View Full Version : Facial Articulation Controls

12 December 2002, 09:47 PM

I have updated the EyeBrows, EyeLids and the Lips sections. I hope to get the Mouth started today.



12 December 2002, 01:07 AM
hey thats sweet!

how do you set up such curves? Are they clusters parented to the curves somehow?

12 December 2002, 06:53 AM

I just updated the Mouth section on the page.

I use clusters, tangent constrained to a curve. Allot of the curves can be just translated clusters. Fireing order is the most important part to make every thing work right.

As soon as I get a few more pages done on the face, I will start in on the rigging part of this model. I hope to show the whole process. Right now I just will be going over the basic animation attributes.



01 January 2003, 06:03 AM

I have updated the Corner Mouth UpDown section on the web page.




01 January 2003, 06:19 AM
i am looking forward to try this this weekend.

please keep us updated about your progress

best ,


01 January 2003, 07:50 PM
:applause: I'm very interested in this thread too! awesome stuff:applause:

01 January 2003, 11:55 PM

Glad you like it. I finished the corner mouth InOut section last night. I hope to do the tech writing on it this weekend plus finish up the LeftRight/InOut on the Brows.



01 January 2003, 09:24 AM
An amazing site, thanks for sharing such useful knowledge.

01 January 2003, 09:38 AM
Just interested to know if its got something to do with the cutting edge study of articulation (action lines) in 3d space.

01 January 2003, 09:59 PM

Updated the site. Added the Mouth UpDown, Mouth LeftRight and Mouth Twist attributes.

I think I am going to finish the Brow to night and get to some tech writing about how these attributes work with each other.



Rtalucitra = Articulator
Rotamina = Animator

01 January 2003, 08:43 AM

I finished the graphics part for the Mouth, Lips and EyeBrows. Did a little tech writing in there. Not much but its a start.




01 January 2003, 10:55 AM
Hey, nice website there! Keep up the good work!


01 January 2003, 07:55 AM

I started in on the Jaw movements. I hope to finish the Jaw section in the next day.



01 January 2003, 10:47 AM
Hey!, you are a "mind opener".
Youve opened to me a brand new many ways to face the rigging process
I have a hard question:
How will you move the jaw and lips at the same time?, I think you will get double transformations, one for the jaw movement and the other with lips movement...
Am I right?
Id want to make it in MAYA and I would want to know if this is correct before I make it... :)

01 January 2003, 04:56 PM

Thanks, joie,

Movement is just, node (attribute) firering order. Like this. (Top node fires first.)


The neck fires first, then the head, jaw and lips.
Translation usally fires befor rotations. This keeps the X,Y,Z axis to the default pose of the character. The combinations is where fireing order can get really confusing. Take a leg joint rotation or most joints on the body are the results of one rotation happing to get a result. Exmple: Knee rotation 90. You might have three or four macro muscles working upder that rotation to sculp the final look of that knee rotation. Fireing order for this is straight forward. You fire the marcro muscle tranlations first then the knee rotation. Look like this.

............Tranz _y
............ FB

But when you get into the face you will always have more that two attributes fireing is combination to make up a shape. Take the corner of the mouth. The corner of the mouth is a combo of three. It goes UpDown, LeftRight and InOut. Then add the macro muscle for each one on to those. It can start to get confusing, but the general order still applies. Translation before rotation. The corners of the mouth will fire befor the jaw opens. This is because you want the mouth in a default shape when the corners fire.

Well I hope to get to a ton of tech writing done on this in the next month or so. It is alot of work to tackle. I will begin the rigging part of this character will be done in Maya and I would like to get started on this in the next few weeks.

Hope this helped.




01 January 2003, 06:08 PM
Im getting a big mess in my head..., when I talk about double transformations I mean the corner of the mouth for example. The corner of the mouth is driven by the jaw?, or what?, because the corner is in the middle of the mouth..., if you InOut translate the jaw, then where is the corner of the mouth?, In, Out or in the middle?
Dont know, Im anxious to see your updates and a little tut done in MAYA.
Go on mate, you are on the right way (at least far away from me)


01 January 2003, 01:54 AM
Hi ,

The corner of the mouth is shared between the jaw and the upper part of the face.


01 January 2003, 05:15 AM

Up dated the Articulating the Face page.

Not a whole lot of stuff but a start. I plan on getting the constraint curves started in Maya 4.5 this week.



01 January 2003, 09:10 AM
I have a lot of things to clear in my mind about this procedure..., its quite a straightforward..., but how are you starting doing it?, where?
You have to attach in any way the clusters to some curves, well this is pretty simple to do but, do you make the clusters and then atach them to the curve?, then the cluster will move to the curve points position wont it?, so you have to draw the curve exactly where the cluster will be, but you dont know where the cluster is untill you make it..., wow, Im becoming sick!

Could you explain this little procedure?, it would be very kind of you if you could do it.

Thanks in advance!

01 January 2003, 06:55 AM
Hi all,

I just started a new section on my web page. I am trying to show a little madness to the process of Modeling for Articulation. I want to finish this section this week and get back to the actual rigging part of the face.



01 January 2003, 05:16 PM
keep it generic!


so far if someone with other software than MAYA browse your site (one of the most simple and yet useful i ever seen) can get a effective look at the face and body rigging process... I encorage you to keep it that way...

there would be a huge base of 3D users that will use your site as a reference to their work... if you plan to make a more detailed tutorial... try to find someone that cant help you "translate" the precedures to the others 3 3D software... that would be great!

otherwise this thead should be a STICKY one...

keep it comming! :applause:

PS: eek cant you post here some of your max experience...
just to get started... you know?

