, and choose or DRAW mouths.

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This is an example of a Truly BASIC lip-synch exercise – that is, One that EXCLUDES extraneous stuff that has nothing to do with learning lip synch. Just a face with no mouth. The students only need to think about locating the positions of the Phonemes – "syllable fragments" – on the timeline, then design a mouth shape to fit on the face for each of the identified sounds.


FIRST, Listen to the audio track a few times through! ---> This will help you later when you're trying to identify sounds that may last only a twelfth of a second or less. 


You might be "auditioning" the track on any of several systems: a digital recording from your phone, or a video document recorded from broadcast, or the audio track INSIDE an animation application, or a fer-Pete's-sake Reel-to-Reel tape playback. They still use those in some TV stations and audio recording studios... You can use your Stop watch app in your stinking Smart Phone to notate "hit" points.


There are a lot of lip-synch SCHEMES that work reasonably well. The thing to keep in mind is that you don't need to exaggerate, except in moments where the Character is making some Extreme Dramatic Exaggerated Expression or Gesture. As you watch people talk, you likely have already noticed that they mostly don't move their lips in Dramatic Exaggerated Shapes, most of'em, anyhow...


As with so much of animation, you will learn best by doing a few of these sequences, and seeing the results of your choices. A few times working through this sort of exercise should refine your judgment and give you a reliable basis for making your lip-synch appropriate to the actors' performance in the voice audio recording.

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