View Full Version : Lip Syncing - What's new?

01-28-2011, 04:55 PM
I've been doing a little research on lip syncing here recently. It's not really something I dig too much into because I don't get a chance to do that type of thing very often so I just look into it now and then just out of curiosity. Back in the day, when I first started with Lightwave I remember using Morph Gizmo for lip sync. Anyone else remember Morph gizmo?

Looking around it seems like morphs have kind of fallen out of favor, replaced by bone rigs. So I'm just curious what people are doing these days? Motion capture with bones? Morphs still working great? Some kind of 3rd party app? What's new with lip sync?

01-29-2011, 08:59 AM
Heya JoeJustice,

There currently aren't a LOT of lipsync solutions out there but a company i work with (shameless plug here) has a FANTASTIC desktop solution thats been in development for years and nets some fantastic results. The company is Annosoft (www.annosoft.com)... i suggest checking it out. Basically the tool itself is a general desktop tool with connectivity to certain packages (currently Max and Maya). I completely rewrote the Maya toolset last year and have begun workin on a Lightwave toolset using morphs (as a first pass). Eventually i'll be looking at getting a bones solution setup.

But anyways, the system itself is built generically to work with any package really, if you can get the data read in your set.

I would go to the site and check out the free downloadable demo... Mark, the owner of the company, is a great guy and really open to feedback and suggestions.


01-29-2011, 04:12 PM
I've been using Papagayo recently which doesn;t do auto lip syncing, but does lay out the phonemes for you if you type in the text of the speech, and allows you to adjust them very quickly and easily. I've written and importer for lw which will load the data file it saves out onto a mesh with the phonemes set up as morphs. It will also fade phonemes if they're close together much as real mouths skip faster phonemes.

01-30-2011, 12:52 AM
There's a plugin for max, maya, xsi that I hope will have lw support someday. Seems a lot of popular character and known companies used this plugin



01-30-2011, 03:05 AM
magpie ? not looked at it in a while ,dont know what its like atm , but it used to be ok .

01-30-2011, 03:23 PM
Magpie Pro is still being developed and it's still very good. In fact, I just got a second license to use for our (Little Green Dog) short film project. I don't use the 'automation' feature but that worked fairly well when I used it for a two-minute 'spec' project many years ago. Man, that was about 13 years ago now that I'm thinking about it. From what I recall, the automation took a lot of prep work (I had to teach it my voice,) and then it still took a bit of manual tweaking to make it look good. That said, this was just a spec job so I didn't want to spend a lot of time on it, and Magpie Pro definitely saved me a ton of time on that project.

These days, I fire up Magpie Pro from time to time to quickly keyframe main mouth shapes, and it works great for that. You still need to tweak morphs in Layout to make the lipsync/face anim look really good but it takes the a lot of the 'first pass' tedium out of the process. (BTW, it's very good for generating mouthshapes for 2D 'limited animation' too.)

It's actually been a couple of years since I last used Magpie Pro but we're about to use it in a big way for the Brudders film. I'm not expecting any issues using it with LW 10, but I'll post to this thread if I run into any.

I also got TAFA a while ago. It's not specifically a lipsync program but it's supposed to be nice for facial animation, which of course is inclusive of lipsyncing. I'm not using it for the Brudders short because it's not really appropriate for what we're going to do, but we're probably going to try it for our next short film. I'll post more info when I get around to actually using it on a project.

I used Papagayo with Anime Studio (a 2D animation program called 'Moho' back then) years ago for some tests. It worked well for that. It's kinda like a simplified Magpie. Also, it's free and you can't go wrong with that. I know Dodgy got it working with Lightwave but I haven't tried using it that way myself.

I have a license of Mimic Pro for Lightwave. I've only used it for tests and that was years ago. It worked fairly well for automated lipsyncing but like any automated system, you can expect to do a lot of tweaking if you want really good results. Like Magpie, Mimic exports to Morphmixer so you can tweak and improve the animation manually in Layout. It's been a while since I played with it, but I don't think it was as slick for doing 'supervised' (non-automated) lip-sync animation like Magpie Pro. (I could be wrong though...like I said, it's been many years since I tested it.)

I know the guys I work with believe nothing beats a really good character animator keyframing lipsync and facial animation by hand, but for me (who never seems to have enough time,) a tool like Magpie Pro helps get me most of the way there a lot quicker.


01-30-2011, 03:36 PM
BTW, many animators I've worked with tend to use a combination of morphs and bones. For example, morphs for the main face/mouth shapes and bones to control things like the swinging the lower jaw from side to side.

01-30-2011, 03:55 PM
re http://www.annosoft.com/lipsync-tool

any demo videos?

okay demo video here

though the demo doesn't actually load up any audio so we can judge the results.

01-31-2011, 06:48 AM

Good catch on the video not actually playing the results, thats my bad. I'll be posting some new vids up within the next few weeks (and will update the one on the site). As noted the demo download is accessible from the downloads page and its really easy to do some quick tests to see results.

If anyone is interested in any direct assistance in reviewing the tool don't hesitate to PM me.