View Full Version : Character head workflow: How to treat "loose" bits

03 March 2005, 01:45 PM
In rigging a characters head, what is an appropriate workflow for dealing with geometry not directly part of the head mesh, but which still needs to follow face topology - for instance a pair of glasses or a hat?

Is it a good idea to keep the gums and teeth separate from the head mesh if they're reasonably detailed? Or is it prodiction pipeline-"standard" to make those bits part of the head mesh and go inte some heave unwrapping and texturing to define gum/teeth edges?

If they are kept separate, would the lower gum/teeth just be linked to the jaw controller bone?

Any information appreciated.

03 March 2005, 06:20 PM
Ok there are many ways of doing this. Personally I like to keep the head seperate from other things. I need to do targets for it so its a lot easier to modle the targets if the head is just the head. Then I skin it to the head joints. I add all the weight influence to a single joint then I paint weights how I like them. Since I set up my faceses in a specific manner I have a lot of joints in the head region for control purpose. The teeth I don't skin them I parent them to the coresponding joint. Ie the top molers parent to the head joint or any joint that rotates the head. The bottom molers I paren to the join or the controler that manupulates the jaw. The hair, I do skin to the top joint easier to work with. As for eye lids and eye brows now that is something different. Since both move for expresions, then that is set up dependent.

Hope that helps.

P.S. Stop staring is a good book for this kind of stuff. I recomend geting it.

03 March 2005, 07:49 PM
Thanks for your reply! I will get a copy of the book you mentioned, I checked it on Amazon and it appears to cover the foundation I need.

A related question arises though: most examples I have come across so far on rigged faces/characters in are based on a low-poly control mesh with a proxy meshsmooth. Is this still the way it's usually done, or is Sub-D's a viable alternative for character animation these days?

Would you rig the low poly control mesh for the Sub-D as is, or convert the Sub-D surface into a polygonal mesh before rigging?

Thank you for your time,


03 March 2005, 08:48 PM
Wow thats a good question. It has been a while since I rigged a SubD char. So I dont really remember, so I rather let some one else answer that. I work in series so everything is poly. Yeah you want to set up the face with a low geo so you can have faster playback time. In animation, scrubing the time line is verry important. All the animators ask me to set up the chars like that. So yeah you rig a low then smooth before rendering or a supervisor they always want to see that stuff in high rez.

Good luck.

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03 March 2005, 08:48 PM
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