Disney's Elsa from Frozen


Hey there again!

Do you really mean density map or a region map? : )

Why would you leave the white circle inside the black one though? Since the guide in it also belongs to the ponytail area and isn´t the idea of the region map to separate different areas of the scalp?

Anyways I just started all over and I thought I´d document any issue I might run into this time around.

So here are my scalp guides, no ponytail yet and you can see the issue I am having here at the back of the head - http://s16.postimg.org/4vb1a7egl/xgenissue.png

I placed the guides into 3 rows

  1. (Red) at the edge of the scalp
  2. (Blue) in the middle of the upper region
  3. Green are in the back of the scalp

And they all go all the way back to that ponytail end.

And on the right you can see the generated primitives with no region map and no modifiers on.

I did try to create region map with several separate regions for different parts of the scalp but the results were just terrible, even worse than this issue I am having at the back of the head.

Oh as for braids, I wouldn´t dare try that when I can´t even get a simple ponytail right : D

Just to give you an idea what I want the primitives to look like, this is the look I´m going for in the back - http://beccajbaldwin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Widow_04.png

As you can see in that picture, the hair is all nice and smooth in the back.

Also I hope I´m not bothering you : )

I know this is a thread about Elsa not Xgen but I just had to ask since your results with Xgen seem to be professional ones : )


Man really liking your work so far!, Love how you made her look so appealing good job!


@Pivotgeeks: Thanks! =)

@Elcono: Yes, I meant the density-map. Disregard my last comment though … I interpreted the scene wrong.
Your problem is caused by missing guide curves. There are large areas on your scalp without any guide-curves on them, forcing Xgen to interpolate whatever curves are nearest, resulting in something pretty messy. Everything inside the dark green circle on the bottom left picture here does not have any guide curves. Either place some curves there or paint this area black in your density map. Use a new description for the ponytail and set the other description’s density high enough to cover up any bald areas.
I did some testing before writing this and here’s the result. Make sure to read the description below each image … I’m confident that this is the reason you’re having these problems.


Thanks a lot for your help!

Adding the extra guides seemed to do the trick! - http://s11.postimg.org/dka5yjpxv/image.jpg

Now I finally have smooth results. Now it´s time to get the shader right : )

Can´t wait to try to animate the ponytail and can´t wait to see more of Elsa, especially her finished rig! : )

Have you tried animating Xgen hair yet?


don’t think you can animate Xgen hair have to covert it to nhair,


Glad you got it sorted out! Good luck with the rest of your project! =)

No, I haven’t tried animating it yet. It seems to be pretty straightforward though and I don’t expect any bad surprises … I’m probably gonna regret saying this, am I?

@Pivotgeeks: Almost. You can create some animation-curves, which can be simulated with nDynamics and feed back to Xgen. This video and the one following it describe it pretty well.


Hey there and thanks!

I can´t seem to get the hair shader right but that shouldn´t be hard to master now that I have the shape.

How did you make your hair looks so smooth in the render? Mine are always kinda noisy.

And what shader did you go with? Was it the Xgen phen or another hair shader? I´ve tried phen as well as the hair tube shader but no good results so far. Will keep experimenting with them.

Anyways, about Elsa´s hair,

making the primitives collide with the figure and recognize gravity and wind is one thing but,

I´m just curious how would you make Elsa´s braid go from the back to the front so it hangs down over her shoulder.

If you remember from let it go clip when she lets her hair down, she then takes her braid and puts it to the front.

There must be a way how to “rig” the braid so that you could position it where you want it.

Really can´t wait to see more of Elsa! : )


I used Vray’s hair shader, so I don’t know anything about the phen shader, sorry :expressionless:

Building some sort of rig seems to be the way to go to pose the hair. Something like a simple Spline IK for the braid should do nicely. Although I may need more twist controls than just two …
I haven’t figured out the details yet, but I think it should be possible to have three sets of curves. Bind one set of curves to joints and weight the animation set between the rigged and simulated set, so that I can choose which system the hair should follow. At least that’s the plan.


ahh din’t know about that thanks :smiley:


Very impressive work. I’m kinda curious thought since you mentioned that you consider yourself a beginner, How much experiance did you have before starting on this project?

The earliest contact I had with 3d stuff was about 8 years ago when I built a rats-map (tiny players in giant environment) for CS:S, which I never finished. With some free version of XSI, I modeled a mouse and a keyboard for it. [Here](http://i.imgur.com/kv2iAYI.jpg) and [here](http://i.imgur.com/6iJUD3t.jpg) are some screenshots. I actually put a lot of effort into this, trying to make it right with proper vis-groups and stuff so that it would run smoothly.
Didn't touch 3d stuff again until about three years ago when I made [this](http://i.imgur.com/oZ2pQd6.jpg). Tried designing and modeling a priest armor-set for WoW, just for fun. Again, never finished it.
And that's pretty much everything worthwhile, I made so far. 
It was a year ago when I began learning to turn [this](http://i.imgur.com/sEgkoiv.jpg) into [this](http://i.imgur.com/FD3YyUO.jpg). During that period, I also made [this](http://i.imgur.com/NexXsr8.jpg) as a little side project.


thats some inspiring progress, congrajulation!


hey Schpielkind. just want to say you did an awesome job and thanks for the tutorial :slight_smile:
everything looks perfect. i did elsa ones before but it wasn’t the exact or not even close but you model is the same. congrats and ones again Aaawesssome :slight_smile:


wow! you are doing so good! its amazing how you got this http://i.imgur.com/sEgkoiv.jpg to this http://i.imgur.com/FD3YyUO.jpg just shows you where hard work gets you!


