View Full Version : Animation: Neck muscles and colar bone.

08 August 2003, 03:22 PM

For a while now ive been working on facial animation and what is a face without the neck. It just wont look right without it. So here is a WIP neck rig ive been working on.

Ive used Max 5. Character Studio biped with about 15 different morph targets for the flexing muscles.

Ive tried to get subtle movements in the skin, like when the head turns the neck muscles bludge differently on either side. When the shoulders move up and down the colar bone becomes less shaped. There is a basic breathing in the animation with the chest moving along side the nose. Things like that.

Anyway I wont say any more as to not bias your opinion :)

Please feel free to rip it apart.


edit - just to say its ment to be female. Also its 700k, the file.

08 August 2003, 05:51 PM
It looks very acurate to me, it is hard to see if the skin is stretching properly over the model without a texture. This is just nit-picking but I'd like to see how the skin moves across those nice muscle movements.

Great job.

08 August 2003, 11:14 PM
It'd also be good to see how it reaches to the extremes, 90 degrees left, right, tilt the head back all the way and then forward all the way. Just to make sure you have the range to animate comfortably.
The model looks great.

08 August 2003, 11:32 PM
I'd also like to see some real side to side movement, like he's looking behind him. That's when you really see the muscles doing their job.

08 August 2003, 07:23 AM
Thanks for the feedback, ill render a new ani hopefully tonight if not tomorrow and post an update.

08 August 2003, 08:46 PM
It looks pretty good! Take a look, though, at the vertical muscles that go from chest to just behind the ear. When a person turns their head to either side, whichever muscle is forward bulges quite a bit, the other side almost disappears. Your model doesn't do this, it seems to bulge both muscles regardless of which side is turning. If you can fix this, it will add quite a bit.

Also, the upper-center triange part of the neck should bulge forward when you tilt your head up, and retract when tilting down.


08 August 2003, 12:13 AM
Thanks for the feeback jellyfish, your definatly correct. Ive remade alot of the throat and altered the animation abit. Ive also made the neck move from side to side, up and down... the extremes to get a good feel for movement.

Ive really tried to make you think there is skin / muscle and the esophagus in the throat. Going for very subtle movements like the skin streching, especially under the chin. Oh and im not sure about the major neck muscles.. colar bone to just below the ear. they dont seem to buldge correctly when the head moves from side to side. What do u think?

Anyway here it is...

its about 700k again. Its a bigger movie (space on screen big) but the quality is slightly lower.

Anyway I hope you get a real sense of muscle and skin.

Please any feedback and CC would be most appreicated.


08 August 2003, 12:31 AM
Yes, there are some definite improvements, and the extremes are much more dynamic.

As you are creating your deforms, it seems you are doing a lot of "sucking in" of the skin, and less "bulging out". For example, toward the end she tilts her head from side to side. When you do this, the half that is stretching actually bulges out as the tendons stretch, and the opposite side collapses inward. You have it so it seems to suck inward for these actions. A lot of your deformation seems to be collapsing the skin (especially in the notch where the front of the shoulder meets the clavicle on both sides) when it should really be bulging out, and vice versa. For example, when she tilts her head up this area seems to contract, but I can feel my tendons and stuff actually move upward a bit. However, when bending forward, all that junk in there collapses down, but you have it bulging a bit I think.

The vertical muscle thing is better, definitely, but it needs to be straight when it bulges. This is the thing powering your neck swivel, so it can't be bent because it's contracting. Can you fix this?

Oh, and I was looking so much at her muscles I forgot about her bones. It seems like you are bending the clavicle bones when her shoulders shrug and move. These bones don't bend, and it looks wierd to see them act like they're soft. If you change nothing else, I would fix this.

Hopes this helps you some more, this is great work btw, and nicely executed.


08 August 2003, 12:27 PM
Thanks for that jelly, most helpful. I think im going to completly redo that major neck muscle so I can get the deform correct.

I see what you mean about the sucking in of the skin at certain places, I can easily fix that.

Yes I have noticed the bone bending aswell. Thats due to 2 morph targets not liking each other I think. A breathing one and a shoulder one. I will replace them with a bone that will keep the colar bone straight. However looking at my shoulder/colar bone it seems that its 2 bones which pivot when the should moves up so it does change but not bend :) I will fix that.

Again thanx alot jelly, i will update as soon as I can.


08 August 2003, 08:48 PM
Ok heres an update. All this movie is is the fixed neck muscle. It is now straight a imo buldges correctly.

its only 100k but its not that good quality, I dont really know why :shrug:

Improvement on the muscle or not ?



08 August 2003, 09:23 PM
Yeah, that's pretty close! However, I think the muscle should get narrower at the top, it bulges about halfway up and then turns into more of a tendon as it reaches the skull. Do you have an anatomy book that shows muscles in detail? Take a look at that thing, anything in white (tendons) won't deform in shape or bulge, the red stuff will get bigger as it contracts.

Also, now there seems to be some pinching on the other side of the neck, I think you need to make the neck muscle disappear and the shoulder contract against the neck as it pulls the head around. Right now it looks like the shoulder muscle is being forced back, I think it should stay where it is or even move forward a little. Not sure if this is possible.

Besides those two things, I can't see anything wrong.

Man, this is way more complex than I thought...


08 August 2003, 10:12 PM
hehe yes it is complex :) I agree that the width of the muscle throughout its length varies, i can change that.

Ive been trying to make the muscle on the other side of the neck naturally disappear into the neck as the head moves. Its kinda hard. When I look in the mirror I do get lots of folds in the skin. Im trying to make it look like the muscle isnt being forced back, ill see what I can do.

Update soon I hope.


08 August 2003, 10:15 PM
You might be right about the folds. My neck is fairly *ahem* fat so I might not have the same small details as your woman's neck would have. :p


08 August 2003, 12:03 AM
Here we go again :) new update.

ok so ive tried to shape the muscles abit more, its hard. Ive been weighting each polygon by hand trying to get a good twist to the neck. I also like the folds, my neck has them and I think it adds an organic look to the skin that I want. Atm the muscles are as shaped as I think i can get them.. but ill keep tweaking them. I think im down to whats more pleasing to look at rather than anatomy ? no. How do you like the shape of your muscles :)

Ive addeda head up and head down to the .mov. However the only morph targets are the 2 muscles ive been working on recnetly. I havent added any more morphs such as the ones in the first movie i posted so nothing flexs when the head moves up and down.

Theres also some v odd gaps in the mesh on the right shoulder. No idea where they came from, just ignore them.

Oh well I think ill start to work on the colar bone not bending now and adding some more of my morph targets to the ani to get more of the neck looking real and moving.


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