View Full Version : Facial Rigging

01 January 2009, 11:36 PM
I'm working on an animation in Maya 2009 for my senior thesis project and I'm doing the facial rigging for one of my characters. I'm following the Digital Tutors DVD on facial rigging where he uses the astronaut as the example.

I'm at the point where I've created all the controls for the head, and I've created all the blend shapes. Now that I've assigned the blend shapes to the original head, the blend shapes are acting weird.

The first problem is the upper lip of my character continues to droop when I use any blendshape.

I thought I'd fix this by going into the blendshape options, going to advanced settings and choosing "after" and reassigning the blends to the original. Everything seemed ok until I noticed my head control's jaw wasn't moving anymore.

I'm not sure what I could have done wrong. Is there a glitch?

01 January 2009, 08:00 AM
And of course your other blend shapes doesn`t involve lip movement? :)

01 January 2009, 02:44 PM
Yes they all involve lip movement. The blends are working for my other character. I think I might just start over.

01 January 2009, 07:53 PM
Hmm I'm still having problems. The blend shapes are causing the basehead to move without me even telling them to. It's weird because this only happens when the order of operations is correct.

01 January 2009, 09:13 PM
can you post a pic or maybe the file?

01 January 2009, 11:35 PM
Yes they all involve lip movement

hmm... i ment if all of your blend shapes have changed look of the lip. If so it`s not a suprise that you`re gettin multiple deformations.

01 January 2009, 01:55 AM
hmm... i ment if all of your blend shapes have changed look of the lip. If so it`s not a suprise that you`re gettin multiple deformations.

Exactly but the problem seems to be related to one of a few things:

Skinclusters (the head bound to a skeleton.
Deleting History somewhere
Using the sculp geometry tool

The truly odd part is that I've been following a tutorial, step by step, doing exactly what I'm told. I think the multiple blend shapes for the lip are fine. I noticed something also, when I went back to a previous version of the file, I made a duplicate of the same head, assigned it as a blendshape. This was the exact same head, no changes to it. I noticed the target head began to rotate a little to the right.

If I already have a head control parented to the skeleton, is it safe to detach it from the head to replace it? I know I would lose and have to redo all the weight mapping, but I feel like this will be the fastest solution. Though, it may not always be the safest.

Thanks for the replies by the way.

01 January 2009, 02:59 AM
If your getting very small movements in areas where the blend shape should not be affecting the face then all these little movements will add up when multiple shapes are used.

Luckily there is away of fixing it. Activate a shape, use the Paint Blend Shapes Weight tool to paint out the movement, then create a new replacement shape from this. Hopefully that will fix it, otherwise I'm not sure what the problem could be.

Oh, the other thing it could is if your duplicating the base shape to create the blends and the head is not in the bind pose. Check that head is in the bind pose before creating new blends.

01 January 2009, 04:29 PM
I'll post pics this evening.

01 January 2009, 07:36 PM
Hi Seshi! It's been a few days i'm doing this tutorial too. I' m the step when you have to use the sculpt tools to design the bledshape, but I can't find it in maya 2009. In the vid it is situated under the subdivision surface menu but in the newer version of Maya this menu is not there anymore.
Can you tell me How you did.


01 January 2009, 08:22 PM
It's right under the "Mesh" menu near the end of the list.
Let me know how your blend shapes turn out. :)

Also I tried to post a MB. file but CGtalk doesn't accept that extention. I could email it to anyone so you can play with my file to see better what I'm talking about and hopefully figure it out.

01 January 2009, 08:35 PM
I actually have a few questions about things that relate to facial rigging and rigging in general:

So after I'm finished with all facial rigging, blendshapes, the GUI, and rigging for the body of my characters, I plan on importing them into the scene in which I plan on animating them in. Is there a precise workflow for this besides just saying File>Import>file.MB ? I'd hate to find more surprises.

