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  • Difficulty Level:

    workshop-level-i I
    intermediate
  • Keywords: 3D| ANIMATION

COURSE OVERVIEW

Learn how to rig character faces and bring them to life with Wade Ryer. Wade has over 10 years of experience in animated feature films such as; How To Train Your Dragon 2, Rise of The Guardians, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Tale of Desperaux and The Ant Bully. He has worked for such studios as DreamWorks Animation, Method Studios, Framestore, Electronic Arts, DNA Productions and ReelFX Creative Studios.  

Upon completion of this 8 week CGWorkshop, you will have a full understanding of how to create a functional, animator friendly, character face rig ready for their close up on the big screen!  Wade will give you guidance along the way, industry level tips and tricks, not to mention, personal feedback on your character's facial rig.

The above video is a completed piece from a student, D.Triglia, from one of Wade's earlier classes this year.

Note: The format of this class will be Forum replies for Assignments and Forum replies for student Q&As.

Classroom Access Policy

CGMA policy states that all students will have access to classroom content for the duration of the class plus 4 weeks to review content. After this time is up classroom content will no longer be available.

For those classes with live Q&As, Q&A recordings as well as feedback recordings will be available for up to 6 months after the class is complete.

Certificate of Completion Policy

CGMA policy allows students to miss up to 2 assignments per class before they become ineligible to receive their Certificate of Completion.

WEEK BY WEEK OUTLINE

Week 1 - Introduction to Facial Rigging

  • Wade's background and experience.
  • Intro to Facial Rigging.
  • Realistic vs Stylized.
  • Games vs film facial rigs.
  • Facial sculptures.
  • Facial Anatomy.
  • Facial Expressions.
  • Appealing facial rigs.
  • FACS facial setup - Facial Action Coding Sytem.
  • Facial rig blueprint.
  • Comet Scripts.
     

Week 2 - Model Topology

  • What to look for in a model before rigging.
  • Topology tools: Topogun, Maya Modeling Toolkit.
  • How to topologize a Zbrush face sculpt.
  • Edge loop flow.
  • Function before form.
     

Week 3 - Initial Rig Setup

  • Control setup.
  • Rigging basics.
  • Set Driven Keys.
  • Rig hierarchy.
  • Connection Editor.
  • Utility Nodes.
  • Python scripting basics.
     

Week 4 - Joint Placement

  • Gross movements: jaw, head, neck, ears, teeth, tongue.
  • Head and neck setup.
  • Mouth, lips setup.
     

Week 5 - Setting up the Eye

  • Eyelid rig setup.
  • Joint vs. Blendshape setup.
  • Spherical blendshapes.
  • Building a joint setup for lids.
     

Week 6 - Blendershapes

  • Transfering models between Mudbox, Zbrush and Maya.
  • Mouth, Brows, Cheeks, Puff/Suck.
  • Connecting blend shapes up.
  • Splitting Blendshapes.
  • Mirroring Blendshapes.
  • Combination Blendshapes.
     

Week 7 - Connecting everything in the rig

  • Lip seal setup.
  • Squash stretch setups.
  • Adam's apple.
  • Pixar/DreamWorks touch based controls.
  • Final touches.
     

Week 8 - Final Rig testing and fine tuning

  • Facial expresion test animation.
  • Lip sync testing.
  • Rendering and presentation of facial rigs.
     

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Software needed


Maya 2014 and up
Mudbox or Zbrush
Basic knowledge of rigging

Students may use the character model provided or you can use your own.
 

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