Sunday, January 4, 2009

Face Animation

So I haven't posted in a while because I really haven't had anything worth while to put up. But I think I do now. Lately I have been in sort of an Animation slump at work. My stuff seems stale and stiff. Among other things my face animationwas suffering a bit. There was no fleshy feeling in any of it. The great Jason Schleifer suggested that I take some time and just do some really simple tests and refresh what I know. This was SOOO helpful. These tests aren't feature quality by any means but they sure helped me to see things clear.
I took some notes along the way and Ill share those too. The first is just a simple change up to see how fleshy I could make the face feel. Again the animation isn't very good but it helped me to see what I could do to really make the face feel connected. The second is taking that idea and applying it to more change ups with some minor upper body animation.


Face Animation Notes
-use lid sculpt controls to keep the lids connected to the brows and cheeks.
-at the brows extreme the nose flesh will move up with them
-Arc the corners of the mouth
-Maybe a little squash and stretch in the eyes to exaggerate expression change
-Squash and stretch in the jaw and how that pulls the flesh in the cheeks and eyes and

-Have eyes react first most of the time.
-Group low face controls to offset timing from up face.
-James Baxter says that face muscles move in "fits and starts".
-Most movements in the face will be a direct result of emotion. Some will be residual
movement from those emotive moves. i.e. Brows go up out of surprise (emotion) but also the
corners of the eyes might go up because the eye brows will pull them up (residual). This
may not really happen on real people but it can add a nice fleshy feel to an animated
character. Should be used minimally.
-Sometimes its not the mouth move that is wrong, its the jaw.
-Arc the inside of the brows.
-Its animation, shape what you can to strengthen your idea.

Eye Check list
_ Brow and Lid connectivity
_ Lid and eye connectivity
_ lid sculpt
_ Eye squash and stretch.
_ eye shape Asymmetry

Brow Check list
_ Brow Lid connectivity
_ Brow to Brow connectivity.
_ Brow Muscles, Forehead and bridge of the nose.
_ Brow arcs
_ Brow lead and Overlap

Mouth Check list
_ Mouth lids connectivity
_ Mouth Nose connectivity
_ cheek connectivity
_ Jaw mouth offset
_ Jaw squash and stretch
_ lip sculpt
_ Mouth asymmetry
_ Mouth corners arcs
_ mouth up down left right
_ Jaw drag

Remember the power of a good break down.

Use mini expressions!