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CGCircuit – Face Rigging

CGCircuit - Face RiggingFace Rigging


Face Rigging : A look at facial rigging with animated feature films in mind. We will create a fully functioning face rig, looking at one element at a time so that anyone can follow along with the workshop and get something out of it.

The workshop week by week

Week 1: Introductions / Prequisits and Philosophy

This is meant as an introduction and just get us involved and to start thinking about faces and learning how to notice and pay attention to the details and nuances when looking at faces.

Week 2: Getting started with the face rig

In this week we will start with a base rig, look at initial joint placement and rig the jaw, eyes and ears.

Week 3: Rigging the eyebrows

This week is all about eyebrows. We will look at the wire deformer and how it can help us getting smooth deformations for our brows as well as how we can
create corrective blendshapes on top of other deformers.

Week 4: Rigging the eyelids

In this week we will focus on the eyelids. Exploring joint based rigging, we will look at a way to set up fleshy eyelids that move with the eyes and add more complex behavior such as lid pushing.

Week 5: Rigging the mouth and lip controls

Now that we have the upper part of the face rigged, we will move to the lower portion of the face and explore the mouth and lips using a combination of blendshapes and joints.

Week 6: Rigging Nose, Teeth and Tongue

In this week we will take a look at the inner mouth area and add controls for the teeth, rig the tongue and also work on a rig for the nose.

Week 7: Rigging upcheeks, cheeks and squash and stretch

Now that we have created rigs for the main features of the face, we will take a look at volumes and fleshy areas of the face and work on the cheek area and add squash and stretch to the face that will allow animators to exaggerate the performance of the character’s face.

Week 8: Tweaker controls and lip seal

This week we will look at a way to add an additional layer of deformations in form of cluster type controls that will follow the overall motion of the face and can be used to offset certain painted areas, that animators might want to have control over. This “Tweaker-Deformation”- level is optional but can be a great addition.

We will also look at a way how we can add a lip seal to allow our character to pinch the lip corners or zip the lips together to keep them closed as the jaw opens
for example.

Week 9: Mesh controls and final touches

In this final week its all about you finishing and polishing your own face rigs for the final presentation and completing a face expressions test showing of 4-6 different poses.

I also want to show you how we could add mesh controls to replace the curve controls we have, to allow animators to directly grab the geometry and move the areas of the face around intuitively as if they were sculpting with clay.

This technique does make the face more readable as animators are posing it, but eliminating the curves controls that are otherwise in front of the face, but be advised that it will also slow down the rig – which is why this is also an optional step and not required.

Finally we will look at how we can write a script to reset all of our controls back to there default values, so that we can easily get back to the default pose of the face rig with the click of a button.

Watch the Introduction Video :


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