k, right now i´m on chapter 2, the lip-sync. There´s something i´m wondering about right now.

in the manual it says "it is best if you name your drawings with the seven phonemes and the closed mouth position…"
so far so good, but why only 7 phonemes?

i mean theese 7 work well but what about an O? (the 7 phonems from the manual are A B C D E F G X) language usually has more phonems. clear to me that a cartoon dont have to has maybe 40 different mouth positions (lot of work) but an O doesnt compare to any of the given phenomes (A B C…X)

maybe it has some background wich i dont understand, so please help me out. ???

ABCDEFG and X aren’t phonemes, they’re just labels that TBS uses for phonemes. If you’re confused by that, it’s not surprising. It’s not a terribly good system.

I tried that tutorial and found that Toon Boom’s automatic lip sync is basically useless. It doesn’t intepret the audio accurately, and it doesn’t have enough built-in phonemes (and doesn’t allow you to add your own). I would forget about it and do the lip sync by hand. First of all, it’s not that hard and second, to really do lip sync you often need to make creative decisions that a computer can’t make for you (such as when a single frame has more than one phoneme and you have to decide which of them to use on that frame).

If you look elsewhere on this forum, I posted about this and recommended a free program called Papagayo from It will allow you to sync up your audio, preview how it looks (and add your own phonemes and mouth shapes, if you like) and output a text file which will contain each phoneme/mouth shape next to the frame it should appear on. It’s meant to work with the program Moho, but should be fairly useful with Toon Boom as well.

A page on phonemes used in animation, borrowed from Preston Blair:

As you can see, this has nine phonemes, plus the “rest” position.

I made several mistakes when doing lip sync. First, I thought I would add a “th” mouth shape with the tongue sticking out between the teeth. This might work in some instances, but in my case it looked like the tongue was flickering. This may have been partly due to my second mistake, which was animating the mouth shapes at 30 fps on ones. This made the mouth look like it was moving too quickly. I should have done it on twos. Finally, I made the “rest” position a closed mouth, whereas you can see on the page I linked to that it should be partly open. That makes sense, because most people don’t close their mouths completely between words.

Mark, :wink:
Somehow I feel that you probably didn’t mean to make such an “absolute” statement. Perhaps you found the Lip Sync to be limited in its application or not as rigerous as you would prefer, but “useless” is a bit strong and there are actually people who have worked hard to provide that feature and they deserve some consideration.

I’m not trying to give you grief but I’ve read your posts here and elsewhere in other forums like 2DCGI so I know you are a really nice guy. Just wanted to remind you that what is said in a public forums gets picked up and repeated and we all should be careful about trashing the work of others.

Welcome to the forums, we need plenty of experienced active participants like yourself. -JK

I’ve been using this chart for a while. It’s not perfect, but it works most of the time. I’ve found if I want to add a couple of additional visemes to tighten things up, I can do so, then make the adjustmetns with the cells tab in Properties.

Anyway, here’s the chart I use:

Hard work should never be beyond criticism, otherwise you get complacency. Acknowledge the hard work but also point out the areas that need improvement.


Thanks for your break down of Toon Boom’s phenomes. That’s just what I needed to translate Toon Boom’s letter designations into the mouth posses I’m familiar with. You just save me a bunch of time!

Rob! Thank you.

I was baffled by the phoneme examples provided by TB, and had no idea which phonemes were to be assigned to which letters. The image in the TB manual is waaaaay too small to discern, and doesn’t make sense. A phonetic assignment should be presented, instead.

Your graphic provides that example and I appreciate it greatly!

These are the things which I did not learn in even in my linguistics class. Your post really helped me to get conceptual study of linguistics. Hopefully, I will cover many topics from your posts like this. Now I would like to get best essay writers online here to complete all my assignments on time to get higher marks.