About Phonemes and Visemes

Phonemes are the smallest structural units of sound that distinguish meaning for a language, such as “oo, ee, ar, m, b, p,” etc. in English. Face Robot recognizes phonemes based on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) standard: 38 phonemes for US English and 23 phonemes for Japanese. You’ll notice in the charts below that the languages share many of the same phonemes.

Face Robot automatically maps the set of phonemes to the matching spikes in the audio file when you generate the lip-sync animation.

Phonemes are sounds, but what matters the most in animation is what you can see: that’s where visemes come in. A viseme is the way that the mouth is shaped to represent a specific phoneme—essentially, it’s a visual phoneme.

Face Robot provides you with a library of viseme poses that are mapped to the animation controls on the character’s mouth.

 

English and Japanese Phoneme Charts

The following charts show the IPA phonetic symbol, the Unicode value, and an example word in which the phoneme would be used for English and Japanese:

English

IPA

Unicode

Example

 

IPA

Unicode

Example

b

0x0062

boy

 

w

0x0077

win

d

0x0064

dig

 

l

0x006c

let

g

0x0261

give

 

m

0x006d

main

p

0x0070

pen

 

n

0x006e

name

t

0x0074

team

 

 

0x014b

sing

k

0x006b

call

 

 

0x025d

her

t

0x02a7

child

 

 

0x028a

book

d

0x02a4

join

 

u

0x0075

you

s

0x0073

small

 

o

0x006f

oh

f

0x0066

flower

 

 

0x028a0061

how

 

0x0283

shall

 

 

0x0251

ah

 

0x03b8

think

 

 

0x026a0061

I

 

0x00f0

the

 

 

0x026a0254

boy

v

0x0076

very

 

^

0x028c

but

z

0x007a

zoo

 

 

0x00e6

pat

h

0x0068

house

 

 

0x025b

egg

 

0x027e

butter, water (between “d” and “t”)

 

e

0x0065

say

j

0x006a

yes

 

I

0x026a

it

r

0x0072

rise

 

i

0x0069

see

Japanese

IPA

Unicode

Example

 

IPA

Unicode

Example

a

0x251

aka

 

m

0x6d

mae

b

0x62

bin

 

n

0x6e

natsu

t

0x2A7

chichi

 

o

0x6f

oto

d

0x64

daidaiiro

 

p

0x70

pan

z

0x7a

tsuzuki

 

 

0x27e

rakka

d

0x2A4

jikan

 

s

0x73

saka

 

0x25b

eki

 

 

0x283

shiai

 

0x278

fuji

 

t

0x74

tabi

g

0x261

gakko

 

u

0x75

ushi

h

0x68

haha

 

w

0x77

wata

i

0x69

ika

 

j

0x6a

yuka

k

0x6b

kami

 

 

 

 

 



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