character animation

hi was wondreing if anyone could help ive managed to create the model to look the way i want but when i have it the way i want it to look i cant animate it because the mesh collapses onto itself ive tried having the top opf the mouth and the bottom as twol seperate objectsa but that doesnthelp either any ideas please? heres a pic of the character so may its just at the basic stage at the moment i only need the mouth to open and close i want to try and set it up now so i dont have to start all over again when i come to animating was thinking mayby i need to start with mouth closed or something? any advice thank you

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How are you animating / rigging this ?

Armatures ?

Shape keys?

Both ?

Neither ? :slight_smile:


Check out the Intro to Character Animation link in Mike_S’ sig

Sounds like he’s been using armatures if the mesh is collapsing on itself. The best way to animate something like this is with shape keys. Also, could we see a wire? Animation is very dependant on the topology of your model (this may be why it collapses when you move the bone or use a shape key)

yes was using armatures i cant get it to close even when moving the verts its just a sphere with a hole so ive probbaly stuffed the topology here is a wire view of side and front thanks for your replys

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This tutorial is good for shape keys:

I think it’s going to take some effort but should be possible. You could do it with shape keys alone but they are linear and the deformation between extremes can be less than satisfactory.

I don’t use driven shape keys but this looks like the perfect application.

Essentially the shape you have is just like a pair of eyelids. With a pair of bones originating at the sphere’s origin (the true origin as if the spehere was still complete) and extending through the top and bottom “lips” should give you basic control. You’ll need some weight painting to control the extent to which verts are moved since you obviously want the centre of the lips to move more than the corners of the mouth.

Once you’ve got it roughly working you could make some shape keys to smooth the result and set these keys to be driven by the rotation of the two bones.

As I said, I haven’t used drivers yet (I’ve messed with them) but they should do the trick. Ludwig uses driven shapes for facial animation and Bassam did a video presentation on driven shapes for hands at the recent Siggraph conference. Note that adjusting takes some effort since you’ll want to adjust them with the lips closed and Blender doesn’t really like working that way (yet).

Alternatively, a multiple bone setup could do it. Calvin used an interesting setup for a mouth on his free character.