I’m working with an artist who is modelling and rigging some characters. Part of the work is setting up shape keys to allow for facial expressions. I wanted to know if there was some kind of animation I can find that essentially demos a bunch of expressions, to make it easy to evaluate whether the shape keys look to be implemented properly. That is, something similar to a Skinning Test animation to evaluate rigs, but for facial expressions.
Is there some kind of industry standard for this? For that matter, is there a standard for shape keys to ensure that a single animation would work for many models/
Mostly applicable to humanoids but also existent for animals is one approach called FACS.
There are no production standard ROMs to test these facial networks but there are some commonalities.
Triggering the shape keys one by one is a given, but using combinations like looking around with opened/closed/widely opened eyes, or testing your most common mouth shapes like lipCornerPuller or lipFunneler in combination with jawOpen for example.
Adding emotions and shot based expressions is also important, but that would depend on you specific needs.
Many times facial systems are getting their inspiration from the medical field amongst other disciplines (because of the deeper understanding of facial muscles in those fields) and as such ROMs from facial reconctructive surgeries are also a good starting point.
As you advance in the production you will probably end up using several of these ROMs, as simpler ones are good to test facial rigs between different projects, more specific ones might be overkill for some or not specialized enough for the other shot/sequence.
Thanks for the references. That’s an interesting collection of expressions and emotions. I’ll start with that.