I want to image map the face again because I'm not happy with the job I did before. Should I do this before or after I make the blend shapes?? (Granted I've already made blend shapes but they don't work.)

what would be the best way to reattach the head to the body once both are rigged? Parenting? Combine? Group?

Thanks again

01 January 2009, 11:33 PM
Sounds like you got a real problem on your hands. BlndShapes are quite a hand full, it took me 3 characters and a lot of sleepless nights to master them. I can not tell you what is wrong with your file because blnd's are very picky on how they are done. So this is how I do my blnd's.

First I take the head with the eyes, brows, tongue, and all the good stuff that would be in the final render. Then I export that out to a different file. I delete history, otimize scene and make sure there is nothing connected or attached to the geo. Anything attached to the geo wil give you problems later on down the line. Then I duplicate that geo and start modeling it out. Once I'm satisfied with that shape I make a blndShape out of it, if there is anyting wrong I catch it now not 30 targets later. Once all of that is done then I import it back to the rig scene and attach it to the rig. There are many ways to attach a head. It all depends on how your character is modeled. If the head is a separate piece then just skin it back on, or parented, or constrain to the joint or controller. If your character is one piece, you have the option to cut the head from the body if you dont want to deal with all that geo when modeling the targets. Not recomended for noobs. It will bring bigger problems later on. But if you did then just attach poly's and dont delete history. Make sure that the edge of your head and the edge of the body where the head meets the body are in the same place in space they should over lap. And when you paint weights make sure that both the body and head all have the same weights values other wise its going to leave an opening when the head is rotated.

First of all if your trying to model more then one target in geo your screwed. You model on target per geo for example. You can not do a blink and a smile on the geo. Now find the target that is giving you problems.

stp 1) Now delete the whole blndShape node form the original head so you have no blnd shapes on it make sure you dont have a tweek or skin cluster on or any kind of polySplit or anything like that on the original geo.

stp 2) Make a blndShape of only the problematic target. And make sure its not doing anything funky besides what is suposed to do.
Example: If its a rightBlink make sure that the only verts that are moving are the ones that make the blink nothing else should even budge.

stp 3) If so if. Select the verts on the target that are not suposed to be moving and in the chanell box you will see something that says CVs (click to show) open that and type in zero on the chanells. If they are allready zero then you modled the target with history on and you have to do it over.

If you have to do the targets over wich I recomend if you have the time cause its a good learning practice. Post again and I will write in a away to do it faster and still keep the work you did on the last ones.

Good Luck

01 January 2009, 01:47 AM
yea I plan on doing the blend shapes again.

Terminology questions:

Is a "target" a blend shape of the original head? or both?

I think I'm going to just not do any talking in this animation. I only have 2 months left. I just want a shocked, happy, sad, and a thinking expression that's all. I just realized that all the other work isn't really going to be used in this animation.

I'm going to email you my scene anyway so you just can look over it with your own eyes.

I want to take you up on that offer to make "targets" much easier than this digital tutors DVD because, like everyone and even myself said before I took on this project, Maya is just asking for more problems until you can figure out a fool safe method to accomplish what I want. So glad I'm young and still in school.

I want to use the bind from the DVD since it simplifies the rig to only moving the jaw in the x,y,z direction. I'm not worried about rigging the tongue unless it's really necessary. I don't know how I'm going to use it. As for eyebrow's, they also need to be animated but only to move up and down.

Thanks for the feedback so far. I hope I won't have many more problems.

Edit: I actually did not know what you meant before when you said if I was trying to make a blink and smile blend shape for the same geo. It just hit me, and I'm definitely not making a blendshape for the blink. I haven't gotten that far into the DVD yet to find out how they do it. God, it better not be another blendshape.

01 January 2009, 02:53 AM
Yes a target is the geo that you have manipulated. No prob send me the file, save it in ma format not mb. There are many different ways of achieving the same goal in Maya, that's what makes it so powerful and its also its weak point when your a beginner.

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