Carnival-combining speech technology and computer animation.
Visual speech animation, or lip synchronization, is the process of matching speech with the lip movements of a virtual character. It is a challenging task because all facial poses must be controlled and synchronized with the audio signal. Existing languageindependent systems usually require fine tuning by an artist to avoid artefacts appearing in the animation. In this paper, we present a modular visual speech animation framework aimed at speeding up and easing the visual speech animation process as compared with traditional techniques. We demonstrate the potential of the framework by developing the first automatic visual speech automation system for European Portuguese. We also present the results of a preliminary evaluation that was carried out to assess the quality of two different phoneme-toviseme mappings devised for the language.