Lip-syncing is something that all animators will be asked to do at some point in their career. The following technique automates the process of lip sync in After Effects and uses only built-in features of Adobe After Effects – no extra software is required! This video tutorial is an updated version for Adobe CS5. Tutorial files and a text-based version of the tutorial for older versions of After Effects are available here if you want to follow along.

This project
was a test project for a job for the BBC. They contacted me and asked if it was possible to create a minute of lip-synced animation on a cartoon character. The budget was really tight, as was the deadline, so I had only one day to create a character that lip-synced to a provided sound track for a full minute.

Of course it was the BBC so I could hardly say no! So I said “Yes, no problem, I’ll take the job!” The minute I put the phone down I thought, “Oh Blimey! What have I got myself into?” I went to bed that night worrying about how I’d manage to get the job done. I tossed and turned, having nightmares about failing in my first job with the BBC. Then suddenly I sat bolt upright in bed and thought, “hang on a minute, what if I use Time Remapping with the Convert Audio To Keyframes Assistant, I’m sure that’ll work!” (That’s the kind of sad geek I really am!) 😉

Anyway, I leapt out of bed, ran over to my computer and put together a test project to see if it would work. This is the very project I put together as a test to see if the technique would work. Luckily, it did and I got the job done on time!

The audio used in this tutorial is contributed with kind permission. “Memories Of Your Own” – Words and Music by Jason A. Levine © Jason Levine 2007

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