About Lipsync for Director

This page is also included in the download package.

See the LipSync Tutorial for a typical session.

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LipSync

LipSync is a mouth position sequencer for lip syncing to a Quicktime soundtrack in Macromedia Director. A Director authoring Xtra (SyncPlug) incorporates the sync data into a target Director animation. The Xtra is only required during authoring and not during delivery.

 

Who it's for

Anyone wanting to create Macromedia Director animations with accurate and reliable lip syncing.

 

Web delivery

With Director 6.0.1 and Shockwave 6.0.1, it is now possible to include Quicktime in your Shockwave movies. This means that LipSync syncing can be delivered on the Web as Shockwave.

 

Conflicts

Uses fileIO Xtra which can be troubled by Macintosh Easy Open. If you get an error message about not being able to translate the file when opening a QT file use the Macintosh Easy Open control panel to turn Automatic Document Translation off.

 

How it works

LipSync is a Director application that provides a number of tools to help you assign mouth positions to "frames" of a Quicktime soundtrack.

You work with each spoken word separately. You first type the words into a text field.

You can then use a number of tools to find the start and end frame of each word. Then you can start assigning mouth positions from a palette of nine standard positions.

Individual frames can be deleted and inserted and the whole word can be nudged earlier or later in the soundtrack.

Single words or the whole soundtrack can be previewed to check the mouth assignments.

All the information collected can be saved as a "sync file". This file is used by the SyncPlug Xtra to incorporate the sync data into your Director animation.

 

Modes

LipSync has 2 distinct modes.

In each mode the scrolling text box has a different function.

Edit Text - the text box is editable - you can play the soundtrack - you type in the words to be synced, one per line.

Select Words - clicking on a word in the text box loads that word into the word editor - lots of tools to help you locate word start and end and to assign mouth positions and preview words spoken.

 

The tools

There are 5 multi function tools:

The Text Box - available in both modes

Quicktime Tool - available in both modes

Previewer - available in "select word" mode

Mouth Palette - available in "select word" mode

Word Editor - available in "select word" mode

 

The Text Box

Has one of 2 different functions depending on mode (see Modes above).

This tool also has the buttons for selecting the mode.

In the current version of LipSync you cannot return to "edit text" mode so it's important to set the frame rate and enter all the words to be synced before going to "select word" mode.

In "select word" mode you click on a word here to load it into the word editor.

Quicktime Tool

As well as the standard Quicktime controller there is a rate slider that lets you continuously vary the speed of the soundtrack as it plays - like a shuttle control. There are also buttons to step one frame forward or back and to play the current frame. There is also a button that steps to the next frame and plays it. You can click on this repeatedly to hear the soundtrack played in a series of one frame bursts. A handy way to find word start and end. This tool also has displays for frame number, playing rate and the name of the Quicktime file.

Mouth Palette

A palette of nine mouths. If you click on a mouth it is assigned to the first blank frame of any word loaded into the word editor. You can also drag a mouth to any frame displayed in the word editor.

 

Previewer

 

Once a word has its boundaries set it can be spoken by the Previewer. Once it has mouth positions assigned you can see it spoken. This tool has a mouth display and buttons to:

say word - just the frames of the word are spoken

say word plus - the word with a bit of pre-roll and post-roll

say all - the whole soundtrack is played (you can control the speed) and you see any words with mouths assigned spoken.

Word Editor

Displays one word at a time and shows the mouths assigned to each frame of the word. Also displays the word itself and the word's start and end frame numbers. Has buttons to set the word's first or last frame to the current frame. Also has buttons to go to the next or previous word.

The word editor's frame display consists of a background display of 40 frames of the soundtrack starting from the current word. The frames of the current word are superimposed on this. You can play any frame in the display by clicking on the waveform icon at the bottom of that frame. This also sets this as the current frame.

The frame display can be manipulated directly. You can drag a mouth from the mouth palette to a displayed frame.

The frames in a word are "linked" and have tabs at the front and end.

Clicking an end tab moves all the linked frames one frame in that direction.


You can also click on a frame to isolate it from the frames on either side.

When a frame is isolated a button appears above it that lets you extract that frame and close up the frames on either side.

With a frame isolated the end tabs move only the linked frames ...

... and a new blank frame is inserted to fill the gap so words can be stretched in either direction.

 

Ways of working

Like any application that has a number of tools that interact, there are lots of ways of working that aren't immediately apparent. The tools can be used in various combinations. See the LipSync Tutorial for a typical session.

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