Stop Staring Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right 3rd Edition. Sybex

Jason Osipa

Third Edition

■ Getting to Know the Face
■ Learning the Basics of Lip Sync
■ What the Eyes and Brows Tell Us
■ Facial Landmarking
■ Animating and Modeling the M outh
■ Visemes and Lip Sync Technique
■ Constructing a Mouth and Nose
■ Mouth Keys
■ Animating and Modeling the E yes and Brows
■ Building Emotion: The Basics of the Eyes
■ Constructing Eyes and Brows
■ Eye and Brow Keys
■ Bringing It Together
■ Connecting the Features
■ Skeletal Setup, Weighting, and Rigging
■ Interfaces for Your Faces
 ■ Squash, Stretch, and Secondaries
■ A Shot in Production

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Stop Staring Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right
3rd Edition


First and foremost, thank you to everyone at Wiley, who did most if
not all of the work on this book.
Third edition: Mariann Barsolo, acquisitions editor; Kathryn Duggan, development
editor; Christine O’Connor, Liz Britten, and Angela Smith, production editors; Paul
Thuriot, technical editor; Judy Flynn, copyeditor; Jen Larsen, proofreader; Ted Laux, indexer.
Second edition: Willem Knibbe, acquisition editor; Jim Compton, development
editor; Keith Reicher, technical editor; Rachel Gunn, production editor; Judy Flynn,
copyeditor; Chris Gillespie, compositor; Jen Larsen, proofreader.
First edition: Pete Gaughan, development editor; Dan Brodnitz, associate publisher;
Mariann Barsolo, acquisitions editor; Liz Burke, production editor; Keith Reicher,
technical editor; Suzanne Goraj, copyeditor; Maureen Forys, compositor; Margaret
Rowlands, cover coordinator; the CD team of Kevin Ly and Dan Mummert.
For helping with the book and bringing to it so much more than I could alone, I thank
Juan Carlos Larrea and Jason Hopkins, animation; Chris Robinson, character design;
Kathryn Luster, contact and casting; Chris Buckley, Craig Adams, Joel Goodsell, and
Robin Parks for voice work; Jeremy Hall for Joel’s recording.

Professionally, for supporting me and putting up with me, I thank Phil Mitchell,
Owen Hurley, Jennifer Twiner-McCarron, Michael Ferraro, Ian Pearson, Chris Welman,
Gavin Blair, Stephen Schick, Tim Belsher, Derek Waters, Sonja Struben, Glenn Griffiths,
Chuck Johnson, Casey Kwan, Herrick Chiu, Chris Roff, and James E. Taylor. Thanks to
all the good people at Surreal Software and everyone at Maxis/EA; the Sims EP team, the
Sims 2 team, the Sims “next gen” team. Thanks to Glenn, Brian W., Paul L, Kevin, Clint,
Ryo, Toru, Hakan, Frank, and Rudy; to Jesse, Lisha, and of course, the lovely miss Tee;
to “fight club,” my robots; to Andy, Sergey, Lucky, Yasushi, Daisuke, Paddy, and Brian
Lee! To the best what-if team you could ever imagine: Paul, Brian, Jim, Matt A., Charles,
Kelvin, Sean, Damon, Ian, Dale, Matthew, and Howard.

Mom, Dad, Veronica, Tom, Jorge, and all my great family in Winnipeg and Acapulco:
I can never quite wait until the next time I get to see you; I’m always thinking of you.
Thanks to my California family: you guys have enriched my life more than I tell you; Nick, Ali, Rex, Nina and Nico, Nana, Papa, Brent, Trevor, Rick, Lori, Cathy, and Angela. Thanks to my wonderful friends Nate, Kayla, Jason, Penny, Aurora and Toby, Michelle, Brian, Kelly, Mark, Brooke, Bonnie, Mandy (blame), Paula, Saul, Courtney, Sarah, Pearce, Peyton, Pat, Eric, Tyler, Kavon, Laura, Tanya, John, Peter, Jacques, Karen, Dylan, Wayne, Shelly, Ella, Rob, Casey, Kaveh, Karly, Heather, Jess, Jacob, Adam, Mel, Katy, Jeannine, Rosanna, Jenny, Alison, Alan, Bill, Chris, Stephany, Jenny, Glenn, Galen, and anyone else I missed in our ever-expanding, and always awesome group.
Last but not least, thank you to my beautiful, wonderful baby bears, Alana and Jr. Peanut.

About the Author

Jason Osipa has been a working professional in 3D since 1997, touching
television, games, direct-to-video, and film in both Canada and the United States. Carrying
titles from modeler and animator to TD and director, he has seen and experienced
the world of 3D content creation and instruction from all sides. Jason currently owns and
operates Osipa Entertainment, LLC, offering contracting and consulting services for any
kind of 3D production, including pipeline and tools design and sales as well as efficiency
and workflow training in animation, modeling, and rigging.

