Moving onto week 2 of the Facial Rigging class: topology. Fortunately for me, I’ve always had pretty good models handed to me for rigging and the topology was most times more than good enough for the task at hand. Or, the model was so low poly there wasn’t really any “topology” to speak of.
The very low poly model of our girl here also had a bunch of spirals and none of the actual loops you would need for rigging or animating. So I took the cutting tools to her and cut in some loops that will be needed later on. I wish I had access to Topogun. Maya’s quad draw tool works just fine, but from the videos it seemed that Topogun just looked easier to work with. You get a lot of geometry clipping through your guide mesh in Maya which makes life a shit ton harder than it really should be. The overall functionality is fine, but getting everything to line up can be a pain in the ass. So I actually continued to switch between my entire scene and isolate select of the mesh I was working on. The cool thing is that your geometry will still respect the Live Mesh you set up, even though it’s not visible in the viewport. Just move the verts around and you can trust that they’re on the guide mesh, pretty nice.
Anyhoo, here’s our little missy at this point in time. I’m waiting for feedback from Wade and the rest of the class and then I’ll move on.
I remember when I first saw the links to CG Society’s workshops many, many years ago. They always looked extremely fun to do, but I could never spare the time nor had the money to spend on them unfortunately. Luckily I am now in a position where I have both some extra time and some extra money to enroll in one of these and I must say that I’m pumped! 🙂 Character Facial Rigging For Production started yesterday, with Wade Ryer mentoring the class. He sounds like a very relaxed teacher with most likely more knowledge about facial rigging than anyone in the industry. Super stoked to be learning from this guy.
Although a model is provided for the class, I couldn’t help but think this girl would actually be pretty great to rig up. You may remember her from such events as that one issue of 3D World Magazine from god-knows-when and That-One-Time-I-Had-Nothing-To-Do-In-The-Eurostar-Terminal. Super excited to bring this girl to life!
This was actually a proof of concept and thought exercise than anything else. I had a discussion with a fellow freelancer who got ripped off after sending Maya files and never receiving any payment. I started brainstorming about a possible solution for this problem and came up with this. The script allows you to secure a Maya file and set permissions on its usage. I don’t think it’s anything that should be used in the real world, but it was fun to make and think about. I actually did some research on how viruses and worms work to keep under the radar and how they deal with deletion attempts 🙂 It’s by no means a fool proof system, but it does kind of work and could be refined in the future.
Sorry about the vacation video-y music. Turn off your volume if you think it sucks 🙂
Some time ago I made a simple python script that allowed you to pack multiple images into the R, G, B and A channels of a texture. I used it when I was playing around with the default shader for Unity. I redid the script yesterday to allow for a bit more flexibility and just to make it more user friendly. Check out the video to see how it works. It uses Pillow to do all the image file operations, the script tries to download it using pip in case you don’t have it in your Python directories.
I’ve always liked this way of rigging faces. By constraining joints to the curves moving the curves around, you get some nice fall off that makes everything feel squishy and soft. Which works really well on cartoony characters. Not posting the entire code because it’s pretty messy, pretty long and spread across multiple files. Take a look at the YouTube video to see how it works and feel free to comment or ask if you want to.