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Facial animation using shape keys

From: Blender 2.6 Essential Training

Video: Facial animation using shape keys

Now let's dive into character rigging. We're going to start with facial animation and take a very quick look at how to create facial shapes for animating your characters. I'm going to start with this little creature that we've been building. And the way that you do facial animation in Blender is using what are called shape keys. Now, you can find these under the Object Data panel. So if I select my object and under my Object Data panel, you'll see a rollout here called Shape Keys.

Facial animation using shape keys

Now let's dive into character rigging. We're going to start with facial animation and take a very quick look at how to create facial shapes for animating your characters. I'm going to start with this little creature that we've been building. And the way that you do facial animation in Blender is using what are called shape keys. Now, you can find these under the Object Data panel. So if I select my object and under my Object Data panel, you'll see a rollout here called Shape Keys.

Now what this does is it remembers various shapes that you model into the character. So this is a little bit different than morphing or blend shapes in that everything is located here. You don't create separate models and then combine them together; you just create them on the fly. So I'm going to hit the plus sign here, and this creates a key called Basis, and that's just my basic key. This is my neutral position of my character. And I'm going to keep that like it is.

And I'm going to add in a second one by hitting the plus key again. And let's just do a really simple mouth shape. I'm going to go ahead and do one called Closed_mouth, and we're just going to type that in. And now, all we have to do is model that. So let me show you very quickly how this works. I'm going to hit the Tab key to go into Edit mode, and I want to be in Vertex mode right now. And I just want to close the character's mouth. So I'm going to turn on Proportional Editing-- that will help me a little bit--and make sure that I've got my proportions right by hitting G and rolling my middle mouse button.

And now once I do, I'm just going to go ahead and start moving parts of his mouth so that we can close his mouth. And again, I'm just Shift+Right-clicking and selecting these vertices here, and so I'm just trying to get that mouth closed. So as I start to move up, you'll notice that my proportional editing is pushing that part of the mouth up, so I'm just going to turn that off for a second here and try and get his mouth fairly closed. And I can even pull it down a little bit from the top here, so I'm just going to go ahead and select that vertices along the top of his mouth and pull that down as well, and there we go.

So now I have another shape. Now I can continue to model this. I can make really any shape that I want, but once I'm there, all I have to do is jump to Object mode and the object goes back to the base key. Now, this closed mouth that I just created has a number associated with it, and that is the value that we get right here. So I've got my character now opening and closing his mouth. Now you can see it probably a little bit easier if I put on a subdivision surface.

So I'm going to go over to my Object Modifier panel and select Subdivision Surface and then go back to my Object Data panel, and let's go ahead and see how he closes his mouth. Okay, so now his mouth isn't quite closed, but we can certainly fix that by going back into Edit mode. So when I go into Edit mode, you can see that because I have Closed_mouth selected, I have that key, no matter what it's dialed in at. So then I can select these underlying vertices here. Actually, I'm going to go into Edge mode and select these.

There we go and there we go. So now I've got his mouth closed. So we can continue along with this. This is just a real basic example here. You can do multiple mouth shapes. You can do shapes for the eyes. You can do blinks, that sort of thing. You can really create as many shapes as you want. And once you have multiple shapes, you can dial them in or mix them. Now, I have one that I've already done here, and this is called Chap11_02.blend, and in this one I added in another shape key, and that's a blink.

So what I can do is I can take that and I can blink the character and I can close the mouth, so these are additive. So you can add them together and mix them together just like you would with any other type of shape animation.

