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View Full Version : Lip Sync impossible in LW



beatboxjoe
08-27-2004, 07:50 PM
I've spent the past 2 days trying to match facial endomorphs to an imported audio track in LW 7.5.. I don't recommend it. One of the most futile endeavours i've ever undertaken. Be warned. The word Impossible comes to mind. It seems that LW's audio handling capabilities are basically zilch. Anybody else agree?
Has anyone used Magpie?
This is a pretty important part of Character Animation. How do people deal with this?

lesterfoster
08-27-2004, 08:42 PM
I found lip sync in LightWAVE quite simple. After studying the proses for quite some time, I manage to do it in two ways. 1st was manually with endomorphs and morph mixer. and 2ent with the plug in DAZ mimic. As I am lazy. I prefer mimic for lightwave. I found that all that I had to do was just talk to my computer. And with mimic. It made my caractor repeat every thing almost right away. Check it out.

I did try Magpie. How ever I liked mimic better. A nether one is lip service. How ever from what I understand, lip service is no longer available.

Here is the link for mimic. and download the demo, and let me know what you think.

http://mimic.daz3d.com/

Chris S. (Fez)
08-28-2004, 05:13 AM
The audio scrubbing in Lightwave sucks, just straight out sucks. Max is much, much better. Been complaining about this since six. Sorry, not the most constructive post.

Tom Wood
08-28-2004, 06:41 AM
Yeah, the sound quality in LW 7.5 is horrible. Does anyone know if it was fixed in 8?

I use Magpie Pro and can't imagine doing it any other way than with a similar program. I haven't tried DAZ mimic but everyone who has has liked it.

TW

Dodgy
08-28-2004, 05:31 PM
I used a freebie called lip sync which was available from a japanese site before I got Mimic. The freebie was quite cool, it gave you a kind of morph to phoneme ability which you could then use in a nonlinear style timeline. It made lipsyncing much easier. If you want to layout some cash though, Mimic is superb. it's features are fantastic and it does a lot of the donkey work for you, and you can then spend your time tweaking it till it's perfect if you aren't happy with the first results.

faulknermano
08-28-2004, 11:12 PM
i go about lip-synching outside lightwave. i can use a timeline-based audio app or something (even a compositing app) and create a dope sheet. i print that out and use it as definitive guide to synching. even though you might think it old-fashioned it is super-accurate, and very efficient. in fact more efficient than how i used to do it before which was on-the-fly. before i would take so many passes and now i would take only three passes at a maximum, and only one pass on average. once lipsynch is done, the saved time is better spent on expressions on top of the synch.

just my take on it.

SplineGod
08-29-2004, 01:21 AM
Its never been a problem for me. I just take the avi file and create an 8 bit version that is just useful enough for lip syncing.
You can also render previews that also have the audio embedded.
Ill also set the starting and ending frames to bracket the part of the dialog I want to lipsync. I also tend to work with a low rez version of the character to get it right.

FONGOOL
08-29-2004, 02:34 AM
Mimic 2 is really good, except for the audio scrubbing which is completely broken and useless. And it seems that they're not fixing it. But now you can buy version 3... :mad:

It's still plenty useful, though without scrubbing I'm glad I got it super cheap, I'd feel violated if I'd payed $300. At $70 I'm merely dissapointed. I assumed there'd be a patch but no such luck. They've gone right on to the next version and no free upgrades. Does anyone know if scrubbing works in 3? Not that I'm going to pay again anyway...

Does anyone know if Smart Morph does audio scrubbing?

Tom Wood
08-29-2004, 07:31 AM
Its never been a problem for me. I just take the avi file and create an 8 bit version that is just useful enough for lip syncing.


Hi Larry,

I use MotionMixer exclusively to add facial movements in addition to the lipsynch created by Magpie. So frame accuracy isn't a big deal in LW, I just listen to the soundtrack and drag and drop MM motions to roughly the right place in the timeline. But it's a real pain to sit through all the audio static.

I've tried various lower sampling rates for the audio and never had any luck getting the static out of the audio. I have a good audiio processing program, should I keep going lower on the audio resolution? When you say '8 bit' are you talking about changing from 16 bit to 8 bit? What about the sampling rate? I use WAV files.

TW

tonyg
08-29-2004, 08:29 AM
Lip Synch works in LW, even on older systems, if you do as SplineGod suggests. I do find on some computers that I have to turn off "Hardware Acceleration" for the sound card -- surprisingly, this makes the audio work very well, even on some rather old machines I have used (under 6.x / 7.x).

Tom Wood
08-29-2004, 08:47 AM
Thanks,

I just tried an 8-bit, mono, 11.5 kHz version of the WAV file, turned off hardware acceleration for the VT3 card, and it still sounds full of static. But only in LW. Layout also hangs and thinks about the scene a while when there is audio present before playing the scene. :(

TW

UnCommonGrafx
08-29-2004, 08:59 AM
Here's a site I found when I had audio issues:
http://www.lightwaveoz.org/tutorials/audio_tute.htm

Too bad there is no auto-reduction tool in lw for sound files. But, there are fixes to make it work.