Animation has got to be the greatest job in the world. When you get started,
you just want to do everything, all at once, but can’t decide on one thing to start with.
You animate a walk, you animate a run, maybe even a skip or jump, and it’s all gratifying
in a way people outside of animation may never be lucky enough to understand. After a
while, though, when the novelty aspects of animation start to wear off, you turn deeper
into the characters and find yourself wanting to learn not only how to move, but how to
act. When you get to that place, you need more tools and ideas to fuel your explorations.
Animation is clearly a full-body medium, and pantomime can take years to master.
The face, and subtleties in acting such as the timing of a blink or where to point the eyes,
can take even longer and be more difficult than conquering pantomime. Complex character,
acting, and emotion are almost exclusively focused in the face and specifically in
the eyes. When you look at another person, you look at their eyes; when you look at an
animated character, you look at their eyes too. That’s almost always where the focus of
your attention is whether you mean for it to be or not. We may remember the shots of the
character singing and dancing or juggling while walking as amazing moments, but the
characters we fall in love with on the screen, we fall in love with in close-ups.
Stop Staring is different than what you may be used to in a computer animation book.
This is not a glorified manual for software; this is about making decisions, really learning
how to evaluate contextual emotional situations, and choosing the best acting approach.
You’re not simply told to do A, B, and C; you’re told why you’re doing them, when you
should do them, and then, how to make it all possible.

Why This Book
There is nothing else like Stop Staring available to real animators with hard questions and
big visions for great characters. Most references have more to do with drawing and musculature
and understanding the realities of what is going on in a face than with the application
of those ideas. While that information is invaluable, it is not nearly tangible and
direct enough for people under a deadline who need to produce results fast. Elsewhere,
you can learn about all of the visual cues that make up an expression, but then you have
to take that and dissect a set of key shapes you want to build and joints you have to rig.
You’ll likely run into conflicting shapes, resulting in ugly faces, even though each of those
shapes alone is fantastic.

Stop Staring breaks down, step-by-step, how to get any expressions you want or need for
99 percent of production-level work quickly and easily—and with minimum shape conflict
and quick, easy control. You’ll learn much of what you could learn elsewhere while also
picking up information more pertinent to your immediate tasks that you might not learn
elsewhere. Studying a brush doesn’t make you a painter, using one does, and that is what
this book is all about—the doing and the learning all at once.

Who Should Read This Book
If you’ve picked it up and you’re reading this right now, then you have curiosity about
facial modeling, animation, or rigging, whether you have a short personal project in mind,
plan to open your own studio, or already work for a big studio and just want to know more
about the process from construction all the way through setup to good acting. If you’re a
student trying to break into the industry, this book will show you how to add that extra
something special—how to be the one that stands out in a pile of demo reels—by having
characters that your audience can really connect with.
If you have curiosity in regard to creating facial setups, or just animating them, you’re
holding the answer to your questions. I’ll show you how to get this stuff done efficiently,
easily, and with style.

Maya and Other 3D Apps
There are obviously some technical specifics in getting a head set up and ready for
character-rich animation, so to speak to the broadest audience possible, the instruction
centers primarily around Autodesk’s Maya. The concepts, however, are completely program-
agnostic, and readers have applied the concepts to almost every 3D program there is.

How Stop Staring Is Organized
While Stop Staring will get you from a blank screen to a talking character, it is also organized
to be a reference-style book. Anything you might want to know about the underlying
concepts of the how and the why of facial animation is in Part I. Everything to do with the
mouth—all animation, modeling, and shape-building—is in Part II. Part III takes you
through everything related to the brows and eyes. Part IV brings all of the pieces together,
both literally and conceptually.
Part I, “Getting to Know the Face,” teaches you the basic approach used throughout
the book. Each chapter in this part is expanded into detailed explanation in a later
part of the book: Chapter 1 in Part II, Chapter 2 in Part III, and Chapter 3 in Part IV.
Chapter 1, “Learning the Basics of Lip Sync,” introduces speech cycles and visemes.
Chapter 2, “What the Eyes and Brows Tell Us,” defines and outlines the effect of
the top of the face on your character.
Chapter 3, “Facial Landmarking,” brings in broader effects such as tilts, wrinkles,
and even the back of the head!
Part II, “Animating and Modeling the Mouth,” refines the viseme list and sync technique,
then shows how to build key shapes and set them up with an interface.
Chapter 4, “Visemes and Lip Sync Technique,” delves deeply into how to model
for effective sync and shows that building good sync is less work than you thought
but harder than it seems.
Chapter 5, “Constructing a Mouth and Nose,” attacks the detailed modeling
you’ll need for a full range of speech shapes.
Chapter 6, “Mouth Keys,” shows you a real-world system for building key sets—
one that invests time in the right shapes early so you can later focus on artistry undistracted.
Part III, “Animating and Modeling the Eyes and Brows,” guides you through creating a
tool to put the book’s concepts in practice beyond the mouth. From there you’ll learn
how to create focus and thought through the eyes.
Chapter 7, “Building Emotion: The Basics of the Eyes,” shows you which eye
movements do and don’t have an emotional impact—and how years of watching
cartoons have programmed us to expect certain impossible brow moves!
Chapter 8, “Constructing Eyes and Brows,” guides you through building the eyeballs
first, then the lids/sockets, and connecting all of that to a layout for the forehead and
eventually shows you how to make a simple skull to attach everything else to.
Chapter 9, “Eye and Brow Keys,” applies the key set system from Chapter 6 to the
top of the face, bringing in bump maps for texture and realism.
Part IV, “Bringing It Together,” takes all the pieces you’ve built in Parts II and III and
brings them together into one head and then shows you how to weight and rig them for use.
Chapter 10, “Connecting the Features,” teaches you to take each piece of the
head—eyes, brows, and mouth, plus new features such as the side of the face and
the ears—pull all of it into a scene together, and attach them to each other cleanly.
Chapter 11, “Skeletal Setup, Weighting, and Rigging,” focuses on rigging your
head, including creating the necessary skeleton and weighting each of your shapes
for the most flexibility in production. In this chapter, you’ll learn to use a system
to control any eye and lid setup and how to create sticky lips.
Chapter 12, “Interfaces for Your Faces,” demonstrates the benefit of arranging and
automating your setup to make all your tools accessible and easy to use. There are
ways to share interfaces as well as get very intricate shape relationships with very little work.
Chapter 13, “Squash, Stretch, and Secondaries,” takes all the concepts taught up
to this point and turns them a little sideways. This chapter introduces a few key
ideas and integrates them into the rig in a way that you’ll start to see your characters
really start to bend, and you’ll create a layer of control that can sit on top of any other rig.
Chapter 14, “A Shot in Production,” presents five different scenes through the
complete facial animation process, taking you inside the mind of three animators
to see how and why every pose and move was made.

