Disclaimer: This interview project is not affiliated with animemusicvideos.org and is the product of CodeZTM. These questions do not reflect the opinions of Animemusicvdieos.org or its administration.
Welcome to the Lip Flapper. Each month, I will interview 2-3 active members of animemusicvideos.org, and get their philosophy on editing, how they view the community,and a few personal questions about their own additions to the A-M-V.org community.
This Week in "The Lip Flapper"
This week, I sat down with a multitude of editors to get their opinions on the editing faux pas known as "Lip Flap" [also, the namesake for this interview project]. Lip flap is the act of having a character speaking in an AMV without being lip synced to, and not in a moment where it's applicable to be having a moving mouth.
So what do the citizens of a-m-v.org have to say about this?
l33tmeatwad wrote:When it comes to lip flaps, there is a fine line as to where it might effectively work. Most of the time it should probably be removed, however in few dramatic situations it can add to the emotion of the piece. Generally it is safe to leave it in instramental parts of a song, however it really depends on the mood of the song and the setup. The easiest way to avoid making it look awkward is to just remove it, however someone with a good eye for video can probably make it work. A big fallacy is to just assume it would be best to sync it to the lyrics, this is done quote often instead of just removing it. As most editors, we've learned these things by making similar mistakes ourselves, so I'm not bashing anyone else's works because my own works are not free of any of these types of flaws.
Kitty-Galia wrote:We don't think that there is a big deal about "lip flap" in some AMV genres. For example - in some kinds of storytelling (our favorite one). Main characters can't be mute and if the plot requires communications between characters - why not? In this case - "lip flapping" is allowed..in our opinion of course.
Jaddziadax wrote:There are many reasons to cut it out, just as there are reasons to leave it in.
Some people may confuse it with failed lip-sync. If your video is nothing but lip-flapping scenes then it can get boring. If you are making an action/dance video then you probably should cut it. In most anime talking scenes are extremely static, so they don't flow well in an action/movement based video.
However, in dramatic/romance/sentimental videos it might be okay to leave a little flapping in. Godix once said (somewhere in the forum) that a romance where people aren't talking to each other is creepy. While I may not agree entirely with the "creepy" part, I do agree that showing the characters communicating with each other helps build the mood for the couple. Facial expressions and body language while talking definitely help to show what kind of relationship they have.
Also editing a Miyazaki film (or any other high budget animated film) where there is a lot of movement while a character is talking, might make it fairly difficult to cut the flapping out. Miyazaki also tends to have the characters talking during some very interesting scenes.
So to sum it all up: I think what it comes down to is how it's done, how much there is, and what kind of video you are making. I take it on a case by case basis, rather than loop it all into a black or white situation.
lloyd9988 wrote:If the lip flap isn't completely obvious, then it isn't a big deal. However, if there's major lip flap going on, then the editor might consider doing something to fix that
TritioAFB wrote:Defining Lip Flap as the presence of mouth movements of the characters in moments where there are not lyrics, it's an artifact that says a lot about an editor experience.
But this is not something even the experienced editors will easily get rid of it. Because you know, there are moments we will like to not see those movements, but the motion of the clip prevents to do something. For example, it will be weird to see a character not moving his/her mouth if he/she is fighting against an enemy and the climax is coming, like if the character seems to be yelling and we don't see any mouth movement. For me it's ok if the Lip Flap is there, actually the editor can think of doing some hard cuts or add effects in order to distract that "artifact"
Now, it's very different if the only motion in the clip is the mouth movements and the character is just still there. I consider that a kind of Lip Flap that can be fixed, that's the reason I always
mention in my reviews: You got a Lip Flap here and here.
What I think? The fact that the Lip Flap should be removed in the post editing, or if it's a big deal or not, depends of the moment the Lip Flap appears. If there's no action besides the mouth movements, it can be fixed. How? Photoshop, Masking, etc.
If there's action, action that is more noticeable that the mouth movements, then it will be ok if it appears. If the editor can remove it, outstanding for me, specially if we can easily watch the clip without having the impression that the editor removed the mouth movements.
So, if you believe Lip Flaps are artifacts that only novice editors do, it's wrong. As I said, even the experienced editors can do them. They say a lot of the editor experience, and the way the editor can remove them says even more.
[madaraXD] wrote:Its not a big deal for me, obviously synchronizing the song with the lips looks nice, but not doing it is not so bad
or something you should be sorry for.
However, I think it also depends on the type of amv in wich this is present. For example, in an action amv, where punches and
strength are dominant, lipsync can be used to highlight some words or phrases, but not synchronizing would damage the dynamic
and smoothness of the amv. On the other side, in a romantic or sentimental amv, lipsync wouldn't make a big difference, because
what you want to create it's an adecuate atmosphere to tell the story in a slower and more relaxed way.
