Facial rig using Maya, input needed!


edit//The research is done thank you

Here’s a video with me describing the rig and why I did it.


And here you can download the test rig for maya 2008 and up:


Thanks // Max


Ops, changed the .mb to an .ma, kinda missed that one. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also fixed a cycle problem.


hey, it’s good research idea, i would love to see more of muscle properties in this rig. maybe some secondary jiggle/dynamics effects.

but of course like you said you can do most of the same things with any type of setup you choose to go with.
It will all depend on the needs for a character.

if it’s game/mocap animation type of rigs it will often use joints for it’s simple proporties of points, game engines can use joints too.

if it’s commercial or short animation it will again depend what character needs to do.
alot of times for specific lip syncs people would still use carefully and beautifully modeled blendshapes that are predictable, fast and clean. and again depending what kind of character it is, and what it need to do you can go crazy with deformers to get what you want out of that mesh.

it’s worth to mention that you should focus on speed and usebility as of the main aspects. and if you can make something simple and fast go that way. this said, rigger should know all tools that are available to him and choose what fits the needs for the project and in time. Also thinking about making things expendable where it will be easy to change and add things to current rig.


Hey MaxNorderfeldt, nice research going on. Downloaded the rig and did a quick test, it’s a prototype and really neat job done!

For me, creating facial rigs using muscle have both pros and cons. The rig becomes a bit slower, there is no predictably of facial shapes and there are some compatibility issues as well. But the up side is you get better deformation, sliding motion which are crucial. I have seen muscle based rigs used in some complex creature rig and sometimes in mocap rig.

Joints and blendshapes are the stuff that people have been using for a long time, they are efficient, fast and reliable; most importantly compatible! There are some really cool rigs that blend the best of both joint and blendshapes, called the hybrid system. I would love to create or see a rig which is a hybrid version utilising the power of joint, shapes and muscle objects (any influence surfaces) :wink:

One more thing, there are somecool rigs freely available from image-metrics website that can be of good resource material. You can create a similar looking muscle rig for your research!


Thanks alot you two, this was exactly the response I was looking for. And ofcourse, thanks for the nice comments about the rig and project.

Boucha: It was some interesting rigs there, but sadly I don’t have any time left to work with actually creating rigs, its time to write that pesky dissertation. :slight_smile: I fully agree with you on the pros and cons, I’m going to have alot to take up when I get to writing the discussion. I’m also a big fan of hybrids, and personally I think that the joint/blendshape hybrid is a clear winner if there ever was a contest. :stuck_out_tongue:

vvkonline: Animation friendly controls for the jiggle is a no brainer in retrospect, and is something I definitely will take up in the dissertation. Thanks alot for that and all the other things you brought up, I will definitely discuss how this type of rig isn’t compatible with the gaming industry today.

Awesome stuff. :smiley:


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