Discussion on Animated Mouth animation

Discussion in 'Transformers Animated Discussion' started by nkelsch, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    I am curious if the animation issues are just the first 3 episodes or was intended for 'translation' reasons. It seemed they didn't want to form american word mouth shapes, just generic mouthflapping. American cartoons have sounds that japanese animation doesn't. like the "oooooooooooo" or "lllllllllaaaa" sounds that make a very visible mouth formation.

    Example: "I Love You" is a short phrase used when animating mouths for general testing. For it to look right in american animation you would see a tongue flick of the "lo" sound and the lip-bite of "ve" and the "ou" round mouth.

    All 3 of those mouth formations are mostly non-existent in Japanese animation and in the wrong place for other languages. So for it to be 'translation friendly' they have to basically not use them.

    Another Example: American cartoons you should be able to MUTE it and understand by lipreading if it is animated well. Spongebob is one of the best mouth-animated series on TV right now. Watch it with the sound off and watch the detail in the mouth position for the words. Now do that with TF:A, and it is VERY VERY hard, close to impossible.

    This was most apparent in Starscream's Dialog IMHO. He was using lots of these sounds without the american mouth shape, which was noticeable to the eye and felt 'cheap' compared to other series who make these animations.

    It looked 'wrong' to our eyes which translated into Cheap.

    My Question is, Was it just cheap, foreign animators or intentional to make it look 'right' for other languages? Hasbro is very international conscious, down to the comic inserts in 3 languages...
     
  2. Lord Of Tetris

    Lord Of Tetris Well-Known Member

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    ^^^I have to see the show again to make any meaningful comment, but I wouldn't doubt what you say.

    I'm very aware of Spongebob's well-done lip flap. Teen Titans and Batman: Animated Series (the 90s one) does this very well, too.

    (Note: from here on I am NOT talking about the artistic style but the actual animation. As in, the amount of frames per second.)

    The animation did look a little cheap. Mind you, it was no worse than G1, and certainly a hell of a lot better than Armada and most other anime. But it wasn't as fluid as Teen Titans, B:TAS or Spongebob. No way. Mind you, I'm not talking about the art style, just the fluidness in which this style moves with frame after frame.

    Considering the animators seem to try harder on some scenes (most of Starscream's attack was stunningly animated) than on others, it's not too hard to believe that things like "throw a punch" or "jump and kick" are more worthy of their budget and time than lip flap.

    Just my guess.
     
  3. Kickback

    Kickback Proud father Administrator Super Mod News Staff

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    Takara-Tomy won't import the show unless there are 52 episodes ready to go. Most of the other locations that have agreed to air it (Canada) are majority English speaking for not just television but for marketing and retail. But you may very well be on to something by suggesting it was done for international markets.
     
  4. Sso02V

    Sso02V Injector Has a Posse

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    TBH, I didn't really notice it much, but then I do watch a lot of anime, so lip-synch is a bottom priority for me as far as the quality of a show goes.
     
  5. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    But it is eye-catching. Kinda the same way human-realistic CGI looks WRONG while being very detailed.

    Mouthflaps in anime is common but when it is non-anime, do we subconsiously expect american voice-synched mouthflaps? I am watching South Park right now and thier mouth shapes are dead on while still being simple. which is one of the things about it.

    In most scenes I counted a total of 3 mouth positions for all sounds. It catches the eye.

    Example:
    [​IMG]

    You can see the difference between I LOVE YOU on the left and anime mouthflapping on the right.
     
  6. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    [internet smart ass reply] Transformers are robots, therefore they do not need to contort their mouths into the same shapes we do in order to speak. [/internet smart ass reply]
     
  7. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    wow, good post/thread. as artistically inclined that i am, ive noticed this subconsciously abt non-american toons (including ones made by french/euro studios) but never really manage to pinpoint it. kudos of the observation.
     