MCHY wrote:I think lip flap can be quite the bugger. The majority of times I see lip flap in an amv it tends to bother me. Why ? Because it's distracting and looks awkward if no one is talking in the audio. It can make eyes all twitchy. *twitch* Now in some cases I think minor lip flap is fine. I think some people criticize lip flap to harshly because they will always complain about the lip flap no matter the case. If a scene minus the lip flap is visually powerful enough to counter the lip flap, I think it can be fine. For example an enormous cyclops octopus rises from the ocean, causing a horrendous tsunami of raging water and whips his tentacles vigorously at the group of school-girls as they shriek in horror as the octopus lip flaps what he's going to do them is fine. However, there are some cases that editors can use certain editing techniques and effects to remove or lessen the lip flap. Sometimes editors will just leave a random scene in their amv like Goku is lip flapping about how hungry he is. Meanwhile in the audio, Linkin Park has stuff crawling in their skin.
xDreww wrote:Personality I'm picky when it come to lip flap. I don't like using it, I avoid using it. When I see it in an AMV, it kind of throws me off, due to because I'm focusing on a specific emotion,or something and I see that. Kind of like ruins the mood for me a bit. Like your portraying something on a specific part of the video, close ups..scenery..walking..whatever, and you suddenly see someone talking or having a conversation, and it goes on for like a little more then a second. Throws you off.
sometimes you can't avoid it, understandable.
Shin-AMV wrote:Generally when it can be removed fairly easily it should be, since it'll help the video look cleaner overall. Although some scenes make it really hard to remove it especially for action sequences or if the character is moving around and there are a lot of interesting angles while their mouth is moving it gets harder and harder to remove the flap, and it seems like its more acceptable to let it slide in those circumstances.
If there is any lip sync in the video though its a little more important to try to remove lip flap because the viewer's eye will be drawn towards moving lips more than usual. Also in times where the flap has incidental syncing in it, I think it starts to become important again to consider either removing the lip flap or adding lip sync otherwise it'll end up looking really awkward or like bad lip sync if left alone.
I think in some cases you can let it slide if it isn't too distracting or if it enhances the video in some way. While I think that for the most part removing flap looks cleaner, I think there are times when it doesn't matter either way too much but its pretty hard to articulate specific rules/exceptions for when its ok to leave it in, since to me its really a case by case assessment. If the viewer's eyes don't get drawn towards the mouth movement and is focused on something else about the character(s) or scene like their actions/eyes/emotions then its probably ok if there is some incidental lip flapping. A few words spoken by a character might go unnoticed, but if his mouth is moving a million miles a second it'll probably draw a lot of attention and when the lip movements start to draw away from whats going on in the rest of the scene then it needs to be removed. This is where a good set of beta testers come in, because it'll help test those scenes and where their eyes are ultimately being drawn and if the flapping going on is distracting or not.
If it makes sense contextually to leave it in as a story element where you don't necessarily need to know exactly what they're saying but you understand the gist of it, then it probably works. Like in a drama AMV and someone is tugging at the back of someone's coat and tears are running down their face and their mouth is moving, the lips probably don't need to be removed since we can figure out she's pleading for the person not to go and what she says isn't as important as the overall imagery of the scene. Although the decision would then be left to the editor to figure out whether it would help enhance it dramatically by leaving it in or not, and is really a matter of preference in these type of situations.
If I had to sum it up in a general rule of thumb it would be: Always remove lip flap when you can, unless you have a compelling or artistic reason to keep it in.
gotengenks wrote:Lip flap can be a huge problem, and if it can be easily avoided, it usually should be. Sometimes it is necessary, though. There are two cases that have come up for me, one of which ive seen mentioned here on the org, and that is that it feels unnatural if nobody moves their mouths. Talking and dialogue is a major component of most, if not all anime and it has a right to be represented in an amv without resorting to lip syncing with the music (a technique which rarely shares a place with serious dialogue). The ither case has more to do with compromise (resulting from our inherent limitations as "editors") than artistic integrity and that is scenes with subject matter that is perfect for your concept or idea despite the lipsync. There is a limit that is usually relative to how much it fits and how lacking your source is in terms of clips that fit the particular instance in your amv.
So given these two reasons and how lazy i am, im not a huge critic of lipflap in videos as ive been accused of harboring it myself without really seeing the big deal. So it could be a case of unsophistication or inexperience on my part but id rather think of excuses for it than actually own up to it. So that is my opinion, be it partial or not.
Lip flap is always something that seems to be brought up in AMV critiques. But is it really THAT big of a deal? Well, in many cases, yes... It can ruin a perfectly good AMV, and by contrast, it can also save a lifeless one. As we all know, each AMV is different, and each situation will call for something different. However, in the general sense of editing, it's always best to try and be as professional as you can be. If this means taking 20-30 minutes to mask out lip flapping, then you should do it. IN the end though, you should follow your gut/heart/brain and do what you think is best.
Boy, I don't think I could have been any more indecisive there, amirite?
Next Time in "The Lip Flapper"
Well, that's all I have for this week. Join me next Monday when I sit down with AimoAio of AuN studios and get her take on several different things. Haggis and kilts, editing, AuN studios and all kinds of other fun stuff.
Join me next time!
January 16th: AimoAio Interview
January 23rd: Youtube Discussion
January 30th: Kosmit Interview
COMING IN FEBRUARY:
"It's the month of ROMANCE! This month we'll be taking a look at two of romance's top editors, and get their take on what makes a great romance AMV! We'll also have a group discussion on fanservice as well as a tad on what a good/bad romance AMV is like! Stay tuned for more details!"