Table of Contents
Introduction xv
Part I ■ Getting to Know the Face 1
Chapter 1 ■ Learning the Basics of Lip Sync 3
The Essentials of Lip Sync 4
Speech Cycles 6
Starting with What’s Most
Important: Visemes 8
The Simplest Lip Sync 15
Chapter 2 ■ What the Eyes and Brows Tell Us 21
The Two Major Brow Movements 22
The Upper Lids’ Effect on Expression 24
The Lower Lids’ Effect on Expression 26
Eyelines: Perception vs. Reality 28
Distraction Is the Enemy of Performance 30
Chapter 3 ■ Facial Landmarking 31
Introduction to Landmarking 32
Landmarking Mouth Creases 35
Landmarking Brow Creases 39
Landmarking the Tilt of the Head 42
Part I I ■ Animating and Modeling  the M outh 45
Chapter 4 ■ Visemes and Lip Sync Technique 47
Sync: Wide/Narrow Grows Up 48
The Best Order of Sync Operations 56
Sync Example 1: “What am I sayin’ in here?” 63
Sync Example 2: “Was it boys?” 69
Chapter 5 ■ Constructing a Mouth and Nose 75
The Best Edge Flow 76
The Big Picture 78
Building the Lips 78
Building the Surrounding Mouth Area 81
Building the Nose 84
Continuing Toward the Jaw and Cheek 87
Building Teeth 88
Building the Tongue 92
The Mouth Wall 95
Chapter 6 ■ Mouth Keys 97
Order of Operations 98
Preparing to Build a Key Set 99
Default Shapes, Additive Shapes,
and Tapering 100
Building the Shapes 114
Part I I I ■ Animating and Modeling the Eyes and Brows 145
Chapter 7 ■ Building Emotion:
The Basics of the Eyes 147
Building an Upper Face for Practice 148
Using “Box Head” 158
Rules of the Game 159
Example Animations 164
Continuing and Practicing 177
Chapter 8 ■ Constructing Eyes and Brows 179
Building Eyeballs 180
Building the Eye Sockets 183
Building the Brow and Forehead 189
Chapter 9 ■ Eye and Brow Keys 197
Brow Shapes and Texture Maps 198
Building Realistic Brow Shapes 207
Tying Up Loose Ends 226
Part IV ■ Bringi ng It Together 229
Chapter 10 ■ Connecting the Features 231
Building the Ear 232
Assembling the Head Pieces 237
Chapter 11 ■ Skeletal Setup, Weighting, and Rigging 245
Skeleton 246
Eyelid Rigs 254
Extra Eye Fun 265
Sticky Lips 270
Chapter 12 ■ Interfaces for Your Faces 281
The Two Big Problems of Facial Control 282
Buffer Networks 283
Sliders 291
Skeletal Control 301
Layered Controls 304
Corrective, Contextual, XYZ, Half,
and Dominant Shapes 308
Just Interface Me 319
Chapter 13 ■ Squash, Stretch, and Secondaries 321
Local Rigs 322
Global Rigs 326
The “Real” Character Has No Rig! 330
Not Using Wraps Changes a Few Things 331
Tutorial: Rigging Squoosh 332
Gotchas 339
Secondaries 341
Chapter 14 ■ A Shot in Production 347
Scene 1: Bartender 348
Scene 2: Lack of Dialogue 353
Scene 3: Dunce Cap 363
Scene 4: Salty Old Sea Captain 367
Scene 5: Pink or Blue? 370
Scene 6: Great Life 379
That’s All, Folks! 381
Index 383


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