View Full Version : Making a mouth in a cube!

10 October 2010, 06:49 PM
So, the topic says it all. I'm trying to implement a mouth that can be blendshaped, in a cube. Imagine that you have a box, with a mouth so that it can talk.
My problem is that, I don't know how to make this happen. I have seen some tutorials in how to make the mouth and that's not the problem. I've made one from a nurb sphere but I can't attach it to the cube wether it be nurbs or polygon. Another thing, most of the tutorials I found to make a mouth come from a human model but in those the mouth looks pretty simple to do because the whole geometry of the head helps in that purpose.
But now with a simple cube I don't know how to start to get this to happen. :(

Anyone has a tip for me? Maybe tell me wich geometry (polygon or nurb) to use and then the tools I can use to make it happen?

At first I thought it was possible to simply open a gap on the cube where I wanted the mouth and, after that arrange it a bit and then make the blendshapes but I really can't get there or maybe I simply don't know which tool to use. :(
I've already tried, as I said a bit ago, to make a nurb sphere and then model it to a simple mouth. The problem is that I can't attach the nurb sphere or even part of it to the cube and make it look like it's part of the cube geometry.

This is a school work and I'm getting a bit stressed with this. Maybe it's pretty simple but I'm not seeing it :P. Really haven't worked enough in 3D to be familiar with all the techniques.

Ok, I prefer to show you guys the purpose of this all. The cube I talk is a television which will have expression. It won't properly talk. More just make some sounds and expressions. It will also have a simple rig to move according to the expression.

I'm using Maya 2010 by the way.

Thank you for reading.
Hoping to get some help here! :)

10 October 2010, 10:25 PM
There are a couple ways I can think to do it. All of them will leave a minor crease at the mouth point. Basically you want to add geometry and move it into the appropriate space. To do so, you can use the extrude tool and make an appropriate offset. move the verts on a planar axis (ie, no depth) until you have it where you want, and continue building the mouth in that spot. Make sure you have enough loops to have it deform appropriately. I'm also assuming that you don't want to make it with realistic lips. If you were, you can do similar but you'd have to have ample geometry to make the lips, especially if you were trying to move it between a flat shape and a protruding lip shape.

The big thing here is that the extrude and offset can add the majority of the necessary geometry for you to make the shape.

11 November 2010, 01:31 AM
I'm currently not at home so I'm replying in my Blackberry. Sorry for the short answer. I know that I can model basicly the whole mouth with the extrude tool and playing with the control vertex.
But then, and I think that the best way to start is by modelling the mouth closed (am I right? Tell me the best way if I'm wrong please), how do I open the gap in the lips to make the mouth open and close?

Thank you for the quick reply!

11 November 2010, 04:58 AM
I usually start with the mouth slightly open so I can actually play with all the necessary verts and then close it manually afterwards. It doesn't need to be opened very far to actually move it appropriately. If you are actually making lips rather than a flat shape on the model you are providing, be careful of the doughnut look.

11 November 2010, 01:24 PM
I really don't want lips. I'll stick to the texture a bit rounded and thats fine. Can you please tell me which tool I use to open the breach of the mouth on the geometry? Should I use nurbs or polygons to make the body of the TV so that I can use the extrudes?

11 November 2010, 08:28 PM
Use polygons, sculpt out the basic mouth shape with the split polygon tool. highlight the faces in the center and hit delete.

11 November 2010, 02:03 PM
Use polygons, sculpt out the basic mouth shape with the split polygon tool. highlight the faces in the center and hit delete.

I just forgot the mouth. I made it and thought that it wasn't so good looking as I wanted it. So my solution was to create a speaker on the place of the mouth and that's how the TV will "talk" or make some expressions. The rest is up to sound.

One more question, how do I attach the eyes with the antennas so that when I move the eyes to a different positions, the antennas will follow?

Another thing - I didn't made the speaker with polygons. I made it with NURBS because the control vertex would let me give the speaker a much more organic look.
Should I make the eyes with NURBS too?

11 November 2010, 11:59 PM
You'd have to look up making set driven keys. I am not in front of Maya right now so I can't give you a detailed break down. I'm not really a 3D animator but can muddle around enough. Anyway, when you look it up, you may see it abbreviated SDK as well. Either way, what it does, it makes one object control the movement/orientation of another one.

11 November 2010, 10:54 AM
Lol I forgot about SDKs. I had a course of 3D animation in the last semester where I modelled, rigged and animated a character so I do know how to make set driven keys. I simply forgot about their existence.
My course is a 3+2 years program where in the first 3 I get education in various areas (though not very deep education) and on the last 2 years we can choose Computer Animation for the master degree where we work both years in Maya and other important applications. As I am finishing the 3rd year, I've only had 2 courses in Maya - animation and modeling.

Thank you very much for your help till now.

If I have any more problems I'll surely post them here :P.


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