Aardman Speaks

More often than not, CG lip sync suffers from being 'floaty' and lifeless. I feel that clay animation is usually much snappier and livelier, due largely to the use of straight replacements. With replacement animation, one mouth shape is completely removed from the face and replaced with another different one, which is then sculpted over a few frames before being replaced with another mouth shape. It's this liveliness that I've tried to recreate using Maya's blend shapes.

In the next few pages I'll show you my lip synching workflow. It's by no means a way of doing hyper-realistic mouth animation but, at the same time, I do make an effort to make it accurate. The tips and methods you'll read about are ones that I've picked up and adapted in my time at Aardman.

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