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Animation February 21, 2017

Learn the basics of Facial Animation

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Writen by nitin.jha

Viewed 3 min read

Animation plays a very important role in multimedia especially in production of videos which involve actors. Imagine watching a movie where the actors are expression less, they look exactly the same while doing a comedy scene or an emotional scene. Therefore to make them look more real Facial animation is something which is very crucial. The real question is how to bring about this extremely important animation? Even though this topic is extremely vast and contains too many theories, let’s go through some basics in this 101 session:

  • Choose the Number & Type of Expressions Beforehand– Even before opening your software, it is paramount that you have crystal clarity about the expressions that you want to showcase. Each Facial Animation motion will decide which expression is showcased. It can become very confusing as to decide how many expressions are needed to complete a dialogue while animating. Therefore it helps in defining each and every expression for every dialogue delivered beforehand.
  • When To Change The Expressions– Along with deciding the features with respect to dialogue delivery it is also important to decide when to change or hold the expression. If the expression remains the same or changes at the wrong time then it can look very awkward and can spoil the entire video.
  • Go deep into the expressions-There are some features which you have to explore to make the most of them. For example if it’s a happy or a comic scene, then there is a vast difference between a simple smile and a hearty laughter, therefore each emotion carries its own spectrum of expressions.
  • Try Out the Complete Spectrum-Sometimes it can be very difficult to decide which particular expression should be worn by which character at a given instant. This is where you can try a number of features and finalise on the one which would look best according to the scene.
  • Deciding On The Pose- It is not only the facial features that make a difference but also over all poses. It is always better to visualize the pose, along with the expression, so that you have the complete picture in mind and on paper.
  • Synchronizing With the Dialogue Delivery- It is very important to synchronise the facial expressions with the dialogue delivery. Imagine a sad feature used on a funny dialogue. This is one of the reasons why it is all the more important to choose an appropriate feature with the dialogue.
  • Eyes Interaction– This is the most ignored yet one of the most important facial feature. Eyes can be very expressive and can add a X Factor to your expression. Many times eyes can convey the entire feeling and the expression.

With the advancement in technology there are new and more tech savvy features which are being invented every day. They not only help in improving the quality but also help in reduction cost as; they aim at perfection in the first go. But, the basics never change. Hence, always keep in mind these fundamentals of Facial Animation!


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