Although lip syncing is definitely jumping a few steps as I struggle to make a decent hand, it's something I've always been interested in. From the famous E-Trade commercials to animation movies, it really bugs me when mouth movements and words are off. This week I watched the Lion King for the first time (yes, I was deprived of Disney movies as child) and couldn't help but notice that the lip syncing is far from perfect. This made me wonder how new technologies and 3D animation has made lip syncing more precise, and how it can be done in Maya. I found this video online which I think does an exceptional job. The animation was created on Maya.
I found many more videos that weren't nearly as good so tried to figure out the 'trick of the trade'— what made some better than others. To summarize, it appears that good lip syncing on Maya mainly just requires planning ahead and a willingness to repeat the process multiple, multiple times— essentially what everything else in Maya requires. Although lip syncing is further on in the animation process, the same lessons apply to creating a hand. I think I'll try to give the Lion King animators a little slack next time I watch!