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This video is part of

Image for Blender 2.6 Essential Training
Blender 2.6 Essential Training

94 video lessons · 23702 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
    3. Downloading Blender
      34s
    4. Notes on Blender 2.7 NEW
      2m 8s
    5. Using Blender on a Mac
      42s
    6. Using Blender on a laptop
      36s
  2. 30m 32s
    1. Overview of the Blender interface
      6m 6s
    2. Understanding 3D view windows
      5m 23s
    3. Navigating in 3D space
      6m 35s
    4. Configuring user preferences
      6m 24s
    5. Creating custom layouts
      6m 4s
  3. 32m 29s
    1. Selecting objects
      6m 12s
    2. Moving objects
      4m 35s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 48s
    4. Scaling objects
      2m 16s
    5. Understanding transform orientation
      3m 53s
    6. Changing an object's origin
      5m 27s
    7. Selecting pivot points
      3m 22s
    8. Using Snap to move objects precisely
      3m 56s
  4. 49m 18s
    1. Creating mesh primitives
      6m 36s
    2. Selecting vertices, edges, and faces
      4m 48s
    3. Editing mesh objects
      7m 39s
    4. Proportional editing
      3m 52s
    5. Sculpt mode (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      5m 3s
    6. Sculpt mode
      4m 45s
    7. Working with edges and edge loops
      3m 42s
    8. Extrusions
      5m 18s
    9. Smooth shading objects
      2m 23s
    10. Subdividing meshes
      5m 12s
  5. 50m 31s
    1. Working with modifiers
      5m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision surfaces
      3m 48s
    3. Creating a simple creature
      7m 54s
    4. Symmetrical modeling with the Mirror modifier
      8m 21s
    5. Joining mesh objects
      3m 37s
    6. Stitching vertices
      4m 52s
    7. Finalizing a simple creature
      4m 48s
    8. Creating text
      3m 29s
    9. Boolean tools
      2m 59s
    10. Vertex groups
      4m 51s
  6. 22m 36s
    1. Using the Outliner
      8m 22s
    2. Using layers
      4m 30s
    3. Creating groups
      2m 48s
    4. Working with scenes
      4m 2s
    5. Creating hierarchies
      2m 54s
  7. 54m 26s
    1. Assigning materials to objects
      8m 4s
    2. Diffuse shaders
      6m 47s
    3. Working with specularity
      5m 56s
    4. Using the Ramp Shader options
      9m 45s
    5. Additional shading options
      2m 37s
    6. Creating reflections
      8m 29s
    7. Adding transparency and refractions
      6m 49s
    8. Subsurface scattering
      5m 59s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Adding a simple texture
      6m 11s
    2. Using bitmaps
      6m 53s
    3. Mapping textures in the UV Editor (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      7m 43s
    4. Mapping textures in the UV Editor
      8m 28s
    5. Using UV projections
      5m 56s
    6. UV mapping a character (Updated for 2.7) NEW
      6m 35s
    7. UV mapping a character
      6m 11s
    8. Fine-tuning UV mapping
      6m 7s
    9. Creating Bump and Normal maps
      3m 15s
    10. Displacement mapping
      3m 48s
    11. Using the Node Editor
      4m 59s
  9. 53m 9s
    1. Adding lamps to a scene
      8m 44s
    2. Fine-tuning ray-trace shadows
      4m 32s
    3. Using spot lamps
      4m 20s
    4. Fine-tuning buffer shadows
      6m 19s
    5. Using Hemi lamps
      2m 32s
    6. Working with Area lamps
      5m 17s
    7. Creating sky and ambient light
      4m 49s
    8. Adding background images
      3m 19s
    9. Creating sunlight
      6m 6s
    10. Ambient occlusion
      7m 11s
  10. 30m 8s
    1. Working with cameras
      4m 47s
    2. Creating camera targets with constraints
      3m 43s
    3. Render properties
      5m 7s
    4. Rendering animation
      5m 13s
    5. Adding motion blur
      4m 10s
    6. Creating depth of field
      7m 8s
  11. 32m 30s
    1. Understanding the Timeline
      4m 3s
    2. Animating objects
      6m 26s
    3. Animating properties
      4m 0s
    4. Editing animation in the Graph Editor
      8m 36s
    5. Using the Dope Sheet
      4m 53s
    6. Path animation
      4m 32s
  12. 39m 59s
    1. Facial animation using shape keys
      4m 40s
    2. Understanding armatures
      6m 2s
    3. Fitting an armature to a creature
      7m 23s
    4. Deforming a character with an armature
      3m 49s
    5. Setting up inverse kinematics
      3m 53s
    6. Controlling the hips and body
      2m 1s
    7. Animating in Pose mode
      2m 47s
    8. Creating a test animation
      9m 24s
  13. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

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