Manual Lip Sync?

I’m sorry if this question has been asked before, but I don’t like using and fine-tuning the auto lip sync feature. It is just very inaccurate.

Is there a way to manually lip sync?

of course, just import the audio, then change the drawings yourself.

unless you are thinking less manual than that.


I’m suprised that you describe the auto-lipsync as "very inaccurate. I think it’s pretty good. Have you got an example of a sync that you’ve done that’s “very inaccurate”?


the auto lip sync definitly has it downsides. There is no question at all (and I am sure the toonboom team would agree) that if you have the time and skill you will always do better yourself.

However I agree with you bob the auto lipsync is pretty good. It is great for either prototyping, quick projects (huge time saver and potentially the difference between finishing a piece and not) and a guideline.

I have been exploring using it as a guideline and then mophing between shapes to create a more “realistic” lip sync with pretty good results.

For me, as a non-professional, the auto lipsync is perfect for the projects I use it on.

I do all my lip syncing manually. Here are some good articles on the subject.

Hey gang

Interesting posts from Zeb. However, I couldn’t get anything to work on the third link and there were some pop-ups.

I’ll share what I consider to be an interesting piece of information on lip-sync. I’ve discussed this with a deaf, lip-reader. She says it’s not possible to lip-read animations. This is a very small sample I’ve taken and I’d be interested to hear what other deaf folk think of lip-sync.

If there’s any truth in this maybe be what we’re aiming for is a lip-sync that looks plausible to a hearing audience.

The other thing I’d like to share was something I think I found in “The Illusion of Life” : keeping the head moving during lip-sync makes it look better.


I fixed the third link, Bob, it should work now.

I also wanted to comment on James’ post where he says he tried, “…mophing between shapes to create a more “realistic” lip sync with pretty good results.” I asked a professional animator if they morphed between positions as their work looked so fluid. She replied that she didn’t. She just added a peg and used squash, stretch and skew to add movement to the mouth and make the changes smoother. Here’s an example of her work using this method:

I tried it and it worked well! I used this technique on the main character of my Unmerciful Servant animation in the bar scene (around 3:00). Here’s the link:

Hi Zeb

1) The link’s better now.
2) In the “Unmerciful Servant” you appear to be using “Squash and Stretch” on the whole head, in addition you appear to be moving the head at the same time. The lip-sync itself looks good but it’s difficult to analyse by itself because of the other distractions, especially on a single, double or treble viewing at full speed. In short a very nice illusion, great work!


Adding the squash/skew is the same idea in creating extra frames. Also morphing has some tricky spots. I have noticed a lot of the movements I morph could easily be done squashing and skewing manipulating. I just find it faster and easier to put in expressions.

In that shatner example I would of never noticed the mistake in the animation if she didn’t say it in the description. I had to watch it a few times.

The lip sync in that worked really well.

I think the general answer is “it depends” when it comes to lip sync. All the methods mentioned are valid and probably used in professional work. It all comes down to time, budget and style.

The most important thing is your lip sync suits your style. Like using a south park style on something like archer would be ridiculous and vice versa.

I think you should personally try each method, because as much as anything it opens your eyes. You need to be verstile so you can get your art onto the paper (screen!).