Call me a cocky idiot. Maybe it’s because my background is in cartoons and my education never encompassed a serious animation class. Whatever the reason, I beat my head agianst lip-syncing without ever stumbling upon The Secret: Phonemes.

Mouthpositions

I did once do a search for Phenomes, but it revealed little because of my misspelling. Like a search for Jessica Simmpsoon.

Now that I see how it’s done, I see it everywhere. We barely move our mouths when we talk, and usually the positions are pretty regular. I was watching the most recent Wallace & Gromit when I was struck by the phonemes. Then I watched everything from Toonerville to Mulan to Ren & Stimpy. Same thing. If you screw it up, it’s all you notice … and if you do it perfectly, it’s invisible.

I read it in several books and tutorials, I’m sure, and maybe even saw some demonstrations, but I am truly humbled by this basic knowledge. And especially my lack of it. Maybe the sixty or so hours of bad lip sync do and redo were wasted, but, man… I learned this shit the hard way. And on my own nickel, too. I hope I never have have another such come-uppance, and yet I kinda hope I will, too.