animating the mouth

Could someone explain how to animate the mouth with armatures. I would like to make my characters face look like it’s talking.thanks

If you want to do lipsyncing check out this tutorial, it doesn’t use armatures btw.

I think that you will find a more up-to-date (still a bit outdated) version at the BlenderChar website:

basically you’ll first need a way to deform the mouth, maybe the surroundings for higher realism. this can be done via RVK’s, where you define phonems and expressions (like stunned, laughing, sad, smiling etc.). afterwards, you can blend them via RVK-sliders.

the other possibility is to set-up a rig for the face using an armature. i did that once, and it worked pretty fine. you don’t need any IK or complicated parenting, for the lips simply place a small bone on every significant point, that is one at each mouth-corner, one at the center (top and bottom) and each one inbetween. the tricky part is the vertex-weighting, you should create rather large blending areas for a smoother deformation.

the first method is IMO the easier, as you’ll need an image reference only once - during the creation of the phonems and expressions. animation is rather easy, as you deal witha couple of sliders, which is my favourite for animating anything that has predefined “states”

the second is more flexible since you can exagerate at any point and make more subtle changes to the face, however i’d suggest you use rotoscoping for optimum results. this can be done fairly easy if you have a video camera - simply put it in front of you, speak the sentence you need (you could even use the audio afterwards) and make an image sequence out of the video track. use this sequence as a viewport-background and animate you facial expressions according to the footage. then you can animate the whole character, move the head etc…


Animation of mouths, etc. are normally done using relative vertex-keys (RVKs).

The essential idea here, as expressed by many tutorials and by recent threads on this forum, is that you first define a “neutral” position for the mesh, then you define various “target” positions such as “left eye is winking,” “smile,” “wiggle left ear,” and so-on. Then you are able to blend these various deformations together, so that you have a really goofy guy winking and wiggling his ears, with a stupid grin on his face. :wink: