View Full Version : Facial Animation - a Theory

11-24-2006, 12:22 AM
Hi all,

I'm just starting out with facial animation. I've been reading up on it, and have come up with something I think may work (for me). I just though I'd run it past the forum first to see if there are any improvements I could make before I start coding it (or alternatively if I am barking up completely the wrong tree).

1) Create blendshapes for every muscle in the face at it's extremity.
2) Assign these to sliders in the UI.
3) Create set driven keys for various poses (phonemes, specific looks - shock, anger, etc).
4) Assign these to sliders (these sliders also modify the position of the blendshape sliders so that fine tuning can be done).

This could be a) complete rubbish, b) something that is being done all the time (bear in mind I am new to this!), or c) something that is never done because of <reason 1>, <reason 2> etc etc.

Thoughts/ideas appreciated!

Many thanks,


11-25-2006, 06:31 AM
From what I know, it is a common technique. Not everyone does it, but it is common. Alot of it depends on what your needs are. I used this technique for a recent character I have done and it worked out quite well. You will likely need to use a float list in order to assign the same target values to different controls. Also, it is a good idea to establish what emotions your character is going to need. If you know for a fact that he/she is not going to make a certain kind of face, you may not want to create it at all. There were a few shapes for my character that I hadn't even thought of, that I had to add later. So, I would suggest possibly acting out a scene, pretending to be your character, and either record it or do it in front of a mirror. Then write down or sketch what face shapes you will need. Hope this helps some.

11-26-2006, 09:48 AM
I think they are using something similar to this at Sony Imagework and Weta for Kong.

11-26-2006, 01:47 PM
Can yu use float lists to create controls that go 3 levels or more down in the heirachy?

For example:

Level 1 - Blendshapes

Level 2 - Set Driven Keys (that modify combinations of blendshapes)

Level 3 - Sliders that modify combinations of set driven keys

Level 4 - Sliders that modify combinations of Level 3 values

Etc etc.



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