After lots of planning, research and testing, I finally started working on the facial rig. I decided to build multiple rigs, each doing its own thing with their output being piped into the final model via blendshapes.

The mouth is going to be driven by a joint-rig and a blendshape-rig. The joint-rig will open the jaw and provide freeform controls for lips, nose and cheeks. The blendshape-rig will contain wide, narrow, smile, frown, lip-roll out/in/tighten, mouth up/down/left/right, upper/lower lip-puff, cheek-puff and whatever cheek-puff’s opposite is called. Each shape will be broken down into at least lefts and rights. The lip-shapes will be broken down even more and divided among the joint-rig controls with some global ones above.

With the exception of some missing controls and some bad skinning on the nose, the joint rig for the mouth is pretty much complete. Here’s a short demo showing it in action:


As for the blendshape-rig, I’m going to go with Jason Osipa’s buffer-network approach. I’ve already sculpted the wide, smile, narrow and frown shapes and it looks like everything is coming together very nicely so far, really happy with it!

Can anybody give me some pointers on building a better mouth-zipper setup though? My joints are being driven by curves which are driven by joints which are driven by the jaw. Currently I’m using a wire-deformer to get some zipperin’ going, but I believe this is going to be very painful to animate.


Good work so far, is this the AS facial rig or your own?
Why did you choose ?

On your zip option… theres a lot of different ways do do it, wire deformer could work, you can have a parametric weightmap connected to the cv weights on the driven curve. Use remapValue nodes for that, they have the ramp widget that lets you animate stuff like that very easily. I cant quite remember if I mention it in my facial rig breakdown video on youtube…

But you get the point right?


Thanks! I built it myself by combining the best from Jason Osipa’s subjaw setup and Marco Giordano’s eyelid rig, you mentioned in your videos. Nothing fancy really, but it seems to do the job.

Nope, I have no idea tbh. But that’s what google is for =)

edit: I see you already explained it here. I think I understand how it’s supposed to work, but not sure yet how to set it up. I’ll give it a whirl though, thanks!

edit: Got it working! Thanks again, this is going to do very nicely!


Hello there again!

Great to see your progress : )

I am still stuck creating full body rigs for my characters but I was looking for some good facial rigging tutorials but didn´t manage to find any.

I was hoping for a joint-based facial rig but the only tutorials I could find were paid ones (such as the ones from digital tutors).

Is there any free source for facial rigging that you can recommend ? : )

Unfortunately I can´t give you much advice when it comes to facial rigging, I have yet to finish my first full body rig and then I can move to the face.

Also, so you are creating the facial rig on another geometry and then for animation, you are going to “bake” it as a blendshape to the geometry that has your main body rig?


Yeah, decent tutorials for a complete facial rig are quite hard to come by. I’m frankensteining™ mine together from pieces, I found from various places, which is the way to go apparently. This series for example will come in handy when rigging the eyelids, although I think I’ll take a slightly different approach by driving the main-curves through blendshapes to get the exact shape I want. Parts of what I took away from these videos ended up in my jaw-rig btw. Another great source of reference is Jason Osipa’s book, as I mentioned.

What I learned so far is that careful planning goes a long way. Before starting to build anything I laid out all the features I wanted, thought about how they should be driven, where my controllers should be and stuff like that. Having the whole rig broken down this way made the task of rigging it a lot less intimidating. Instead of concerning yourself with how to build a facial rig, you’ll find yourself searching for very specific topics and magically see everything come together, piece by piece. Or at least that’s the case for me right now.

Yeah, the facial rigs won’t move along with the body. I will have facial controls on the main rig, but they will actually be driving those background rigs and feed back into the main model via live blendshapes. Good Guy Adeptus here pulled it off very nicely, which you can see in this video he made.


I´ve seen that tutorial but it was quite difficult for me to follow since I´m not that good at Python and very often i had no idea what he was doing and why and most of all, I wish he did it all manually without all the scripting.

Well, I think I´ll try to finish my body rig first and then I´ll see what I can do.

This facial rig tutorial looks quite interesting - http://www.digitaltutors.com/tutorial/1133-Joint-Based-Facial-Rigging-in-Maya

As it is also done on a figure that comes the closest to what I´m working with (rather realistic females).

I know I know it´s a male troll : D But all the facial rig tutorials you find are always very very cartoony, this one looks the most human-like I have found so far.