View Full Version : facial rigging : Bones not Blends

02 February 2004, 05:37 AM
ever since i saw antropus' Plumber rig i always though how much better i could animate if i had some kind of rig like that..

after some sucess with blend shapes, i am somewhat happy with them but sometimes the limitations and length of time it takes to set a detailed facial blends can be realy large and still, you get some major limitations when using them..

ive been doing alot of research on setting up a face rig using bones and a spline controller setup...(somethin similiar to the Plumber rig... of course not as good) but im not totally sure on how i would go about doing it... does anyone know any tutourials or premade mel that i could tinker with?

02 February 2004, 06:19 AM
Here is an idea.. I donít think it will help much but..
Make all the face muscles out of mesh then layer the skin over them using the cloth method. Then use the mesh to drive the cloth skin. This may work better for the body though.

02 February 2004, 10:24 AM
Cloth is a huge drag on system resources... I would think it would take Forever to render, not to mention just setup, there is so much experimenting to get the rig just right.... I too am doing a rig inspired by the plumber. Man we need antropus to do a tutorial for us.. He certainly seems qualified! How about it antropus, if your listening? A CGT exclusive maybe?

02 February 2004, 08:49 PM
yeah i think the cloth idea might be a little laggy on the system... plus wouldn;t you have to simulate it every time you want to set up a facial shape? i'm with trout we need a tuturial..

anyone seen any premade rigs like this? or anyone with one care to share it?

02 February 2004, 02:52 AM
check out the canetoads website for a bone driven facial setup.

02 February 2004, 05:43 AM
woah... that looks really cool...

thanx a ton sahajyogi..

but that setup looks a little hard to animate..
how did they link the bones to a controller? or for example sline curves (ie plumber)

02 February 2004, 06:28 AM
Maybe using the " p " key

02 February 2004, 09:21 AM
Bones cannot be directly parented to anything, because of their hierarchal nature. What you can do is create custom attributes on a control curve that control different poses of the bones with Set Driven Key.

02 February 2004, 12:42 PM
Hey :)

I think the bottom line with facial rigs is that it's very time consuming and takes a good knowledge of how a face deforms. I think neither way be it blendshapes or joints are gonna be the difference between a really spectacular face. You can setup antropus's method with both blendshapes or joints. I know he uses joints, but if you look at Gollum, Bay Raitt used a method very similar to blend shapes. Just keep in mind that no matter what setup you use if your mesh doesnt have the correct edge looping, you're not going to get nice deformation!


02 February 2004, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by loked
[B]Just keep in mind that no matter what setup you use if your mesh doesnt have the correct edge looping, you're not going to get nice deformation!/B]

... as I'm currently learning. I'm using a combination of joints and blendshapes. It's time consuming, but I think it's well worth it. Unfortunately, the person who did the modeling didn't consider animation when he modeled the character, so there's little issues that I'm trying to work around.

Some stuff is easier with blenshapes (puffing out cheeks) and some look way better with joints parented to locators (smiling).

- Jeremy

02 February 2004, 04:51 AM
The book 'Maya character creation' goes in depth into
facial rigging with bones.

02 February 2004, 05:33 PM
Using bones are still going to be very tedious. I've found that using influence objects such as curves works really well, and it's fast. You can also even use pieces of geometry under the skin as an influence object, and the use a blend shape on that geometry instead of doing a blendshape on the entire head/character. This reduces your scene size and keeps your workflow fast and clean.


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