James Campbell outlines an effective method for creating lip-sync animations.
James Campbell writes:
Anyone who has worked on 3d talking characters knows that it is no simple task. So why not make the mouth completely 2D?
This can simply be added as a movie texture map to the head of your character.Creating the mouth animation can be done in a number of ways. The easiest method is using an existing2D animation program like Anime Studio or Toonboom studio as they have an automatic lip sync feature.You just draw the basic mouth shapes (usually about 10 drawings) and run the automatic lip sync andit is done in seconds.
In this book promotion video Anime Studio was used. Next export a Quicktimemovie using the animation codec as it has an option for including the alpha.Now simply apply the movie as a texture map in Blender. In the texture panel ensure the Auto refreshbutton is ticked and the lip sync will update in the viewport as you scrub the timeline. Also note sometime you may have to press the "Match Movie Length" button otherwise the animation may notdisplay the full duration.
Other alternatives for creating the lip sync that are totally free is to use Papagayo, Yolo orJlipsync. An Addon exists that can import the exported data files from these programs into blender. Here is the link.
This data can be applied to a 3d mouth with phonemes or you could make a long strip of geometerymapped with the phonemes and have the shape key centre on the screen the correct phoneme and renderthis out as a movie file.