Planning comes first. Animation happens before you touch the computer.
Plan, draw and think.
“Takes” = squash and stretch. (Scale the head, just a little...be delicate.)
Emotions as Icons. Be clear. If you look at a single frame, does the expression read?
Emotion Triangle. 95% is the eyes and eyebrows. Then the mouth completesthe triangle.
Expression changes get lost in movement. For example- if there is a quick head turn, you don’t want your change of expression lost in the motion, change before or after a big move.
First & Last frames of a shot shouldn’t have an expression change. The audience will be unable to see it. It takes about 8 frames into a shot just to comprehend what you are looking at – nevermindseeing an expression change.
The eyebrows can be broken down into basic poses:
neutral, angry, sad, stern, worried, cocky and surprised.
Single Brow line
All variations of the brows are based on the 6 shapes, and mixing and matching them.
Keep the feeling continous
Eyelids should match eyebrows in expression.
Face should echo the body posture.
Clarity. Every part of theface should add to the expression. When you smile, smile with your eyes.
The brows lead expressions. Even for a blink- the brows will tend to lead the movement. First brows, then eye blinks – this is a subtle movement.
Simplify the mouth into 3 sections. Left, Middle & Side. Corners of the mouth should move in arcs.
Lower Lid tips: overdone = muddy. Use the lowerlidsonly on the following:
blinks, squints, smile, looking up, antic.
Work within an expression. Apply moving holds, Do acting within an expression, Give yourself somewhere to go.
Subtlety enhances acting.
Remember your anchors. Solid vs. Flexible.
Scale the head from the fleshy part – not the skull, but the lower face where the meat of the face is. Don’t squash the cranium!
Makesure your IDEA is crystal clear!
21 Principles of LIPSYNC Animation ------ Shawn Kelly.
Planning comes first. draw, thumbnail.
Spell your break downs Phonetically.
Write down the sound that is made, not the letter itself. Its the sound the mouth makes that matter.
Find the dominant sounds.
Consonants mimic the precceding vowel.
Ex : BITE & BOOT, the "T" shape is totallydifferent for the 2 words, it follows the precceding vowel. The "T" in BITE is going to look more like the "I" in BITE, and the "T" in BOOT will mimic the OO sound.
The Muppet theory.
The jaw opens only on the main syllables. First block out the jaw. Put your hand under your jaw and figure out how when the jaw opens and closes.
Hold the last shape. Don't go back to a neutral shape right afteryou finish the line.
Keep closed shapes shut usually atleast for 2 frames.
ex : b m p
Flow through the holds.
Slow in.... POP out.
slow in...If u are saying "E" for 3 frames start with an E shape but don't dial in 100% of E.
POP out...The P in POW would slow in but when the P sound is made it pops out quickly.
Slip dialogue earlier if needed.
Transition at midpoint. Whenshapes overlap and is more than 50% or 60% then it is a clue that u are trying to do too many shapes.
Study mouth in a mirror.
Don't over annuntiate.
Most accents fall on vowels(even most body and head accents fall on vowels)
FACESYNC not LIPSYNC.
The mouth is not independent of the face. Think of the whole face. Ex "GET OUT" (often) on "OUT" the brows go up, the eyes get wider,the mouth opens...the whole face!!!.
Rythm of the body is more important than technically accurate Lipsync. Its like watching a performance rather than a talking head. The audience first look at the eyes, then the body, then the mouth.
Study your dialogue again & again...again...again..again...
Don't listen to your line, study it. Act it out while listening to the line.