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Lip Flaps
02-17-2011, 11:36 PM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2011 09:33 PM by Airrest.)
Post: #1
Information Lip Flaps
Lemme see if I can get some screenshots to explain my method of flaps... It's not too hard at all, once you know how to do it.

Note: I'm going into a lot of detail for this post, so people who already know how to do things like masking can probably skip certain parts.



Lip Flaps

This is what a lip flap looks life for me, in the end result:

[Image: LipFlapExample.jpg]

It looks a bit convoluted, but the lip flapping itself is actually very easy to do. I find most of the difficulty is finding a good lip flap to work with, but this will generally vary based on the anime you're working with and the animation style of that anime.



The Top Layer

The top layer in that image is what I use to keep pixelation on the rest of the screen to also get lip flapped. If you have flawless footage, then you don't really need to do that.

For that top layer, I just get the entire camera shot (as many frames as I can grab, usually, of just the character talking with no other motion in the picture), cut out the mouth in masking (see picture below), and place that on the top layer.

Cut out mouth:

[Image: MaskingExample.jpg]

In Vegas, this is very simple. To get to this window, either hit the "Pan/Crop" button on the clip, or right-click the clip and go to "Video Event Pan/Crop". After that, enable the little checkbox in the lower left-hand corner that says "Mask", and you're at the masking screen.

Draw a mask around the area where the mouth moves, using the Anchor tool. For some people, this will just be the mouth, but for me, in most cases, people in Death Note move their cheeks and necks while they talk, and you're going to want to get that out of the top layer, too.

In the properties (the things I circled to the left), make sure that the mask type is "Negative". This will select everything EXCEPT what you have drawn around.

After that, you're gonna want to feather it, at least in Vegas. There is a bug where, with no feathering, there will be slight imperfections in the video that will make people with OCD go crazy. "Feathering" is the act of making that line you drew a bit blurrier. Use at least 1 degree of feathering, in any direction (The options are "In", "Out", and "Both"), and you should be able to avoid this bug.

You know you've done this step correctly if you can watch the top layer alone and see no movement of the mouth area, just a big black beard for your character.

[Image: Beard.jpg]



How to Split a Clip (Well)

Next step, you need to learn good cutting procedures, or this will screw everything up (and it's just a good thing to know about, lip flaps or no lip flaps)

When splitting a clip for the frames you need, most people will just cut where it feels natural. This is, unfortunately, wrong.

Here is an example:
[Image: Cuttingtechnique.jpg]

Let's say someone is looking to cut out some lip flaps where the mouth is closed. Most people, in this case, will split their clip in between frame 2 and 3. This is, unfortunately, wrong. This will result in your footage having a split second of half-open mouth showing at the end of the cut clip. So, just to be safe, always cut 1 frame extra in the direction you need. In this case, if I'd be looking for 1 frame of their mouth closed, I would cut between frames 1 and 2, and just use frame 1 alone.

This is the best way to cut for anything. Never include frames that are on the edge, like 2 & 3 in my example.



The Flaps

Now for the actual lip flaps. These will go on any layer under the cutout that you made above.

You need to either take a still frame of the character with its mouth closed (Premiere), or cut 1 frame of the character with its mouth closed using the techniques I showed above (Vegas).

Now, you have to copy that frame or still, and paste it wherever the character's mouth is supposed to be closed. Myself... I do it in the beginning of the clip (before they start talking), after the clip (once they've stopped talking), and when they use certain letters. My theory is, if I close my mouth irl saying the line, that's where my character should, too.

Letters I usually close mouths for: P, F, V, B, M.

You can see where I've placed that still image in this example:

[Image: StillFrames.jpg]

This is what it should look like at this point:

[Image: StillsInPlace.jpg]

Now you need to select a lip flap from the source footage that you will manipulate for each syllable.

