Archive for the ‘PIE 2 Art’ Category

PIE 2 Art, Animation: Low Poly Facial Animation

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by Adam No Comments

PIE 2 Art- Animation


Build a low res face model with blend shapes & Stop Staring style rig & script.

  • Account for basic visimes.
  • Account for some emotion!
  • Account for some sort of isolated left and right controls.
  • Animate it! A simple phrase will do.

Submit the following:

  • Maya file.
  • Autorig script.
  • Maya file with animation. (include Audio file)


This was a fun assignment!  I was surprised (and pleased) in the end at how much emotion I could pull out of such a basic face.  While the assignment only called for a small number of blend shapes, the face I modeled was basic enough that I could create a bunch of blend shapes to account for phonemes, visimes, and emotions (in this case it wasn’t full emotions, but rather moving different parts of the face that could be combined to form emotions).  Plus, I figured that the more options I had to transform the face, the better I could make it look in the animation.  I chose to use an infamous snippet from The Legend of Zelda TV series for my audio.

For the script part of the assignment, I mostly reused a script I had made for my tech art class.  There were a few things I needed to change (mostly create support for automatically connecting blend shapes), but most of the work was already done.  The script brings the face model, the skeleton, the NURBS controllers, and the transformed models (to-be blend shapes) into one scene, connects the skeleton to the face, applies skinning weights, connects the blend shapes to the face, and connects the controllers to the skeleton/blend shapes.  You can take a look at the scripts and .xml files here.