Youtube user Spiel Kind is sharing a walkthrough of his impressive fan made Frozen’s Elsa rig.
It is so impressive that even Disney temp worker Josh Sobel thought it could have been “borrowed” from Disney animation but luckily Spiel Kind documented the entire process from modeling to rigging on a CG talk thread .
He breaks down the rig by explaining how many blend shapes went into the making of that rig:
“27 blendshapes, which I divided up and/or mirrored into 90 total shapes. On top of that I also have a joint-rig though, which is responsible for the jaw/lips- and eyelid-setup.”
The explanation on CGTalk is a bit more detailed:
“It’s made up of four rigs in total. The first is a joint-rig, which drives the eyelids, eyelashes and the jaw/lip setup. Marco Giordano’s eyelid setup has been a big help for this one. The zipper setup is built after Stefan Ehrenhaus’ instructions a few pages earlier in this thread.
The second one is a blendshape setup, which drives pretty much all expressive shapes. Been using some techniques from Jason Osipa’s book Stop Staring for this one.
Both of these feed into the third setup, which is another joint-rig with just a few joints with very broad weighting … basically a poor man’s lattice.
The fourth is the eyeball setup, which works independently from the rest and only drives two joints to which the eyeballs are skinned.”
and page 5 of the CGTalk’ thread he explains what his original idea was:
“The mouth is going to be driven by a joint-rig and a blendshape-rig. The joint-rig will open the jaw and provide freeform controls for lips, nose and cheeks. The blendshape-rig will contain wide, narrow, smile, frown, lip-roll out/in/tighten, mouth up/down/left/right, upper/lower lip-puff, cheek-puff and whatever cheek-puff’s opposite is called. Each shape will be broken down into at least lefts and rights. The lip-shapes will be broken down even more and divided among the joint-rig controls with some global ones above.”
Well I guess this will tie nicely with my previous article about mouth shapes!
Don’t you find it frustrating every time you join a new project to find out you have only been provided with a pose library or worse, blend shapes that only contain random mouth shapes? Haven’t people ever seen the Preston Blair book?
Let’s make poorly thought out mouth shapes history!
Today I was doing a bit of cartoony animation research and came across that very enjoyable “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2” behind the scene video featuring Chester V.
The camera panned very quickly through Chester V’s mouth shape library but it gave me enough frames to reverse engineer it and make a nice pose library you should share with your modeler and rigger next time you get involved in pre-production. Sorry we couldn’t see the last mouth shapes but you get the idea.
On a side note, ideally those shouldn’t be blend shapes but shapes the mouth rig and controls allow you to create and smoothly transition from and out of to the next shapes. Simple per phonem blend shapes don’t allow for smooth transition and should be reserved for low cost animated tv series.
As you can see, the mouth shapes are divided in 3 emotions or groups: Happy, Neutral and Sad where the corners move vertically in conjunction with the teeth corners and for each emotion the animators are provided with 16 shapes derived from the Preston Blair simplified phonems: M(BP), S(DTNXK), E, I, L, A, O, TH, U(Q), and F(V).
Enjoy and feel free to share and print, the file is huge enough to please everyone! ;-)
So you want to be a rigger huh?