This is the lip flap that I prefer to use:

[Image: PreferredFlap.jpg]

(Remember, due to safe cutting procedures, it means there was a half-open frame as frame 0, and an open frame as frame 5)

You may decide you prefer to use a different style of flap, due to your anime, but that's what I use, and it works for both Pokemon and Death Note.

Also make note that sometimes, you won't be able to find a lip flap like that. If that's the case, try looking for a reversed version, like this:

[Image: PreferredFlapBackwards.jpg]

... and then, of course, once you've cut it, reverse the footage.

If you still can't find a flap... you're out of luck. Either find a different kind of flap to use for that shot, or use a different camera shot for that line. Or use a frame-by-frame method (too tedious, imo)

Once you have your sample flap, (make sure it's copied, using Control + C) place it over the first syllable of the line. Stretch the sample flap to make it reach only over 1 syllable (for some words, you'll have to make the flap longer, for some, you'll have to make it shorter). I am not sure how this is done in Premiere... but in Vegas, it's extremely simple. If you hover your mouse over the right or left edge of your clip, you'll see your mouse change into a special tool. If you hold control, and then drag that edge of the clip, it will stretch the clip to wherever you drag it. After that flap is over the first syllable, paste another copy and do it again for the second syllable. And then again for the third. And again. And again.

That's basically it. Usually, at the end of a sentence, or for a very slow word, I'll use 2 sample flaps to cover it, and reverse the last one, so the character will go (half-open)(open)(open)(half-open).

The reason why it's good practice to reverse a flap at the end of a sentence is because going from [Open] to [Closed] is what you will be doing for closed-mouth letters: F, P, V, B, M.

To see examples of what my lip flap style looks like, see any of my episodes since #15.


It might seem like a long explanation, but that's largely due to me covering Masking & Cutting in addition to the lip flapping, not to mention the detail I went into. Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to lip flap fairly rapidly with no problems.

Kaiser's lip flap style is similar, from what I can tell. Either he does the exact same thing I do, or he uses 100% still images to do what I do. I find this much easier than stills.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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03-03-2011, 04:03 PM
Post: #2
RE: Lip Flaps
I never knew about the feather thing, thanks for that.
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03-05-2011, 12:32 PM
Post: #3
RE: Lip Flaps
The feather thing definitely helps to keep things from looking too jarring. I highly recommend his tactic. I do a few alterations with the velocity envelope instead of frames, but I think it's to the same end and a bit less tedious. Give his method a shot and I think you'll find the end result is worth it if you invest the time.
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03-05-2011, 01:01 PM
Post: #4
RE: Lip Flaps
(03-05-2011 12:32 PM)LordMoonstone Wrote:  I do a few alterations with the velocity envelope instead of frames, but I think it's to the same end and a bit less tedious.

Good lord, man! Do you want to rip a whole in space-time?! The velocity envelope should NEVER be tampered with!
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03-10-2011, 04:51 AM
Post: #5
RE: Lip Flaps
I personally prefer to just take still screencaps of each mouth-stage, then arrange them in the right way (if the background's moving, I cut the lips out). That way, there's no danger of flickering lips at the end of the cut.

But that's just me.

And Premiere.

Big Grin

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03-10-2011, 01:46 PM
Post: #6
RE: Lip Flaps
That's the "easy" way of doing it.

As in, people think it's easier but it's really not.

At least for Vegas. Still images might be easier in Premiere, for all I know.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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03-10-2011, 02:15 PM (This post was last modified: 03-10-2011 02:16 PM by Ezekieru.)
Post: #7
RE: Lip Flaps
I do it in the fashion of Kaiser, where I do a screenshot of the mouth closed and lay it on the first track. Then I take one frame of fully-open, copy-paste it by watching the waveform and listening to the line as each syllable starts, and apply cropping/masking if the background is moving. Then I copy-paste the half-open where the syllable is dropping, and again apply masking if necessary.

For F, P, B, V, and M's, I simply put no frames to them, as I explained, the bottom track is closed. Also, I do half-closed for the beginning of long S's.