  8. Sycia

    Sycia Draconian Faction

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    Personally, I think the better animated mouths could dispel the illusion of them being mechanical lifeforms even more than their proportions do already. The idea of robots having mouths to open and close for speech seems a little far fetched enough to an independent observer, so perhaps they wanted to lessen the effect of a fleshy mouth area.

    Though of course, none of us animators can deny this also saves a lot of effort animated, timing and stuff.
     
  9. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    We all know transformers don't need mouths, but the have them and their lips should whenever possible fit the speech coming out.

    So here are the scenarios:

    1. They were just cutting corners, and skipping on mouth formations was too expensive

    2. They were trying to emulate anime a lot so the studio animating did mouthflapping instead of lipsynching

    3. They were trying to make the lips on the animation simple for international dubbing.
     
  10. Tigran

    Tigran Well-Known Member

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    I'm semi-inclined to go with option 3 there.
     
  11. Maximo Prime

    Maximo Prime Bassist of Ill Repute

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    check for a Syncer in the credits.

    BTW - that Bumblebee "i love you" thing was VERY cool...

    maybe my fiancee has only seen crappy cartoons, but she says she really doesn't like cartoons in general because IHO they are IMPOSSIBLE to lip-read, and she is hard of hearing.
     
  12. Switchblade

    Switchblade Just a raggedy man

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    Yeah, the mouth motion thing was one of the few parts of the show I didn't like. I didn't really notice it at first, but it stood out a lot the second time through. In all fairness, I've seen worse (as has anyone else who's ever seen an episode of Digimon. From what I've seen of it, the standard frames of animation for speaking mouths is two - when the animators aren't being really lazy and keeping the speaker's mouth off camera, which happened a lot in the few episodes I saw).

    I'm not sure why the animators for TF Animated went with this style. I never watched much of Teen Titans, but Legion of Super-Heroes uses the same stylized art, and it has great mouth movement. I'd like to know why they used such a lazy style.
     
  13. Razorclaw

    Razorclaw Are ya gonna draw pistols

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    This is important. You could lip read the old cartoons.
     
  14. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    G1 was american animated. Most American Animated series have english lipsynchs.

    Most Anime doesn't. I do not know why they went with Anime mouthflaps instead of English lipsynch.

    The question is, was it lazyness or intentional?
     
  15. Soundblast

    Soundblast Member

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    Well i'll just pretend that Transformers don't have tongues.
    Which I've been doing since i saw that Kiss Players stuff. X(
     
  16. Tigran

    Tigran Well-Known Member

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    Well after watching the show numerious times, there does seem to be some lip synching going on. Speficly watch them say the word crew.
     
  17. Harlequin Daniel

    Harlequin Daniel Captain Grumpy

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    THAT might explain it, I'm partially deaf and lip read to enhance my understanding of what's being said - watching anime is hard slog I have to concentrate totally on the words that are said, as opposed to both the sounds and the shapes.
     
  18. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    I'd imagine that this was planned for exporting to Japan. Takara Tomy might not import it until there are 52 episodes ready to go, but I would imagine they have an interest in releasing it on their side. After all, it is more profit for them, especially if it takes off in Japan as well.
     
  19. nkelsch

    nkelsch Do you know this Icon? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, I did see 'some' lipsyching' But I am really seeing only 4 mouth positions opposed to a unique one for each sound.

    It seemed when the shot was close up like a headshot they did try to lipsynch but other shots they mouthflapped.
     
  20. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Bulkhead's "You never said he was so big." matches perfectly. Not to mention Bumblebee's follow-up line.

    The mouths don't exibit the usual anime movements, but sort of a comprimise.

    And I agree with D_C, they are robots and so it's sort of redundant anyway since their lips are probably just for show and their actual voices come from speakers in their throats or something.

    I think the reason they do that is because if they did lipsync it perfectly it would look messy from a distance.


    Also, this is some serious nit-picking. It's no big deal, it's just animation. And like Sol said, it's probably designed to be exported to Japan for Takara/TOMY anyway, so certain exceptions had to be made.
     

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