View Full Version : Face Rig Challenge!

11-23-2011, 09:43 AM
I wonder if, in this forum, someone would be able to reproduce face rig with bones ( muscle-bones ) with the quality other users form other packs were able to do 6 years before.

It seems it's still too hard so setup muscle-bone in lightwave.
there's 3 expressions and they're too dificult to adjust. I'd like to see a bone where you can attach the last tip to something easelly.

Mike Green script is the easest way to setup a muscle bone, but it's not visual as required.






And a model attached if someone would like to try!

11-23-2011, 12:34 PM
i think so, just need better "group" control options, although
you can set stuff like that up now, i've just been ending up
with alot of items in the end.

that 1st link was recognized as a threat by avg.

11-23-2011, 12:43 PM
maybe check RHR

11-23-2011, 12:52 PM
maybe check RHR

yuh... no need for expressions... 1 bone, Ik scale, next bone, goal item... done.

11-23-2011, 12:57 PM
yes, shouldn't be that hard from what i understand...

probably underrated as many wavers don't rig.

actually come to think of it, Maestro should do an excellent job here, even better (faster) than the other apps...


11-24-2011, 12:44 AM
Will not make a joint rig as I think its the wrong way of doing it. It gets complicated in any package way too fast.

I go with morphs and add controllers on the face to drive these.
It is easy to add a few joints to this aswell.
However, I would like an easier way to do local influence for morphs.

simple face rig here.. Not nearly enough controls added yet, but so much easier to make and control:

and another one with same tech:

11-24-2011, 01:10 AM
but again, consider Maestro...

just imagine combining this with cyclist :]



11-24-2011, 07:31 AM
Not sure it counts .. A thread from 2008..

All I remember was it took a while to set up and still wasn't as versatile as I'd like.

11-27-2011, 07:54 AM

Thanks for sharing! Endomorphs are a great way to do face expressions, but combined with bones it would look a bit more interesting as it allows non-linear control and better neighboor interaction.


TAFA and Mestro have nice visual joystic control for multiple endomorphs manipulation at once, what is great, but I think bones still looks more realistic we need to combine both.


Thanks! Will try to setup a muscle-bone this way soon. Hope it will do what IKB does. Will I still need to add several nulls?


Yeah, you have the kind of rig I was looking for, but IK boost still looks alien for me.

I can't understand why did not Newtek include IKB features in the actual bones and why does NT back to normal bones when all the others are in joints. IKB seems to be complex, easy and difficult to integrate.

11-28-2011, 02:43 AM
I tried something similar a while ago with a plugin called muscle bone.
It could squatch while getting shorter which was awesome for muscle bulge.
I looked at an anatomy manual and reproduced all the muscles and put some bones for the hard parts.
The OGL refresh wasn't fast or accurate. I had problems with the mouth too that wasn't deforming correctly. Bones influence only. I used no weight and that was good and bad. Some places had natural deformations and some others, not at all.
I found Rh's rig pretty good.
The problem with morphs is that if you don't move many other points (like nose or neck or cheek for the mouth) and if you don't move them correctly, it doesn't look natural.

11-28-2011, 02:44 AM
And most of the time, mouth is a problem, especially because of changes in the volume.

11-28-2011, 04:56 AM

Thanks for sharing! Endomorphs are a great way to do face expressions, but combined with bones it would look a bit more interesting as it allows non-linear control and better neighboor interaction.......

For a realistic human this is never a problem. Eyeballs and big mouths on cartoon characters does present a problem though.

The thing, as with all good facial animation is to involve the entire face.

What I usually do is this:
I create the basic shapes: A, M, E, O and F.
A and M I see as counterparts. They can never be applied at the same time so I put them on oppisite ends of a slider.
Same for E and O.

I look and see if E and A work together, because when both are fully applied we have a big open mouth smile. If they dont work, I create a mix of both of them and as I pull the E and A slider towards max the mix fades in while it ignores the individual phonemes.


Once all this is done I have a base that I can do fairly good animation with, but lacking the flair.
I then add curls to lips, happy(eyebrows up, checkbones up), sad(frown and down turned lips), squint crooked smiles etc. I try to mix and match with the morph targets I already have.