SplineGod
08-29-2004, 09:36 AM
Hey Tom! :)
Exactly, I reduce the audio in any way I can so that is still useable but I can still scrub thru and hear what I need. Having a the subpatch level and so forth on the character reduced also helps. I adjust whatever I can to squeeze the performance out of it. So far its not been a big pain.

Robert,
Thanks for that link. Theres some good info in that tutorial. :)

beatboxjoe
08-29-2004, 10:15 AM
Well i went ahead and bought Magpie Pro. It works really, really well. The audio scrubbing is superb, and its Automate function works like a dream. Check out the site.

http://www.thirdwishsoftware.com/magpiepro.html

The end result is you get a Motion Mixer file to import.

Also the tech support is fantastic.

Chris S. (Fez)
08-29-2004, 10:27 AM
Even resampled, Lightwave sound scrubbing sucks. Try it in Max and you may have a hard time going back. Also, in Max it is possible to display a nice big wave file in the background of your dope sheet and graph editor and mini dope sheet etc. etc.. The tiny little wave file display in Lightwave is relatively worthless when you are animating to sound and trying to hit key frame cues.

This is pretty important stuff IMO. Hopefully Dr. Cross can apply all the audio knowledge he has garnered from developing the VT3.

Chris S. (Fez)
08-29-2004, 10:37 AM
"i can use a timeline-based audio app or something (even a compositing app) and create a dope sheet. i print that out and use it as definitive guide to synching. even though you might think it old-fashioned it is super-accurate, and very efficient"

Same here.

UnCommonGrafx
08-29-2004, 10:42 AM
Man, I never knew I cared about this this much...

MotionBuilder has it RIGHT on the timeline and is scaleable. Yes, I sure hope Dr. Cross and crew can get this like we'd like and need.

beatboxjoe
08-29-2004, 11:07 AM
Does this have to degenerate into a Max v. LW debate? Max has just as many plug-ins as for things you can't do in the main app as LW.
All progarams have strengths and weaknesses, but nobody is going to scrap their app over one issue like sound. I got into LW rather reluctantly because i wanted to use Motion Builder. I had come from Cinema 4D, and in comparison i really hated LW's interface. But it wasn't long before i'm became fascinated and enamored of the program.
I'm on a Mac and so Max isn't even a consideration. Even if it were i would take Maya over Max any day. But right now i own lightwave, i'm a lightwave user, and i'm on a lightwave forum. It just seems really unhelpful to suggest the use of another app all together. It's also pretty disrespectful considering that this forum is hosted by Newtek.

tonyg
08-29-2004, 11:25 AM
Thanks,

I just tried an 8-bit, mono, 11.5 kHz version of the WAV file, turned off hardware acceleration for the VT3 card, and it still sounds full of static.

TW


I would try turning off the hardware acceleration for the sound card (or is that the VT card? I don't have a VT, so my ignorance may be showing).

lesterfoster
08-29-2004, 01:36 PM
I remember my first attempts at doing lip sync. This is one thing that I wanted to do so much. I spent something like a month or more searching the web and other sources. And trying different methods, trying out plug ins, and experimenting. Now I can do it. It may not be the best way. In fact I know that it is not the best way, or the only way. I am still looking at different tips and tricks, Trying out new ways on how to do lip sync

The first time that I do anything, is always the hardest, slowest, and frustrating.

Here is a nether good link that helped me.
LipSync Making Characters Speak- By Michael B. Comet (http://www.comet-cartoons.com/toons/3ddocs/lipsync/lipsync.html)

I do have one question. Can I render audio with my final render??. I have tried and have been unsuccessful so far.

Chris S. (Fez)
08-29-2004, 03:13 PM
"Does this have to degenerate into a Max v. LW debate?"

There is no debate. I was referring to a specific feature for Max that in this instance is superior to Lightwave's implementation and gives the developers a reference for how to get it right. So you decide to pounce on the opportunity to tirade against Max and rip on the entire program? And you accuse me of degeneracy? I think I could more accurately be accused of degenerating the conversation if I called you a hypocritical punk. But I will restrain myself.

Sound scrubbing in Lightwave DOES suck compared to the competition. Newtek needs to know when their tools are relatively weak...especially when more diplomatic users than myself have asked for improved scrubbing and soundwave display since 6.

Tom Wood
08-29-2004, 03:17 PM
I would try turning off the hardware acceleration for the sound card (or is that the VT card? I don't have a VT, so my ignorance may be showing).

Yes, I'm using the VT card as the sound card. No luck.

TW

SplineGod
08-29-2004, 04:09 PM
I do have one question. Can I render audio with my final render??. I have tried and have been unsuccessful so far.
No but you can in the preview.

lesterfoster
08-29-2004, 05:13 PM
Glad to know that I am not stupid or crazey. I am going to stop wasting my time trying to render something with audio by using different codec's. I am going to go back to the way of rendering that works best for me.


