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- Setting up layers for the head
- Animating blinks
- Fine-tuning expressions
- Fixing layering issues
- Adding expressions to the animation
Skill Level Intermediate
So, we've begun the process of bringing the face to life. Let's go through this just a few frames at a time to see where we are. So you've got the mouth tweening into the wide-open happy expression, and the eyebrows are moving accordingly. And the next thing we want to do is to take the mouth, which is currently moving, and we have the face moving into a more furious-- I want this to be angry, not concerned. And if you look at our reference image on the bottom layer, now you can see that the eyebrows are coming down into a really like mean expression. So let's see if we can do that, because right now the face is in the default happy position or pose. It doesn't really match; it doesn't go well with the mouth.
So again, let's zoom in. And switch everything off. Let's just work with the eyebrows for the moment. And they're not too far away from where I want them to be, but we are going to really see if we can twist them. And again, go through frame by frame when you are doing something really big like this, to make sure that nothing breaks. And as I go back and forward and toggling, you can see that the shape tweening is holding up. The second the shape tweening starts to spin or do anything weird, then stop and go back and head undo and try something else.
That's pretty much as I wanted. Shape tweening is great fun when it behaves itself, when it works like this. If it doesn't, if it spins, usually it's because one of your points has moved too forward to the left or the right. Let's go into outline, and we are working on the green one now. And next will be the nose. It helps to do that in outline as well. Oops! Back to the furious face. I am going to scrunch this one up.
And let's also scrunch up the volume a little bit. Now, if you're going to do this, like move the nose up a little, then don't forget to widen it also. And now we will do the eyes. So, padlock all the layers that we're happy with, and the layers that we are going to be moving now are the right eye, the right eyelid, and the right eyeball. And remember from the previous movie, that you need to move these together so that the eye blink always matches the area covered by the eyeball. There we go! Padlock those, and now do the pupil by itself.
It's pretty close to where we want it. Same process for the left eye, and always easiest in Outline mode. Now, to see exactly where it's going to be, let's put the left eyebrow into outline as well. And I am going to select. And again, don't forget, it helps if this point here is on the same line or latitude as the other one.
Okay, that's good. Padlock those. And I think the eye is very close. Okay, now I am just going to show everything, and let's hide the reference layer, and see what this looks like. So now you have an idea of how we go from our starting pose, which is happy, to our wide- up jubilant, to angry.
And let's just test by unhiding the reference layer, and let's hide the head layer, and now we can toggle, oh! I forgot the jaw. I thought there was something. So, let's just look at the jaw layer. And I am going to pull these points, scrunch it up. And I am pulling these lines in so I can target the exact point that I want for the edge. Oops! Something broke there, so you see it's going a little bit spinny.
So I am going to hit undo a few times. You see, it happened around here. That's still okay. So what I am going to do now, I am going to change one thing very slowly at a time, and that will be fine. It's still working. That's good! So I think instead of moving that point any further, let's do that. That's exactly how you deal with a spin without having to deal with a shape hint, which we do try to avoid.
We will apply shape hints in the later chapter, but for most of these morphed mouth shapes and morphed faces, or tweened rather, it's really important to try to avoid shape hints, just for simplicity. I like to be able to freely copy between one of these expressions into another. So, with that done, let's hide the reference layer, unhide the rest. There are other things you could do. I mean you can always, for example, bring the hair down a little bit.
If you wanted to try to look like it's maybe sweaty, and it's tracking his forehead down a little, maybe pull in the volume a little. Lots of things that you can do to try to add as much life as possible. So, there we have it! I am going to leave the puzzle face for you as an exercise. So essentially, what you would be trying to do is to match this expression from this face. So, in Outline mode, as you can see, maybe be trying to move the eyebrow into this up position, and the other eyebrow into that position, and stretching the right eye, the green eye, into this wide-open point that's up here. And it's a fairly straightforward exercise I think. I don't think you'll have too many problems with it.
So, in the next section, we will move on and add some creases and extra layers to this that will really finish it off.