Blender face rigging?

I need to export my models to another environment from blender. The exporter doesnt support keyfame animation, i need to use bones for everything.
Can you guys suggest me a good tutorial on face “rigging” ? I have searched for it but couldn’t find a decent one.
I have an animeish style models.
I’m using blender 2.49.
Thanks in advance.

It depends what you need to know…

  • rigging in blender
  • facial muscle structure
  • “good” shapes

assuming that you know how to set up bones, weight paint etc, and have enough knowledge of bone constraints (stretch to, copy location etc) then you should have no technical issues

The principles will be the same for any package… maybe don’t search just for blender tutorials…

I know the book “stop staring” (primarily for maya) is excellent for what shapes you need to achieve and has a small section on using bones rather than morphs…

years ago someone did a nice one for “messiah studio” (can’t find that, but here’s a basic one)

I have the bodies rigged, but I never used ‘constraints’, I dont think i can export that information from blender.

Not sure if you have this correct – Blender (2.49b, at least) does support keyframe animation export for mesh deformations of many types – File>Export>Vertex Keyframe Animation (.mdd). I’ve exported mesh deformations from rigs, cloth sims and soft body sims using this option.

Maybe you mean your target app can’t import a format Blender can produce?

In any case, you might be interested in my Othello face rig, designed to emulate facial muscle action. There are two versions: Version 1 is all bones, the prototype, and may serve you well, though it does use some modifiers for the eyelids that you’ll have to develop other methods for. Feel free to adapt it as needed for your project.

Version 2 with controls makes extensive use of constraints for the controls system, so it probably isn’t exportable as a rig for your purposes, but you can export the deformations as MDD files if that format is usable.

No, my target environment uses a custom 3d format and a custom Blender exporter for that format, which doesnt support keyframe export. thats what i meant.

Thx for the link, ill have a look and reply if i have problems

EDIT: Wait, so you can do lip-syncing with bones??

Yup. That was the main point of developing the Othello face rig.

Well, I dont know how much I can learn by observing a finished model, but I looked at the end result and thats pretty impressive

Thanks. I prefer tearing apart working models and rigs to using tutorials, since I end up learning things tuts might take for granted or skip over as not important (even though it may be).

If nothing else you can see how the bones are placed and how the mesh is weighted, and how the deformations interact based on those parameters. Version 1, the prototype with bones only (no control constraints) also includes the Action for a prelim lip synch pass, which can show how the various phonemes and visemes are constructed.