I also tend to put happy and sad on opposite sides of a slider. This way I can set a general tone to the mood easily.

Works well for me. but then I do mostly toons.

example here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6831843/blue.rar

11-28-2011, 08:20 AM
what would be nice is the ability to convert bones from Layout
into skelegons, take them into modeler create your morphs with
the skelegons/bones and then send them back to layout without
having to setup the bones again.

i wonder if they could like tag the skelegons when converting
them from Layout to a seperate setup file to be referenced when
those specific skelegons are reconverted back into Layout after being
in Modeler.

11-29-2011, 01:58 PM
A bone with a tip wich you can attach to something ( right rick and choose attach here ) would be so great! So the bone just would follow the target doing squash and stretch and you just need 1 parameter to set the amount of stretch and squash in the side volum.

Why is to so difficult to developpers do a muscle bone?

11-29-2011, 07:55 PM
Because when u say why not have a 1 click muscle bone.. u then get led to think, what if I want the stretch though without the trget behavior, or the target behavior but not the stretch, and have those as one click options... and you start to wind down the territory of having one tool for every possible setup combination, on either a single bone, or many bones... or nulls... why cant I have those for nulls too??

Mission creep.

What you describe can be setup, by hand in less than 30 secs (less time than it took to write this post)... as can many of the other possible combinations of simple controllers on single items... what is so hard about that, I dont get it.

Ofc if its something that you find u do a lot of one specific thing like that, and you just HAVE to have a one click button... then all u gotta do is fire up lscomander, make it once, and basically hit install.

12-04-2011, 07:23 AM

Anyway, it's possible to setup in 2 seconds in blender with less pain :).

The problem on Lw cames when I try to add 120 muscle bones in the face to mimic natural muscles. Too much nulls, too much things to confuse, no drag tip available. Too difficult :(.

12-04-2011, 08:19 AM
Here a single muscle bone. No expression on it, just IK SCALE

Thanks Rebell Hill for the tip.

The problem that remains is that it's too painfull to copy this setup for a face and there's another problems:

If I have a "muscle bone " I would just attach the tip to where I want.
Actually I need a bone at start, a bone at the middle and a bone at the end and also a null. Too much elements and no visual way for doing the IK adjustments.

12-04-2011, 03:40 PM
This was a test i did long time ago with joints as muscles(very easy to setup)
and the scene http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=87074&d=1281108384 (move the nulls to pose the face)

12-05-2011, 05:54 AM
Silvio... please don't take this the wrong way... but...

Setting IKscale on something is very quick, and very easy to do... yet you didnt even know it could be done... and yet still here you are, again, complaining about LW doesnt do this, doesnt have that...

You dont seem to know though, what LW does and doesnt have in the first place.

My point being... if you dont even know what tools you've already got, or how to use them... then adding more tools is NOT going to help you, not one bit.

Even the idea of adding 120 muscle bones for facial control... WAAAAY over the top... there's no need whatsoever to use that many bones for such a thing.

Plus... (and Ive said it before, but Ill say it again)... bones for facial rigs are a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME in LW.

Reason... whenever you see these types of facial setup in other packages, the controllers are always constrained to curves, in order to get the joints to move the facial parts in curved motions properly... this way, when you pull the corner of a mouth up to form a smile, it doesnt just go up, it goes back too, curling round the teeth, etc.

But this CANNOT be done in LW... so whilst you can rig a face using bones no problem from a deformation point of view... it would be an utter NIGHTMARE to try and animate with... as you'd have to manually move said controller up, and back, and tween it to get the curved motion... such a waste of time.

The best (infact ONLY) option in LW for creating intuitive, easily animated facial rigs is via morfs, tied to a GUI... like the oddfather face in my reel.

Could you create a similar thing using bones?? Sure... but you'd have so MANY constraints, incidences of cyclist, etc to make it all work correctly, that it would wind up SUPER SLOW, and, again... pointless and painful to animate.

Honestly, mate... quit chasing fireflies, and just try learning what u already got.

12-05-2011, 02:01 PM
I did this 2 years before:
and it's only morphs.