Difficulty-wise, it's very easy, honestly. Just a lot of Crtl+C, Ctrl+V.

[Image: tumblr_o50z6sCEXP1usrgjso2_540.gif]
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03-10-2011, 02:23 PM
Post: #8
RE: Lip Flaps
(03-10-2011 02:15 PM)Ezekieru Wrote:  and apply cropping/masking if the background is moving.

I hate you. The background is always moving in Pokemon. As in, it's shaking.

DAMN OLD-AS-HELL ANIMATION STYLE!!!!

(03-10-2011 02:15 PM)Ezekieru Wrote:  For F, P, B, V, and M's, I simply put no frames to them, as I explained, the bottom track is closed. Also, I do half-closed for the beginning of long S's.

I do this sometimes nowadays. The guide I wrote here is prolly like a year old.

Though, when I do it this way (with the closed mouth on the bottom track and the masked lip flaps on the top track), I usually don't use still images unless I have to.

Though, for Pokemon, episode 8 and the episode 1 redub were almost half done with still image lip flaps. I'm finding myself changing lip flaps on characters now even when it's not 100% necessary, for the sake of changing their facial expressions.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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03-10-2011, 02:31 PM
Post: #9
RE: Lip Flaps
Yeah, if you are working with footage made in the early-90s and before then, then the easy concept of doing it frame-by-frame is a bit hard to do, as the footage is shaky as all fuck. But with, say, Death Note, I'd figure doing frame by frame would be just as easy, if not more accurate.

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03-10-2011, 03:08 PM (This post was last modified: 03-10-2011 03:09 PM by Uraby210.)
Post: #10
RE: Lip Flaps
(03-10-2011 01:46 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  That's the "easy" way of doing it.

As in, people think it's easier but it's really not.

At least for Vegas. Still images might be easier in Premiere, for all I know.

Well, holding still frames in the timeline instead of frames of video is certainly easier on the RAM. It also smooths playback within Premiere.

(03-10-2011 02:23 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  [quote='Ezekieru' pid='697' dateline='1299784535']
For F, P, B, V, and M's, I simply put no frames to them, as I explained, the bottom track is closed. Also, I do half-closed for the beginning of long S's.

I just go closed-half open-open for every kind of syllable. if there isn't space, i go to half-open then back to open for the next syllable. Basically, I never go straight from closed to fully open, or vice versa. I find it makes for smoother and more realistic lip movements.

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03-10-2011, 03:20 PM
Post: #11
RE: Lip Flaps
(03-10-2011 02:31 PM)Ezekieru Wrote:  Yeah, if you are working with footage made in the early-90s and before then, then the easy concept of doing it frame-by-frame is a bit hard to do, as the footage is shaky as all fuck. But with, say, Death Note, I'd figure doing frame by frame would be just as easy, if not more accurate.

Actually, nowadays, I use the same method for both, and it's rare that it doesn't work.

Even where the footage ISN'T shaky (such as Death Note), is it's not super-duper HD, there will also be pixels elsewhere on the screen that are moving when the character is talking. Therefore, if you don't mask the shot when it's lip flapped, you will find that background items also seem to be speaking. Without mouths. I'd link you to a few examples of this, but all of my Death Note stuff is down at the moment.

I mask/cut ANY shot with lip flaps, whether it be by using Vegas' masking feature or bringing the still frames into Photoshop and cutting the mouth out.

I started doing this after episode 1 of Pokemon. You'll notice that in our original episode 1, the footage was very shaky, because I didn't mask much. But, starting with episode 2, almost every lip flap shot has been completely still.

Plus, the lip flap method is really a seperate issue from the masking method. If you're talking about stretching a single flap over each syllable, that has nothing to do with masking.

