Workflow question for full body and blendshape facial rig

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  05 May 2011
Workflow question for full body and blendshape facial rig

I tried looking for an answer to this question in the stickies posted here but found a lot of links were broken, so if this has been answered somewhere already I apologize.

I'm in the process of modelling a character in ZBrush that I plan to fully rig and have blendshapes driving facial animation. My question is this: As I am modelling the character as a whole, how do I create the target meshes to drive the facial blendshapes? Do I simply use a full mesh and paint blendshape weights just around the face, or do I split the mesh at the neck? If I split the mesh, how do I reconnect the two together again while retaining blendshape integrity and having no visible seam at the neck while animating?

I'm using Maya 2010 for animation, ZBrush 3.5 for modelling.

  05 May 2011
You can cut the model only when its finalled in modelling detail vise.. (any further alteration will create pblm) at the neck and have that duplicated to create BS on face mesh. Then weld the vertex where u have cut preferably after the UV is done and apply ur targets to this mesh.
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  05 May 2011
Oh cool, I didn't think that would work with vertex numbering being different after the weld but I guess that makes sense as long as I've finished creating all the blendshapes before welding back together.

  05 May 2011
It is possible to have the head and body as separate skinned objects, then recombine them into a single mesh for rendering. It's risky, but you just have to be sure that history is enabled (and never deleted after merging the two parts).
A safer alternative to splitting might be to use the poseDeformer plugin on the full-body mesh. You would need some extra joints, preferably with no weights assigned to them, to drive the shapes, though. But if the joints and poseReaders are set up properly, it could get the same results as blendshapes, and animate faster, too.

  05 May 2011
Oh ok, I've never used that plugin before but after a quick Google it looks like it could be interesting. I'll try it out.

  05 May 2011
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