Simplistic Face modeling for Animation

Hey Guys I am modeling this character for animation,

I have the body in T position modeled ready for rigging and need to start on the face, but I’m not really skilled in this stuff, should I model the face seperate from the body? Because the face is so simple how would you go about modeling it for rigging, is there a good tutorial for face rigging that might apply to this character. Really, I don’t have a good idea on how to go about this so any and all help would be really appreciated.

anyone? Please.

Just from the thread title, I was all set to reply that I’ve learned that simplistic face modeling for animation is an all together bad idea, that for facial animation, the face mesh has to be pretty dense – but you mean really simple!

There are some good face rigging tutorials around (search at Vimeo and YouTube), but your model might be so simple that that stuff doesn’t apply.

IMO you should definitely model the face parts (left eye, right eye, nose, and mouth) separate from the body, and it depends on how you mean to animate them whether or not you want to use all bones, or bone-driven shapekeys. For example, is the mouth going to open realistically, or cartoonily (flat shapes, like :-D, or :-O)?

If they’re just going to be flat shapes, check out the articles on shapekeys on the wiki; and either way, if you haven’t already, go through the Introduction to Character Animation tutorial, search these forums for rigging tips (especially this thread), and deconstruct some of the openly available official and community-built rigs, to see how they work.

(Also BTW, this thread probably should have been posted in the Support > Animation board!)

I was debating on where to put this thread either in modeling or in animation. Is there a way for me to move it? At first I thought of animating the face with bones, but it will be very simple expressions so maybe I’ll just do it with shapekeys. I think I have a good handle on the body rig. Can you tell me how to link the face to the body for animation. I did a quick test before and wasn’t able to get the separate face elements to move with the body during animation. Thanks for your help. again, can I move this thread.

Depending on how you’ve got it set up, if you’re using shapekeys, I think all you need to do is make sure they all have their object centers at 0,0,0 (where the cursor snaps when you SHIFT+C, then use Buttons Window > Editing (F9) > Mesh > ‘Center Cursor’ to place each object center) and weight paint them all 100% to the ‘head’ bone.

It might not be worth it if you’ve spent a lot of time on the shapekeys already, but I think it’s probably best if all the face parts are a single Object (select all of them and CTRL+J to Join them), or even just separate parts in the main ‘Body’ Object, just for the sake of simplicity. I realize my wording was weird in the first post; model them separately as separate parts, even separate Objects, but it’s probably best to join them into one or two Objects when you’re done with modeling and getting ready to rig and animate.

Actually, I don’t think there’s a way to move the thread, but if you’ve got any more questions about animation, even for this same character/project, you’re apt to get more help by just starting a new thread in Support > Animation, or asking in the Rigging Help thread.