Saturday, June 26, 2010

Can't all you verts just get along?

Blendshape fun

So lesson learned here. At some point when I was sculpting Morphy at the end there I lost symmetry and in doing so made getting my blendshape targets symmetrical nigh to impossible. So I spent most of yesterday restoring symmetry to the base mesh and all the subsequent morph targets. Good times. Current count of morphs is 33 without and left right splitting on the main targets. Most of my facial rigs in the past have been bone based so I'm a bit new to the blendshaped facial workflow.

So new rule is: "When creating a blendshape based facial rig, before beginning to make your final morph targets, CHECK symmetry."

Should you find yourself in a similar predicament, here's some useful tools in this exercise:

  • Silo - why maya doesn't have a calculate and restore symmetry function is beyond me. If it does and I don't know where it is. Don't hesitate to point out my maya modeling newbish self and laugh (preferably as you tell me where that tool might be).
  • abSymMesh - Check symmetry of targets based off of base mesh and restore it
  • Extractblendshapes - Great little script for exporting all the shapes of a blendshape node to new meshes
Now I'm SURE there are better ways to do this but here's what worked.
  1. Make head fixed for symmetry.
  2. Hook up all asymmetrical blendshapes to original asymmetrical head (baseHead).
  3. Hook up symmetry head as blendshape to asymmetrical blendshape node
  4. Turn on symmetry head blendshape channel
  5. Manually duplicate the baseHead as you turn on the blendshape channels one by one (while leaving the symmetry head channel on).
  6. Save all of these new exported shapes into a new scene.
  7. Bring in your symmetrical head as your new base head and use abSymMesh to compare the various shapes to the new base head and restore symmetry to them
  8. Use your symmetrical head as your new base and connect your now symmetrical shapes to this head
  9. Delete all the blendshape meshes
  10. Select the symmetrical base head and run Extractblendshapes to get your new final symmetrical blendshapes
  11. Go look in the mirror and say to yourself, "Don't do this again."
  12. Profit.
Have a nice Saturday all.


Unknown said...

Just wanted you to know you have another follower. I read and often look forward to new posts on this. I'm an animator myself ( and I'm going to be diving into this process for my characters very shortly and this is a big help. I'm a big fan of Shleifer's as well as Osipa. Your doing great work and it's appreciated not only for the making Morphy available to the public, but more importantly for me is keeping the blog of the progress. thank you


Unknown said...

Thanks Dale. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Checked out your site and story. Inspiring stuff.

Best of luck on your own project:)


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