Sometimes you just do things to amuse yourself — or, in my case, sometimes you do things to help you learn a piece of software and amuse yourself at the same time.

mouth shapesBack in 2001, when I was teaching myself how to animate in Flash, I decided to try a bit of digital cartooning in the process. I gave myself a crash course in animation, specifically reading up on how to make someone appear to talk – a web search turned up this diagram online (inset, right), which illustrates how to draw a character’s mouth to match up with specific syllables. Next I grabbed a random sound clip from Caddyshack and attempted to match up the mouth movements with the dialogue from the scene.

The whole thing took me all of an hour to finish:


It’s pretty crude, but while creating the facial expressions I learned to appreciate how hard traditional animators must work to put out 20-25 minutes worth of a Simpsons or a South Park every week. But don’t get me wrong — by no means am I comparing this 5-second Flash movie to anything on television.

Unless you count Adult Swim. ;)


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