Topic: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

When I first started animating I was forced to record my dialogue after I had made the animation, which wasn't too big of a deal. However, having now got dragonframe where you can import audio to go along with the animation while you are animating, I thought I would take a quick survey to see whether people record before or after? This will help me decide whether I change my normal workflow, and may even help others too! I am aware that the usual reason why people like to record it before is because it helps them with animating the characters in time with the dialogue, making for a more interesting conversation and one that keeps the audience interested. If you have any other reasons for recording before or think you have a fairly good reason for why it is good/okay to record dialogue after then please do let me know! mini/smile

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

I think it's absolutely critical to at least have a rough mockup of your sound design (with dialog) to matchup while filming, definitely.

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

I always voice, then animate to the voice.  This is standard practice at animation studios.  The other way around is much more difficult.  There was one person on BiM a couple years back who did it the opposite way, which is rare.  But since it worked for him, that's fine.

Actually, to be more accurate: I animate first, process and lay out the audio second, then sync the frames to the audio third!

Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

Always do it before. If you do it after you are going to have to try to speed up and slow down the reading of your lines, which could make for much less realistic lines. Unless you do something like HoldinOurOwn.

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

osomstudios wrote:

If you do it after you are going to have to try to speed up and slow down the reading of your lines, which could make for much less realistic lines.

This was one diadvantage that I had found before when recording my voices mini/sad

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"it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay" - Gandalf

Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

For a normal animated film, you can't animate without the voices because you need to sync mouth animation with the audio. Brickfilms are a little bit different in that the mouths (usually) aren't moving, which means you can technically get away with recording voices after. That doesn't mean you should, though. Your voice actors will often give a slightly different take on the reading of a line than you had in your head originally that you like better, but if your animation is already done you can't adjust the physical performance of the character to use it. More importantly, if you want more than one thing moving on screen at a time, you need to have the voices already recorded, because you need to know exactly how long it takes a character to say something. Because of time constraints I've had to record audio second before, which means that while animating I put holds in between every movement so I could make sure the animation and the audio matched up by adjusting the length of the holds, but that really limits the kind of animation you're able to do. Recording dialogue first is always going to result in better animation performances.

Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

Before before before before before before

that being said, I'm guilty of doing it after. Especially in dialogue heavy things I don't really care about. But if I care about a video I'm making, then I ALWAYS do it before. It makes the line delivery so much more natural and smoother.

Of course, lining these audio clips up can be hard if you don't have a fancy program to do that. So print out an X-sheet and line up your audio by hand. It'll take a bit of time because you'll have to figure out how many frames each piece of dialogue is and how long you want a particular movement to be. It's basically just planning out the entire shot instead of doing it as you go.

It's really quite helpful. I used to do this on paper before I got a program to import audio. Just take a bit of planning and it'll save you so much time at the end, and will also reduce your headaches when you realize the animation doesn't match well.

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

You could use Audacity for this. It's free, and can present your sound file in SMPTE format (Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Frames), which is very helpful when mapping sound to pictures.

Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

I have been contemplating on getting audacity for a while now, so I'll probably get it if you recommend it. I know lots of other people use it, so it's probably worth a shot mini/smile

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"it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay" - Gandalf

Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

I mean it's free, and if somethings free it's at least worth a shot.

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

In the beginning, I would sometimes do some voices after since I could easily edit the picture lengths to match the audio. However, when I became more and more professional and tried to increase my production quality as high as I could, I started recording voices beforehand (quite some time ago) and since I had upgraded software, it was much easier this way during production. I'd recommend doing the voices before going into production/the animation process as this is the way the majority of big studios tackle it.

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