5 Tips for Creating Dialogue in Scratch

By Derek Breen

Dialogue is so important to the animation process (in Scratch and in any animation) that actors are recorded before almost any animation begins because synchronizing character animation to sound is easier than trying to fit sound into finished animation. In the animation world, this initial sound recording is the scratch track. How perfect is that?

  • Animate the jaw: When you speak, it’s not just about your lips, teeth, and tongue. Head back to the mirror and see where your jaw is when you go through the phonemes. It’s easy to add, just use the Reshape tool to tweak the bottom of the head.

  • Animate the eyes/eyebrows: People tend to raise their eyebrows and open their eyes a bit wider when asking a question. What other ways can you change the eyes when a character speaks? (Your mirror beckons.)

  • Add blinking: Unless your characters are in a staring contest, try adding an occasional blink to make them more realistic (or a wink to get them a date).

  • Animate hands: Have you noticed how some people move their hands as they speak, almost as if they are conducting an orchestra (or trying to distract you while stealing your wallet)?

  • Try Audacity: Audacity is a free audio-editing application that gives you far more control over audio editing than you have with Scratch. Some of the biggest advantages are being able to zoom in and out on your sound wave, show precise time information, speed up and slow down audio, and apply sound effects that are more sophisticated.