And yes, not only is that much EASIER than still-image lip flaps (in Vegas), but it's actually more accurate, in general. Episodes 14-20 of my Death Note stuff has been done almost completely that way, and almost all of Pokemon has been done that way (even when I wasn't masking every shot, in episode 1, I was still using the stretch method).

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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03-10-2011, 04:07 PM
Post: #12
RE: Lip Flaps
With early-noughties Toei shows, it's usually safe to assume a still background really is still, and just use an uncut frame.

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03-10-2011, 05:06 PM
Post: #13
RE: Lip Flaps
At some point, I'll write up my own lip flap tutorial here, which I call "dynamic lip flaps". It's very similar to the technique Kaiser and you use, Eze with a tiny twist on how I choose when to open and close and how to open and close.
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03-12-2011, 05:56 PM
Post: #14
RE: Lip Flaps
(03-10-2011 03:08 PM)Uraby210 Wrote:  
(03-10-2011 02:15 PM)Ezekieru Wrote:  For F, P, B, V, and M's, I simply put no frames to them, as I explained, the bottom track is closed. Also, I do half-closed for the beginning of long S's.

I just go closed-half open-open for every kind of syllable. if there isn't space, i go to half-open then back to open for the next syllable. Basically, I never go straight from closed to fully open, or vice versa. I find it makes for smoother and more realistic lip movements.

I'm not sure how that applies to my point of my quote, which is simply an easier way of doing closed lip flaps.

Also, just as a point of reference to those wondering, the reason why F, P, B, V, and M sounds have the closed lip flap, is because realistically, your mouth is closed when doing those sounds in a conversation. Seriously, look in a mirror and say "Frigging pretty boy Vic Mignogna."

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10-15-2011, 01:48 PM
Post: #15
RE: Lip Flaps
I'm currently working on a video tutorial for lip flaps. Should be done in a few months.

Thanks for all the good times.
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10-16-2011, 01:40 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2012 08:45 AM by TwooGiz.)
Post: #16
RE: Lip Flaps
You know mattroks I actually made one awhile ago but never edited it. But now that I've seen Fairy Fail I think I'll throw it together.

(02-18-2012 12:30 PM)Airrest Wrote:  There's a certain charm to it that I don't think most people, even on this forum, are going to get or like.
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10-18-2011, 07:09 PM
Post: #17
RE: Lip Flaps
It's mainly improv. If I actually had some time I could put a good one together.

(02-18-2012 12:30 PM)Airrest Wrote:  There's a certain charm to it that I don't think most people, even on this forum, are going to get or like.
http://www.youtube.com/2GuysAnd1More Swear
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10-20-2011, 06:56 PM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2011 07:05 PM by mattroks101.)
Post: #18
RE: Lip Flaps
It was nice of you to make a tutorial but I could not disagree with your method more. Your using the "cut the frame and paste it method". This method is slow and lags my computer. It takes for ever to constantly copy and paste one frame over and over again. I much prefer to take a snapshot of the 3 individual frames. That way I can elongate them as much as I want without having to copy and paste.

Thanks for all the good times.
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10-20-2011, 09:59 PM
Post: #19
RE: Lip Flaps
I used to do snapshots but the quality is not as good. It tends to be a bit blurry. I usually keep 1 of each frame off to the side so I can copy it if I ever lose it and you can use the selection tool to select more than 1 frame at a time (for moving, copying, pasting). If your computer lags over copying and pasting frames then... it's not too good of a computer to edit with.

I talk about 2 ways to edit in the video. The 2nd way is for people who don't want to go though the time consuming copying and pasting of frames.

(02-18-2012 12:30 PM)Airrest Wrote:  There's a certain charm to it that I don't think most people, even on this forum, are going to get or like.
http://www.youtube.com/2GuysAnd1More Swear
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10-20-2011, 11:13 PM
Post: #20
RE: Lip Flaps
Try using VLC's snapshot feature. It's pretty much original render quality.

Edit: At least, that's the case for my editing system. Since I don't use Vegas it might not.

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