Mouth animation styles

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In any sound-oriented Animutation, there is usually a desire to make at least one character appear to be singing or talking. This presents a challenge to the novice Animutationist, as most Animutations are created with several static images rather than animatable drawings. Here listed are a few methods to get around this barrier.

The Poorly-Cut Mouth

This style is one of the most common in animutation because of its relative ease and hilarious appearance (if done correctly). Basically it consists of cutting out the mouth of a picture from the mouth to the chin, then moving this separate object up and down to make it appear as though the character is talking or singing. The actual mouth movement generally falls into one of three categories - alternating between two frames for "open" and "closed", looping an animation from "closed" to "open" at constant speed (such that once the mouth is open, it immediately closes and starts opening again), and sliding back and forth between closed and opened (sometimes varying speed to achieve lip-sync).

Examples: Hank Hill, the skull, and Aaron Ackerson (respectively) in Life is Like a Mop

Super-imposed Black Blob

This style of mouth animation is considered by many to be the most "lazy", as all it really is is a black circular or elliptical shape that appears when a person is supposed to be speaking. Occasionally it is tweened to pulse so that the shape goes from a circle to an ellipse and back again, to make it seem like the mouth is opening and closing as the person talks. The mouth color can be a different one, most likely red.

Examples: Ludwig von Drake in Llamas in drag, the puppy in DEW HAAST

Frame-By-Frame Pronounciation

This is the most complicated method of mouth animation and is usually implemented through use of a movie clip object, thought it can also be done with copying and pasting frames. Basically, a frame drawing the mouth is created for each sound type a character makes, and then as the movie plays the correct frame for the pronunciation at that moment is displayed (usually a call to the movie clip via actionscript). FBF mouth animation can range in complexity from around three sounds (closed, open, and 'oo') to every sound in the alphabet. The complexity of the sound library is usually determined by the length of time the character will actually use it and the sounds they will need- why create a comprehensive library when all you character will say is "GAHBUNGA"?

Example: Lemon Demon in Hyakugojyuuichi Forever

Drawn Mouth

In some animutations, a mouth is drawn to make the characters sing. This is similar to the "Frame-By-Frame Pronounciation" type, except for the fact that the Drawn Mouth style is not in sync.

Example: The characters who sing in Nocturnal Dysfunction

Multiple Pictures

In this style, multiple pictures of the same character, one with mouth open and one with mouth closed, are used and alternated so that the character appears to be talking. There are multiple variations on this method.

Example: Richard Simmons in Bend It Like A Knife

Distorted Mouth

This is a variation on the Multiple Pictures style, except the mouth is distorted in an external program to make it look like it is opening and closing.

Examples: girl in Bunny Hunter (Un Lapin), many characters in Bungy Cat.

Jaw-Flapping Gif

In this variation, an animated gif of a character or head that is flapping its jaw is used instead of multiple pictures or making the jaw-flapping in Flash.

Example: skull in Self-Destruct Brain