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!

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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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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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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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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

I have got audacity, it's great mini/bigsmile  although does anyone know of a good way to get different voices of movie characters (Batman, Darth Vader etc.) in terms of a technique or software? And another question. For those of you who record dialogue before, do you create any music for the brickfilm at the same time (if it's necessary) or do you make it afterwards?

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

I dont understand the voices thing you ask. Are you asking how to make your voice sound like other people's voices? I'm afraid that's nearly impossible. Unless you know how to change pitch and autotune extremely well, it can't be done (and even if you did, it still wouldn't sound right). It's all in the voice actor's voice.

But as for music, make it afterwards. That is, if it's a soundtrack. If you're making a music video, or a dance routine, have the music ready beforehand so you can animate it to the music. But if it's just a movie score, it's best to be made afterwards so everything lines up well.

That being said, when using royalty free music and downloaded music and whatnot, you can pick it out before if you feel like it and listen to it to help set the mood for the scene when animating. But it definitely isn't intended to be lined up beforehand. It can be if you want it to be, but that's only if you stick strictly to the sound edit when animating and don't intend to adjust anything in post at all.

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

Okay, thanks. The question I was asking was if it was possible to either record your voice and then have a software which can turn it into someone else's voice (and if so what editors can do that) or if there was a trick to speak (aka impersonate) in a voice like Darth Vaders, but from what you said I guess the latter is not possible mini/confused thanks for the help anyway!

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

Lego Figure Productions wrote:

Okay, thanks. The question I was asking was if it was possible to either record your voice and then have a software which can turn it into someone else's voice (and if so what editors can do that) or if there was a trick to speak (aka impersonate) in a voice like Darth Vaders, but from what you said I guess the latter is not possible mini/confused thanks for the help anyway!

Well, there are filters and stuff to make you sound like you're somewhat robot-ish like Darth's voice. And with some breathing sounds, it might be convincing. But unfortunately, technology just isn't up to making people have emulated voices yet.

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

Lego Figure Productions wrote:

I have got audacity, it's great mini/bigsmile  although does anyone know of a good way to get different voices of movie characters (Batman, Darth Vader etc.) in terms of a technique or software? And another question. For those of you who record dialogue before, do you create any music for the brickfilm at the same time (if it's necessary) or do you make it afterwards?

I use Sony Sound Forge to extract the laugh tracks from Everybody Loves Raymond DVDs, whihc I then process nd edit for use on Holding Our Own.  And when it comes to music, every episode has at least one vocal music score that I write.  I record the score first, write sheet music, do a temp vocal and send all three items to the voice talent, so they can listen to the mp3 on an mp3 player or something with headphones and sing along with my vocal in time.  Then I mixdown the voice with the music into a stereo track, which gets its own track in the video editor.

If you're interested in orchestral scores for animation, I recommend the CD "The Carl Stalling Project".  A must have for any animation/ soundtrack lover.

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When I watch today's TV and streaming media, I weep for the talented writers that can't get a TV contract.
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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

I've always found that record voices before was the way to go, when I first started animating I learned fairly quickly why not to record after lol. I like to animate to the audio of the film and then adding the rest of the sound effects and then the music at the very end.

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

Okay. Thank you all for your help! I will definitely take a look at the CD HOO!

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Re: Recording Dialogue - Before or After You Animate?

The Carl Stalling Project is reasonably priced on eBay.

https://vimeo.com/channels/holdingourown      http://holding-our-own.tumblr.com

When I watch today's TV and streaming media, I weep for the talented writers that can't get a TV contract.
Never apologize for doing what's right.