Join David Andrade for an in-depth discussion in this video Manipulate the complex face with a few controls, part of Blender: Creating a Finished Character Animation.
- The face is incredibly complex, and has endless possibilities. We'll talk about how to maximize the use of a few controls to plus, or enhance, our character animation. Now let's go ahead and play through this and see what we have. - Well, I'd like to see you try, you wouldn't last one day. - Dude, I service society by rocking, okay? I'm out there on the front lines liberating people with my music. Rockin' ain't no walk in the park, lady! - Alright. Now I feel like this beginning transition could use a little bit of work. I'm going to turn off audio scrubbing, I'm going to zoom in into his face.
Now, this transition is going to go from regular, bored, office dude to angry, hey dude, mode. Alright, so we're going to bring these eyebrows down so we have somewhere to transition from. And we're going to move into his mouth, we're going to bring it in a little bit, and drop it down a little. Remember, he is just bored out of his mind at work. Don't forget to hit A twice, and then I to key all of your controls. Now, with this key, I'm going to go ahead and duplicate it, and move it all the way up to the front.
So that way we're holding the bored pose for a while. In fact, that's how you should think of the face. Think of it as a mask that tells you the emotional state of the character. Now he's going to transition into dude, and he's going to feel a little bit more agitated. But, as I blocked, I realized that I have a lot of duplicate keys here, and frankly I don't really remember what many of them do. So what I like to do at this stage is just blow them away. So I'm just going to go ahead and just delete all of these, and I'm just going to work off of this dude moment when he gets really excited.
So let's zoom in a little bit, and he's transitioning here, so we're going to want to bring up his eyebrows a little. We're going to want to bring up that eyelid, and for good measure, copy it to the other side. We're going to bring these eyes over a little bit, so he's looking at us, maybe through his peripheral, and we're going to open up that mouth just a little bit more. Now, don't worry about the dialogue, we'll handle that in the next video. Don't forget to key it, and for good measure, I'm going to just duplicate this key, and drag it all the way down.
Now, let's see, I know there's a facial transition right about here. That's where he looks from screen right to screen forward. So I'm just going to key between those two, and right in the middle, I'm going to add a blink. Now, here's the trick about blinks, and eyes in general. They're very snappy. They don't swim, they don't melt between transitions. So you want to make this blink really snappy. Most of it is done by the top lids, and a little bit is done by the bottom lids.
And don't forget about the eyebrows. The eyebrows also come down during blinks. And, maybe, I'll move up his mouth a little, too. Alright, let's key everything, and see what we get. Now, that looks a little bit slow as a blink, so using my breakdown tool, I'm going to hit shift E, and favor the blink a little bit, so that it snaps out. Because he's excited. I'm going to set a key here, and I'm actually going to raise the eyebrows here just a little bit.
That way he has a little bit more excitement when he says, dude. There we go. I'm going to hit I, and let's play it. - One day. - Dude, I service society by rock-- - Now, it's really subtle, but it adds so much more flavor to your animation. Faces have a huge range of motion that they can do. Knowing when to use small changes or big changes will make your animation feel more alive.
- Listening to the dialog clip
- Sketching out the animation framework
- Learning how character and facial rig works
- Blocking key character poses
- Getting feedback
- Adjusting appendages
- Matching dialog to the animation
- Cleaning up frames with the Graph Editor
- Lighting and rendering the animation