Monday, July 18, 2011

Stop Motion Tutorial: Lip Sync

Animating a dialogue scene in CG has the advantage of being able to refine the smallest of details until the very end. But with stop motion and clay animation, A desired change in the timing of the lip sync can call for a complete reshoot. How can you avoid those reshoots and fully prepare for well-timed lip sync? Here is an in-depth look at preparing for and shooting lip sync for a clay animation character. I've includes methods of reading tracks, principles of working with dialogue, and techniques of stop motion and clay animation.

Side Note: This week I started work at Bent Image Lab in Portland Oregon on a stop motion project. It's one of those hush-hush projects so I can't get into details or share pictures. It is, however, already proving to be an epic learning experience as I step back into a stop motion studio after being away for fifteen years. So I will at least be able to pass on learned techniques in future tutorials.


  1. That's a very thorough stop motion lip syncing tutorial. It was very helpful to see how you manipulated the mouth and which tools you used. I've heard of people using traditional animation and cg prepping before, but for those of us without the rigged Maya model, do you think an X sheet and reference footage is enough?

  2. Hey, beautiful tutorial. Thank you! Love the idea that you create a 'blocking' pass, so you can plan how the whole scene will look. Of course you need to start again for the real, but didnt know about the prep stage for stopmotion

  3. An X sheet and reference footage is certainly enough, especially when you consider that animators got by with that for decades. It's just helpful to put the computer to use in planning it out and previewing. But by no means should anyone forgo stop motion because they don't have Maya. I would simply suggest carefully studying the soundtrack and making sure they have been read accurately.