01 January 2003, 08:55 PM
So Korben, first you say "keep it generic" (i.e., non-Maya) then in the same post ask eek for max-specific info?!? :surprised

Er, then I don't mind casting a vote for Maya specific tutorials on the Articulation website :)


01 January 2003, 09:09 PM

Sorry guys, this is going to be all Maya in the rigging phase of the character. But what is on the articulating web page can be used in any package that you can individualy point wt.


01 January 2003, 03:26 AM
i dont mean to sound PRO MAX... :D

i just want to get this thread more open...

i m a a max user and if the things would be in reverse (as a maya xsi LW or wherever) my comment would be the same...

it just that the only thread that came to memory was the eek facial animation...

so dont take me wrong.. :shrug:


that was kidding... ;)

01 January 2003, 10:17 AM

I was holding back for a while just watching this thread take shape, until this Max thing happened. First off i wanna say how impressed i am with your work tennerjones/hippydrome. I know how hard it is to setup proper facial setups, ive been working on my facer8 rig/gollum for about 6 months now. And youve got a site! up.

Both rigs yours and mine can be applied to most packages, ive used maya, and soft/xsi. These techniques, and approaches are not the be end and end all of facial rigs/avar/articulation setups, heck people have been studying facial setups for 15 years. And most of my research is based on stuff in the 70's!

So basically keep going.. it looks great!(similar to PIXAR setups/gepetto/marionette) And are'll keep adding stuff on my Facer8/gollum setup thread.

AHH WORK!, no time.


01 January 2003, 05:18 PM
Hey Corben,

That's cool. I plan on doing most of the pages to look like the existing ones and hopefully people will not be able to tell what program it was done in and just get the concept of what I was showing.

Thanks eek for your comments. Facial set up is a long process this way, but I kind a look at it as key frame animating. For me it is not the weighting that takes so long it is setting up all the plumbing that it takes to move those points around.

When I do this kind of facial set up, for me, I stay away from looking at the actual muscle in the face and concentrate on the combination of individual attributes to move point groups around. An example is the corner of the mouth. I make three main attributes that will work always in combo with each other. The CornerLeftRight of the mouth is a straight draw around the face parallel to the ground. This attribute corresponds to the CornerUpDown that just moves points along the face perpendicular to the ground. The CornerInOut is a translate perpendicular to the CornerLeftRight constraint curve and is executed after the LeftRight/UpDown attributes and also runs parallel to the ground. With these three attributes you can put the corner of the mouth anywhere on the side of the face and since these three attribute move in a very logical way, you won't drive your self crazy trying to debug the points that are not doing what you want. Fun stuff.

Hope some of that maddness made sence.



02 February 2003, 11:31 AM
Very cool.

Okay just to get this straight, on the eyebrows for example: A cluster following UD will control the IO curve which has a cluster that controls the RL curve which has a cluster that controls the mesh. Correct?

UD --> IO --> RL --> Mesh

Is the the right order? Does it matter?

Then on the mouth you end up with layers and layers of cluster/curve/cluster/curve/cluster/curve before you finally drive the mesh? Does that end up evaluating really slow? (Can you get real-time viewport playback on your machine?)

Jaw LR->IO->UD --> Mouth LR->IO->UD --> Lip LR->IO->UD --> Mesh.

Am I getting the concept?

Looking forward to the write up,
-- mark

02 February 2003, 05:12 AM
Hey paultheplumber,

Yes, it can slow things down a bit

Firing order is important but the individual attributes are
independent of one another. Allot of them are just straight
translates or a couple of translates linked together. So a UD attribute will just move
the cluster up/down and not affect the other attributes. I think the only spot
that will is the mouth corners. CornerLR and CornerIO. As the corner of the mouth is drawn
around the side of the face the IO translate angle moves to stay perpendicular to
the LR constraint curve. These one can become hawgs.

I am trying to put together some rigging examples. My day job has been
very demanding and hopefully this 3 day weekend will give me the
chance to get some new stuff up on the web.



02 February 2003, 08:32 AM
So on the forehead do the clusters follow a curve? Or are they just floating clusters that go UD/LR/IO? How much of the setup involves clusters constrained to curves?

This setup is probably less involved than I was thinking...

:beer: Here's to a productive weekend!
-- mark

02 February 2003, 07:06 AM

There are a bunch of ways you can approach these articulation attributes. The forehead could be done with clusters constrained to curves, if the brow had some very distinctive shapes in it. Another way, you could use clusters traveling on two axis, to give it a not so linear look.
I tried it out with a lattice and with a wrap deformer. They both work too. It just depends which way you like to work and how dense your base mesh is.
Plus how fast you box is. It is a very simple process. Most of these attributes will all fire before any of the rotation take place. So they are just hanging out there in space around you char's face.

I have been working on some examples of this and I think I can get some up on my page this week.

Fun stuff,



03 March 2003, 07:46 AM

Started the rigging process for the body. Have got a little up on the leg but hope to add a ton a rigg stuff this week and would like to get more work up on the aticulating side of the face also.

I am hoping most people know a bit about rigging because this is not really expland for a beginger.

But hop it helps or gets you mind thinking.



08 August 2003, 07:47 PM

Just an update. My page is back on line agian.



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