facial animation setup?


are there any sites out there that shows how to set up a face for animation or does anyone just care to explain



there are so many ways to do that its not even funny or fun for that matter i recomend buying a book on what ever 3d program your useing and start with the way they show you


Will post version when finished.

Got to Implement nose, eyes, eyebrow controls + fat, waddle controls.



Basically, ive been trying to do facial setups for a long time. Bones, morphs etc dont really give me the freedom i want, and can also lose volume in the face. So i built my own setup, based on the muscles of the face. Ive got 14 controls in the face which give me about 196 combinations. And 8 controls in the eyebrows about 64 variations. The cool thing about it you can give nuance like talking out the corner of your mouth. Ill post some pics, and and version soon if anyones intrested.



please eek, do that. usually at work i use only blends, but now are this new characters, and the faces are so deformed. i’ll need probably a hundred blend for getin’ that. and i was thinkin’ to go for a cluster network.



What software do you use, this versions in max 4, Maya version soon hopefully.

Here it is:


Right-click save target as:


p.s you control it using the nulls, jaw not implemented yet.


Added eye and blink controls.



10x, eek.
i’m a maya user.
those chars will be animated by someone else, so i try to have all the contols on a puppet or a locator (easier for aminators).
do u have any thoughts about driving the clusters and getting the expresions,except driven key?


This is the same problem im having. My system basically has vertices linked X form (clustered) onto paths, which bezier points are also constrained positionally between nulls. What you want is to put your clusters in a state of expression, moved into one. You dont want them locked into an expression because you wont be able to tweek them.

You need to design a neutral state, so every clusters trans/rot is zero’d out. Then to make expressions. Drag the poisition data onto the shelf as mel so you click the mel. And it goes into the Expression. Theres still serious problems with this:

Knowing where the clusters are in world space!(kind of makes it explode!)
Also no blending ability!

Most of my clusters are on paths which means when i record ther e positions for shelf macroscripts(MEL) it only records the pecentage, it doesnt rely on positional data.

but i still have the problem of blending. Also you may need addative effects to have i.e. make an oh -> oooh

Problems… i’ll have a think!



Eek, thanks for the file. I learned a few things that I otherwise probably never would have bothered with.


ya Eek you are awesome thanx for the feed back if ya have more keep it comin…i’m trying to soak it all up…btw i’m usin Maya 4



I just love to animate, and setup up good rigs that work really well! for animators, ive seen so much bad stuff out there. Facial stuff is something ive been looking into for ages! And needed to design a system thats gives every possible gesture or emotion-its getting there! (Pixar is king for this kind of stuff, and this is where i got my idea. Basically they have multiple groups of vertices, using Gepetto software and then give them Avars animated varibles,and also i think they work across muscles lines.)

My system has four main mouth controls, mouth edges and cheeks. And ten lip controls.Pulling the edges cheeks affects the whole mouth, pulling and puckering,and then tweek the lips!!!

But anyway thanks again, and if anyone not only on this thread needs some help with rigs (Bipeds, Quadrapeds, anyped)- im always here (check it everyday).

More will come-
Maya 4, XSI version soon hopefully, goto add sliders as well!!



Beta version getting there!

Added sliders to control individual muscles. Still control corners of mouth and cheeks with points. Added Eye controller, no pupil dilation yet. Also need to setup whole expressions on sliders some how?

Select the slider point,then modify panel to use sliders.

Heres the file:
Right-click save target as:

Still in Max 4,5
Goto XSI, Maya next!



Added jaw control and teeth. Animation test next week!!



wow man thanx keep this stuff comin you’re awesome


Found a way of creating expressions i.e. mouth shapes ee,ooh, etc. Basically stick animate on make a mouth shape at frame 5, of eeee, using sliders and points. Then place that key at minus 5, and add a tag at that frame called ‘eee shape’ then when i need it just copy it over 0 to wherever. So i mght have eee at -5, ooh at -10, mmm at -15 etc, etc.



i see that u are very deep into this facial aniamtion matter.
10x for replayng. i found a facial setup, based on clusters, with pivots in good places. i’ll look on it, and if i’ll get the permision, and u are interested, i can send u a copy.
thancks again.


Please send me a copy, it sounds cools. As for my rig it’s getting there, just goto transfer it over to Maya, XSI now!, and do the anim test!




Im building this facial rig for a short film im working on, and am also building the skeletal rig as well. (as everyones posting theirs)It’ll be called the ‘Kassius’ rig, and will arrive on monday for reviews, critique, etc. It’ll have every control possible hopefully!, well enough to pull off any pose!

Sorry of the delay on the animation facial test, i have too much work, but next week it should be there.:buttrock:



ok I know this thread is prolly long dead, but I am reviving it cause this looks realyl cool…ever finish the maya version?