Thanks Chris_lwgr

It was this king of thing I was looking for. Did similar tests with joints but didn't use the Z part of it. It was my mistake 'cause without weightmaps, joints makes crazy the face animation. I see your solution is great and the Position iten allow us to attach the rig to another face. Cool! Thanks for sharing.
The problem that remais is the one Rebell Hill said. Need to attach the Nulls to a previous traced curve.
Maybe the problem is that joints allow infinite stretch and not limited as a muscle bone should do.


Thanks for your review. I will forget muscle-bones for face and will back my efforts on morphs again.

12-05-2011, 02:08 PM
you can limit the stretch on a joint/bone... just use the limits in motion options.

but yes, morfs is the way to go, lack of constrain to curve makes joints bones pointless in LW.

12-06-2011, 01:08 AM
morphs is probably the way as Craig says,
though you can combine it with bones to make small adjustments...

12-06-2011, 01:44 AM
The best (infact ONLY) option in LW for creating intuitive, easily animated facial rigs is via morfs, tied to a GUI... like the oddfather face in my reel.

i agree, but what a shame.

12-06-2011, 02:24 AM
i agree, but what a shame.

Now, for a humanoid, why do you need muscle bones?
Good morphs where the entire face is involved lets you modify it on a point per point basis easily to get it to look right. Few cases where you need sliding skin is needed.
Look at the muscle groups and do your morphs based on this and combine. The time it takes to do the morphs is prolly less than the bone rig.

12-06-2011, 02:39 AM
a problem with morphs is that they are not non-linear, where as bones are...
(for some cartoon types that might not be a big deal, but for ultra-realistic characters and other characters it can be...)

12-06-2011, 03:15 AM
a problem with morphs is that they are not non-linear, where as bones are...
(for some cartoon types that might not be a big deal, but for ultra-realistic characters and other characters it can be...)

True, but how often is that needed?
I have made characters that open their mouth 90 degrees and it still looks ok. A human will hardly have that problem
Eyelids, yes, but hardly even on realistic characters even.
It is not hard to set up non linear morphs either.
Do an inbetween, fade that one in via expressions so its at max at 50% of the motion.

Cartoon eyes on the other hand.. Struggeling with that one. I tend to do lots of joints in a sunfeather style for them.

12-06-2011, 04:12 AM
i see great video about muscle animation in lightwave it for production u cant belive u r see . it like real humain muscle animate :D .

and about bone muscle in c4d its nothing and i hate all other 3d package "3ds max " "maya" "cinema4D" "Xsi SOft-img" "rinhociros to" "Blender no much in blender" but why i hate all of this software because i tryed them in first time .and i know its nothing on them who make me smile and see 3d its easy. But lightwave :D it Great and Easy and Fast and Best :D and he make me smile and thinking about many tricks eX.....

12-06-2011, 04:18 AM
i still think morphs are limited, as the motion still won't be curved.
but i tall depends, this one for example does not have that problem,...
looks great,...

...but crocodile character with an open mount however would,
and probably even with an in-between morph.

also like i said ultra-realistic characters will have that issue.

it's not a huge problem only using morphs, never the less, a problem, me thinks...
so, combining morphs / bones is the best, imo.

12-06-2011, 04:19 AM
i see great video about muscle animation in lightwave it for production u cant belive u r see . it like real humain muscle animate :D


12-06-2011, 04:24 AM
I guess it depends on how much time you want to put in vs result.
I tend to do what is needed then drop it.

I really like that blend rig you pointed to. Looks great!

12-06-2011, 04:46 AM
Yes, as Erik says, adding in bones to help add some extra shaping to the face is great, but the main controls still base on morfs.

Non linear morfing aint that hard though, without the need for inbetween morfs either... agin, see the OF face in my reel... all the parts of the face move in nice, arc'd, non linear motion... still each shape is just a plain linear morf, its how you make them fit together, and tie to the gui that gives the non linearity via combination mixing.

12-06-2011, 11:13 AM
lightwave :D it Great and Easy and Fast and Best :D and he make me smile

I'd love to see that as the marketing slogan

12-06-2011, 01:14 PM
who's that stranger??

must drop u a pm soon... got q's.

12-06-2011, 01:44 PM
it's pooby, a LW fanboi...