facial animation setup?


Hey Ekk hello!

Nice to have u back

It seems that this is the only place to get u.

I am hoping u will get on msn soon, i have tons of questions for u.



Hey Eek;

Just a question for you.

I can figure out the way to make the curve network or so, but I have no idea of the way to skin the face, What method do you use, Clusters?, Bones?, Wraps?.., personally I found clusters a bit limited for this kind of setup, not to mention they can´t be ported to other characters, wich, I think, is the reason for all this stuff.

Any suggestions?


Hey, sign me in for the queue too my friend. :slight_smile:


I guess u are doing it in maya, the way i figured out to use curves as deformers is through influence objects.

First u have to skin geometry to at least one bone, so i can add influences later. Than u have to add curve as an influence object. Than the most important part. Turn on “use components” in skin deformer.

Thats all it works.



Been very busy lately, lots on. I really need a new machine and a good internet connection!

Hey Eek;

Just a question for you.

I can figure out the way to make the curve network or so, but I have no idea of the way to skin the face, What method do you use, Clusters?, Bones?, Wraps?.., personally I found clusters a bit limited for this kind of setup, not to mention they can´t be ported to other characters, wich, I think, is the reason for all this stuff.

Any suggestions?

In maya, you would fire off cv splines or point splines driven by clusters, its pretty much the same approach in xsi. I think you can you splines as skin data(bones) As to porting the rig well im not porting the rig literally im porting the data between rigs i.e character may have the same rig, but the tech allows to to port the way the rig works and its animation between characters.Also im trying to script it!

King’s doing some interesting stuff on this, pretty much porting some of the tech over to maya. I could do it but am just a bit tied up atm with it in max - still lots more to do! Wish i could do some talk on this stuff.



Hey there, i haven’t seen this book mentioned yet, but I haven’t checked all 45 of them!!!
Jason Osipa’s Book “STOP STARING” is amazing, it’s a general book for facial animation, however he takes you through the process using maya etc…

He uses slider control’s for blend shapes to animate his faces. He seems to be revered by fellow animators so it’s worth checking out…
His website is http://www.jasonosipa.com/JasonOsipa_Main.htm

There is a link there to by the book from Amazon USA, but you can by it intenationally as well. It’s from Sybex/Maya Press I think…

Hope this helps.


Hi everyone. Just came across this thread. The rig look awsome Eek. Just a quick post to ask what happened to the Tutorial, and the Maya version? I’ve scanner through all 45 pages of the thread with a comb, and i couldent find anything. Hows it all going dude?




Everythings going good atm, ive been off this stuff a bit lately as i was out of a job. So have been trying to get a new one which is going well!

Anyway well lots been going on recently - kinda away from the computer. Basically been trying collate all this stuff i.e the scripts,rig everything into some sort of system. Its only been possible with max 6 and some new features. Im trying to script everything into a system that makes it easy to do all this stuff - rather than building it all by hand! so im working on the tooling part. Thinking also about the animation tools - as im im gunna have to write some. The gui will be scipted too possibly like templates that you pick.

The only part i want the user involved is skinning, and making animation and poses. Its all towards a complete system with my biped and quad, but just getting to grips with the more complex scripting stuff.

Losing your job after 2.5 years kinda knocks the wind out of you so just getting back into it.



Dude! You lost your job? I’m sorry to hear that! Can’t imagine a company letting someone like yourself go…your rigging talents are incredible!


Hey Eek, thanks for getting back in touch, really sorry to hear about your job loss, that sux, glad to hear tht everything is going back on track nowadays. Excellent to hear about the rig man, just keep it up and take your time, it really looks awsome.

Take care


Hi, sorry another thing, what’s up with your homepage? I ca’nt get from the main screen, when i click on e.g ‘learn’ i’m directed to the same main page.



Hey guys!

For the last couple of days i 've been writing a script wich will create a muscle lin efor facial setup from just a curve.

I am in feze where i am writing expressions so the stretching and contratcing will be right.

Here is movie how the thing looks now.


p.s I tried to take curve as an influence object on skined geometry but it just didn’t deform well. (i checked use components ). So i decidet to use joints, because of right orientation. It really suck that maya doesn’t have the option to turn everithing into bones like max do.


I´d like to try that MEL, Can you use your custom curves with it?


dang, that script would

eek. SAw your reel, and i was in awe.

few things tho
with the little knowledge i know about rigging in comparison with you. i figure if you would use your facial setup in maya, would create your facial spline cage skin it to the head joint, than create clusters at each splines vertex, parent (cube) controllers to the clusters.

Would you just use set driven keys in maya to animate other parts of the splines when a controller has been translated?

How would the methods from the other aps fit a method for maya?

also your bi-ped setup from the reel.
clueless on that leg setup, where the foot maintains its position while the knee swivels off a translation. kinda like Fk with ik.


Hey joie!

Still havent finished the script jet, and when it is done with all the others for facila setup (i have one wich sets the lip joints controlers) i will need some beta users (but that is close jet)

Joie what do u mean by (can u use ur custom curves with it).

Durty my curves will be deformet with tabgents and a couple of expressions (and of course animator) wich i am refining right now. The end and beging controlrs will be controled by contrains and expressions.



really sorry to hear about your job charles… i’m sure you’ll get a better one soon…


I mean this:

I have my character´s face, I model my facial curve network and want to use them with your scritp.

Or may I need to use your script to make a curve and position it where it´s suppose to be?.

I´d be very pleased if I could join your beta-tester team for sure!.



joie read ur pm

and jest it can be created from whathever curve u like (this was my priority)


So I add your ICQ adress to my buddy list uh?, one day we must talk about these terms :slight_smile:


Hi Everyone,

Thankyou for the support, I got back from canada a week ago. And have been offered a position over at Bioware so just waiting for the visa now hopefully!.

Durty & all,

Thankyou for liking the the reel, yes the biped stuff is pretty cool. ive recently made a new version of that with a gollum style 8 bone spin that stretches and compresses and also changes color when it goes past its extent!

Right back to facial piping, im current working out the systems to build the facial rig via scripts. And also currently planning a custom animation system that will work with the rig to animate it. So the system will have:

Scriptable rig generation - rig building, tweakable on the fly, muscle view etc etc
Custom skinning system - easier skinning system, designed for the face.
custom animation pipe - pose builder, animator, layer based system im working on some ideas which if they work will be very cool!

It will be a plugin, in which you can blend animation between characters, change the the face on the fly! and lots more. Im currently working out the tools to make tools!

Joie - yes, ive made part of the rig in maya and it works fine. Generally expression in softs are the same. Things that are different are points, which are locators. Also its hard to rip out tangent handles in maya - so you have to use cv clusters to simulate it. In soft its pretty much the same. Just trying to make one version work so far. Because the rig is so flexible i need to make a system that will work with is flexiblity i.e pose that can be changed on the fly, etc etc.

So lots going on - ill try and post some pics soon of the tooling! & cheers for the support!