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1 Tutorials LightWave 3D Basic Facial Setup - Part 2 em Qua Jan 26, 2011 3:07 am


by Tony G.

If you've made it through the setup in the first
part of this tutorial, you should have a pretty
good idea of how to proceed. For some great
material on facial expressions, take a look
in Character Animation in LightWave® 6 by
Doug Kelly. There are many other references
available as well, for instance the George
Maestri book Digital Character Animation is
a handy reference. There's a book floating
around called The Atlas of Facial Expression by
Stephen Rogers Peck, which I also find handy.

I assume you can readily follow
the procedure we used for the left eye to set
up your right eye, so I'll jump straight to the
mouth and jaw. A lot of 3D artists start out
setting up faces and focus on the mouth and eyes
to the detriment of the rest of the face. The
fact is, you can't get much of a mouth setup
going without looking very closely at the jaw,
which is mobile clear back to the neck. To emphasize
this and make sure I get a good jaw selection
to work with, I like to start by setting up some
extreme jaw targets, and then work on the mouth
area. Of course, if we want this to all come
together in the end, it is time to start thinking
about teeth, so I brought my teeth back into
the layer with my skin, and will work with them
for this next bit.

  • First off, I like to get
    my parts named, starting with the lower teeth
    - I called them "Lower_Teeth" of all the
    zany names. Next, I selected the jaw area
    (all the parts which will be mobile, I think),
    and named those parts "Lower_Jaw" (remember
    to name the Part Not the Surface!).

  • Before you proceed to
    the setup for the mouth targets, it is strongly
    advised that you test the results of editing
    your jaw. Select the two parts (teeth and
    jaw) and test rotate them (see the yellow "x" and
    direction arrow in the illustration) to see
    ho the whole thing looks when you do a big
    jaw-dropping take. If no serious errors result
    (like the lips get left behind, or the neck
    doesn't seem to be moving right) then carry

  • Create new morph target
    called "Mouth.Ahhhh".

  • The actual posing of the
    jaw can be pretty easy, if you are comfortable
    with the Magnet and Pole tools. Take a look
    at the example below; I've made a new selection,
    and renamed that part for now, as shown below.
    By selecting this area and setting the falloff
    of the magnet so it has high influence at
    the front of the jaw, and less at the back,
    we can rotate the jaw down into position
    with one drag of the mouse.

  • Next, I changed
    the selection to include the rest of the
    jaw area, and the teeth, and used the magnet
    volume shown below to get the lips, teeth,
    and the interior of the mouth into position.

  • Once you've done with
    that, tweak the corners of the mouth, and
    you should have something like the image
    shown below (well, you may not have a tongue).

  • Now choose "Copy map" in
    the Maps tab, and name the copy "Mouth.Left,
    as shown below. Use the various tools to
    close the mouth just a bit, and then skew
    it off to the left (in the Back view) so
    we can make one of the positions needed for
    a "Aarhaagh Aarhaagh Aarhaagh" side-to-side
    laughing motion. You might want to close
    the mouth a bit more than I have.

  • Make another copy of the
    vertex map, and repeat the process, but to
    the right. I get a bit of distorting when
    I do this. Decide for yourself if it is within
    tolerance (again, test in Layout) before you
    invest a bunch of time in setting up morph

  • If you take a look at
    the areas circled in the example, you'll
    see some of the most common areas where problems
    occour. This happens because the data in
    those crowded areas has gotten crammed together,
    and some of the patches have extremely irregular
    orientations relative to their neighbors.
    It can often be fixed with judiscious use
    of the Smoothing tool. I selected the offending
    patches, and smoothed them with a strength
    of 2 and 5 Iterations, as shown below.

  • This fixed it up pretty
    good. Once you've gotten to this point, pull
    out the chart of phoneme morph targets, and
    build them, being sure to name them appropriately
    (according to the sound they represent).

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