To create an even more unique experience for your video projects you are able to create your own avatar, which can be then used in any of your projects. 💁♀️
The following article takes through the process of creating a custom avatar including requirements needs for the optimal result. Let's jump in! 🥳
Please note that the avatar's quality depends on Synthesia receiving footage that matches these guidelines. If the standard is not met then a reshoot might be needed.
The requirements for creating a custom avatar are as follow. It is recommend that you read through each section ot ensure you create optimal footage for your avatar:
You can download a pdf version of the requirements here.
1. Video Background
When creating custom avatar footage the background of the video is important. We need to be able cut out the actor from the video.
Here’s what works well:
A GREEN SCREEN BACKGROUND and ensure the screen is well lit with no shadows. This method is required to create the highest quality avatar.
Make sure that the background does not clash with the clothes or skin tone.
Avoid wearing any green with a green background. Your footage may be rejected if this is not followed. Please use a white or blue background if you are wearing green clothing.
Do not remove the background yourself. We will do this before avatar creation.
Below are examples of a well lit green screen (left) and a plain white background (right)
Q: What do I do if I can’t shoot in a studio?
A good quality camera is critical when creating footage. Make sure to shoot with a dedicated video camera.
Here’s what we need for the camera setup:
UHD resolution at 3840x2160
29.97 fps or 30 fps (frame rate per second)
Position the camera at the same height as the actor’s eyes
Make sure the focus on the face is sharp
Do NOT use any type of streaming software, webcams or applications that capture your recording over an internet connection. Standard video production technique that consists of a camera and external microphone is required.
Q: What if I can’t shoot at UHD?
Q: What if I am shooting video in Europe?
Set the framing for the upper body of the actor.
We recommend filming your actor in UHD 3840x2160 as we are able to reposition the framing slightly, if required.
If you are only able to film in HD 1920x1080, then we ask that you frame the avatar in the exact framing that you want the avatar to be in, as we are NOT able to adjust framing during the Avatar creation process.
Good examples of framing
Mid torso up Avatar
Hands in shot (left) and Hands not in shot (right). Our production team may need to reframe your avatar in order to create an avatar to a quality standard.
Chest up Avatar
Q: What if I want my avatar to show the upper body?
Q: Can the actor use hand gestures?
Good lighting sets the tone and feel for your avatar.
Here’s what we recommend:
Use a three-point lighting setup
Ensure fixed even illumination on the actor
Avoid shadows, particularly across the face
Use a main Key light at the front to illuminate the actor, this is positioned slightly to one side to add depth to the face.
Use a Fill light on the other side of the camera to avoid shadows and a Backlight if possible, to highlight the actor and separate them from the background.
Q: What if a three-point setup is not possible?
We use audio to train our AI algorithms to match the lip movement for the actor. We can use the on camera audio but make sure it is clear:
The audio must be perfectly in sync with the video
No background noise
Make sure only the actor speaks, do not feed lines to the actor
Audio from a lapel mic (lavalier) or a boom mic is ideal, but we can use on camera audio.
Q: Do I need perfect audio?
In the Avatar creation process, we DO NOT adjust the color grade for the actor.
It it therefor important to provide a video with the look you would like for your avatar:
Avoid dark footage, make sure you have good lighting to avoid this
Shoot with the look you want on camera, or grade the footage afterwards
Please DO NOT provide raw ungraded footage
It’s your Avatar, so dress how you want the Avatar to look!
Here’s some important tips though to get the best footage:
DO NOT wear any clothing that clashes with your background
Avoid green clothing
Makeup must look natural
Keep hair tight to the head, avoid seeing the background through the hair
No sunglasses, we need to be able to see the eyes
No low hats, we need to be able to see the forehead above the eyebrows
No long beards, but short beards are OK, however, please check with customer support before filming.
Tattoos are usually okay but please also check with customer support before filming.
If in doubt, follow the rule that the face should be clearly visible to the camera at all times.
Q: Can I wear eyeglasses?
The performance of the actor on camera defines how your avatar videos will look on Synthesia. It helps to make sure the actor is calm, relaxed and takes their time on camera.
We use a standard script to help us analyse how the actor moves their lips in speech. It is important to deliver the script with short pauses and lips closed.
What should the actor’s performance look like?
Happy, friendly and relaxed; you’re smiling, are warm and inspire confidence
Avoid rotating your head and do not use exaggerated head movements.
Keep hands below the chest and within the silhouette of the body at all times
During pauses, if hands and fingers are in shot, they should return to the exact same resting position after gesturing - This is key for our technology to work well. Keeping your hands together can help greatly with this.
Avoid specific gestures like pointing and counting. It is better to be resting for longer periods of time than gesticulating.
Try not to blink too often or take prolonged moments with your eyes closed.
No rocking, or adjusting of body weight. Keep feet planted throughout.
Do not move away from the camera to check the script, or hold the script.
Please read the script first to familiarize yourself with the content. The words in between <> brackets are instructions only and should not be read out loud.
Q: What if the actor is not a native English speaker?
Below is the script we use to record an avatar. We ask that you provide 3 takes of the script (eg. repeat the same script 3 times).
The Closed Lips Image (💋 ) is the part of the script where the actor should pause and close their lips.
Do not read out loud the instructions within the <> brackets, they are just there to remind you of our requirements and to prompt you as to what to do with your hands
Q: Should I cut the video clips to provide the exact script?
Q: Do I need to use a teleprompter?
Q: But I can’t get a teleprompter! The eye line is off camera with my teleprompt! The actor will not follow a script, what do I do?!
As part of the submission we require you provide a recording of the actor reading the following script face camera.
This script needs to be read in the actor's native language, for which we provide translations below.
For this recording you don’t need to worry about the style of the delivery, as long as the script is clearly stated by the actor, while facing the camera.
Consent Script - English
Consent Script - German
Consent Script - Spanish
Consent Script - French
Consent Script - Portuguese
Consent Script - Italian
Consent Script - Dutch
Consent Script - Mandarin
Consent Script - Japanese
Consent Script - Russian
Consent Script - Danish
Consent Script - Finnish
Consent Script - Romanian
Consent Script - Polish
Submitting Your Footage
Once you have recorded your footage then send your 3 video takes and your consent recording through to the Synthesia team using the form available in Synthesia.
The files must be:
Less than 900mb per file.
Go into the Avatar section and click on the + Create avatar button, then follow the instructions.