Sound scrubbing in Lightwave DOES suck compared to the competition. Newtek needs to know when their tools are relatively weak...especially when more diplomatic users than myself have asked for improved scrubbing and soundwave display since 6.
I agree with you. I do not understand why some programs drop a good winning feacher with the next up grade. I have seen this with too many programs out there. You know the old saying, if it ant broken than don't fix it. Well I wish that this was true with software. All too often I have found an out standing feacher in a program, just to find out that it is no longer available in the next upgrade.

whattawa
09-21-2004, 03:01 PM
Mimic 2 is really good, except for the audio scrubbing which is completely broken and useless. And it seems that they're not fixing it. But now you can buy version 3... :mad:

It's still plenty useful, though without scrubbing I'm glad I got it super cheap, I'd feel violated if I'd payed $300. At $70 I'm merely dissapointed. I assumed there'd be a patch but no such luck. They've gone right on to the next version and no free upgrades. Does anyone know if scrubbing works in 3? Not that I'm going to pay again anyway...

The version 3 you are talking about is actually the version 3 for Poser Mimic. We haven't updated Mimic for Lightwave yet.

The way the audio scrubbing works is less intuitive than some programs, I'll admit that, but it actually is useful. It repeats the sound you are on until it passes to a new sound. Not the ideal setup for those that are used to audio editors, but still useable, especially with the waveform visible.

Just wanted to let you know that you don't need to be upset about version 3. It's not out for LW yet. :)

Cman
01-01-2005, 09:31 PM
No but you can in the preview.

Thanks a bunch for this tip! I didn't even realize.

Using the Preview and Magpie was a pretty great combo!

I got a solid base with Magpie, then watch the preview one segment at a time and tweak it into a more natural look. The Preview "renders" super fast and gives a realtime view of what I just did.

Thanks!

Jamel
01-02-2005, 10:47 AM
Hey I downloded the daz mimic 2 demo and it doesnt work. When i try to add the plugin it says This application has failed to start because DevIL.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

I tryied reinstalling it but it says the same thing?

(I have lW 8)

whattawa
01-03-2005, 09:35 AM
I would guess that you chose the wrong folder when the installer asked for you to point it to your LW installation. There are some DLLs that get placed in the "Programs" folder. Look for a stray programs folder that just has a few DLLs in it and move them to the correct programs folder. That should do it for you.

wavercgiwaver
01-18-2005, 09:30 AM
This maybe late for you,but check TAFA on www.kurvstudios.com.its just about to
launch and if you need alot them this the interface App for LW for 2005.It stands for Timothy Albee's Facial Animation,and its almost a huge plug in like messiah was.It is the successor to LipService and endomorphs away like crazy & joysticks
also.look see!

whattawa
01-18-2005, 10:20 AM
The link got messed up because there wasn't a space between it and the word "its." Here it is again: www.kurvstudios.com

I'm looking forward to that plugin. I spoke with Tim Albee about it, and it sounds exciting. He has a fairly different approach to it than Mimic, so I'm sure we'll all find it a great tool to add to the collection.

PeteS
01-18-2005, 09:53 PM
i found it pretty easy, tedious-true, but easy. make sure you sample down the imported sound into lightwave and swap in teh hi-rez version in your editing software for the final. scrubing is a bit sluggish for alot of movement, but if you are really into doing this, buy the griffin powermate. griffin powermate (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/powermate/)

it gives you incredible control to really find your "sweet spots"for mouth morphs. not to mention, it stableizes the scrubbing somewhat.


attached is the animation i did using it...(server is a bit slow)
oddfather (http://www.sussidesign.com/oddfather)

Mipmap
01-19-2005, 01:02 AM
"Does this have to degenerate into a Max v. LW debate?"

No, but if it helps, Hash Animation Master I recall having good sound scrubbing and lip sync features, and thats a $300 package.

cgbloke2004
01-19-2005, 10:52 AM
ok, so sound handling isnt LW's forte, but i suggest in investing in mimic.
it works very very well. very quickly.

LFGabel
01-19-2005, 04:23 PM
Don't forget Timothy Albee's upcoming lip-sync product...

cgbloke2004
01-19-2005, 10:51 PM
i found mimic was the fastest from the get-go.. [for me anyway, after going thru magpie and also doing it by hand - i used to do it the old way with breakdowns, dope sheet, china pencil and a steenbeck..]
ie. record audio, clean it in an audio program, dump it in mimic, play it through, tiny edit. export to lw. et voila!
on a straight forward job you could do this in 5 mins or less, depending on complexity of morphs, but if you had those setup beforehand, the actual lipsync, via mimic, takes seconds.

i like some of albee's stuff so i will definatly be on the lookout for it, but for sheer speed, i'm on mimic.

MacReiter
04-03-2005, 08:45 AM
I realize I'm somewhat late into this post, but since there are so many people with so many valid concerns, I thought it worth mentioning anyway.

Timothy Albee's Facial Animation (TAFA) has been released. The official web site is http://ta-animation.com. A fully functional (except for saving) unlimited time demo is also available so that you can try out its audio scrubbing and morph placing abilities for yourself. Various tutorials (one from Timothy and one from me inside the help system) are available.

TAFA spent a significant amount of time on audio scrubbing and synchronization to make sure that it is as close to millisecond accurate as possible. Give it a try and see what you think.

Mac (TAFA's designer/developer/programmer)