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Game Character Creation in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Rigging the face and head


From:

Game Character Creation in Maya

with Chris Reilly

Video: Rigging the face and head

So I have some more work off-screen finishing up the controls for the arms. Let's go ahead and work on the head for a little bit. So I will set up controls for the mouth, the eyes, the antenna, and one overall control that will move the whole head around. So go ahead and import some controls. I will just bring up my Outliner so go to Window > Outliner and let's take a look at this main head control here. So this is what I used to rotate the entire head around.
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  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      39s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 9s
    3. Understanding game asset creation
      1m 21s
    4. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 35s
    1. Setting up scene folders (Maya and Unity)
      3m 58s
    2. Optimizing geometry
      3m 14s
    3. Using symmetry
      4m 8s
    4. Extruding geometry
      4m 19s
    5. Sculpting geometry
      4m 1s
    6. Importing reference sketches
      5m 55s
  3. 37m 14s
    1. Modeling the head and nose
      5m 34s
    2. Creating the mouth
      4m 28s
    3. Crafting the eyes
      5m 11s
    4. Building the body and a wing
      10m 11s
    5. Forming the limbs
      8m 5s
    6. Adding finishing touches
      3m 45s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. UV mapping overview
      2m 43s
    2. UV mapping the body parts
      9m 18s
    3. UV mapping the face
      7m 40s
    4. UV mapping wrap-up
      3m 44s
    5. Mirroring
      4m 57s
    6. Texturing
      2m 46s
    7. Normal mapping
      5m 3s
  5. 46m 21s
    1. Setting up the skeleton
      5m 19s
    2. Building the spine
      3m 39s
    3. Finishing the skeleton
      4m 32s
    4. Rigging the legs and feet
      8m 35s
    5. Rigging the torso
      3m 49s
    6. Rigging the arms and hands
      3m 35s
    7. Rigging the face and head
      5m 9s
    8. Rigging wrap-up
      2m 27s
    9. Skin binding and weight painting
      5m 26s
    10. Animating in Maya
      3m 50s
  6. 29m 9s
    1. Exploring the Unity interface
      3m 3s
    2. Importing character and animations into Unity
      5m 50s
    3. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person character controller
      7m 14s
    4. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person camera controller
      4m 4s
    5. Making read/write animations using UnityScript Editor
      4m 8s
    6. Controlling scripts with animation events
      4m 50s
  7. 19s
    1. Additional resources
      19s

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Game Character Creation in Maya
2h 58m Intermediate Sep 15, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Get a thorough overview of techniques for creating characters for video games or real-time rendered applications. Author Chris Reilly covers low-poly modeling, texturing and animation, using 3D model and texture assets created in Maya and Adobe Photoshop. The course also includes an overview of Unity 3, including importing characters and making interactive animations with the Script Editor.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing, extruding, and sculpting geometry
  • Modeling a character's head and body
  • UV-mapping the head and body
  • Mirroring and texturing
  • Setting up the skeleton
  • Rigging the head and body
  • Skin binding & weight painting
  • Controlling animation with scripts in Unity
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Character Animation Game Design
Software:
Maya
Author:
Chris Reilly

Rigging the face and head

So I have some more work off-screen finishing up the controls for the arms. Let's go ahead and work on the head for a little bit. So I will set up controls for the mouth, the eyes, the antenna, and one overall control that will move the whole head around. So go ahead and import some controls. I will just bring up my Outliner so go to Window > Outliner and let's take a look at this main head control here. So this is what I used to rotate the entire head around.

So I am going to constrain this to that neck joint. So, again I just selected the head control, Shift+Select the neck joint, and we will do a Point Constrain and an Orient Constraint. So I am going up to Constrain > Point, with options. Make sure Maintain Offset is checked to keep the orientation of the controls static and click Add and Constrain > Orient. Again let's make sure Maintian Offset is selected and click Add.

So now when I select this head control I can bring up the Rotate tool and I should be able to rotate the entire head around the neck. Okay, that looks good! Let's move onto the eyes. So our eye joints here, we have this central one, which is located in the center of the sphere that forms each eyeball and then this outer one which is located basically over the pupil of the eye. So to set up motion for this I am going to make an IK handle that goes from the center of the eyeball out to the pupil.

So I go to Skeleton > IK Handle Tool, start at the centre of the eyeball, and now it's the pupil. In my Outliner I will just title that ikHandle_Eye_, left and that gets parented to the eye left control, which is this circle right here. So if I select that and use the Move tool I should be able to move that around. So what that's going to do is rotate the sphere around its center point, so that will allow me to have the eyes track back and forth or follow something on screen.

I will do the same thing for the opposite side. So IK handle from the center of the eyeball to the pupil and that gets parented to the eye right control. Now I also want a way to be able to select both eyeballs at once just in case I want them to be looking at something on screen or just not going cross-eyed. So I have set up just a straight NURBS curve here from main EYES control and I am going to parent both the EYE_L and the EYE_R control to that EYES control.

And then finally, since I want to basically have those eye controls move along with any rotations that the head make, I will go ahead and parent that EYES control to HEAD. So now when I go to make rotations with the HEAD, those EYE controls will follow along with it. Okay, let's take a look at the antenna. So for each one of these antenna controls this is actually very similar to the spine. I am just going to do Point and an Orient Constrain reach control.

So I will select the base ANTENNA control and Shift+Select the base antenna joint and Constrain > Point, Constrain > Orient. Same thing for these other two. The right hand side is exactly the same so I will leave that for you to do offscreen.

Now, let's move on to the mouth. So mouth controls are going to be set up very similar to how we structure the eyes. So we are just doing single joint IK handles from the inner jaw to the outer jaw. So set up Skeleton > IK Handle Tool. Drom the inner jaw to the outer jaw. And this one is going to be called ikHandle_Jaw_ L and that gets parented to the JAW_L control.

And the process is exactly the same for all the rest of the JAW controls. So IK Handle tool, from inner to outer jaw. This is ikHandle_Jaw_Top and that gets parented to JAW_TOP. So I will spend some more time finishing up the antenna and the rest of the jaw controls but that's pretty much it as far as rigging controls. In the next video we will just do a couple of cleanup tips before we move on to animation.

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