Placement of the landmarks is a crucial step! The accuracy of the landmarks placement will have a huge impact on the overall quality of the resulting expressions.
1. Landmarks Placement
Enable the asymmetry option if your character is not modelled symmetrical (X-Axis)
The modal operator Generate Landmarks will guide you through a rough positioning and scaling of the landmark. You don't have to be overly accurate in this step.
- Generate Landmarks
- Position to chin
- Scale Height
- Scale Width
The process of placing the landmarks in a modal operator
2. Reposition Vertices
The vertex placement needs to be refined from frontal perspective. Take a close look at the Examples provided below, if you are unsure how to place the vertices!
This step requires the viewport perspective to be aligned with Front View! You can always press Numpad 1 to get into this perspective if you loose it. Read more here!
Move the Vertices from frontal view, to match your characters face as close as possible in this step!
3. Project Vertices
The Project Vertices operator projects the landmarks mesh in frontal direction on the characters face (Y-Axis).
Project the vertices onto the main face object. (Only Y Axis)
4. Reposition Vertices (Perspective View)
Due to the occlusion that might occur during the projection on one axis, you should reposition all vertices with care. Check the landmarks from front and sideview and pan around the geometry to see if you get everything right.
Face Snapping is automatically turned on. You are free to turn this off.
Shortcut = Shift Tab
You can always go back and forth non-destructively between the next steps of rigging and refining the landmarks. If the deformation looks weird later on, simply go back and refine your landmarks! Take another look at the examples and continue rigging.
It can help to hide the secondary objects of the face to accurately place the landmarks.
slightly insetting the corners of lips and lids will give better deformation results. Follow the natural curvature.
Another example of eye landmarks. The corners are inset to follow the natural lid curvature
Leave some horizontal space between the corners of the lips and lids and the landmarks corners.
Lips landmarks. The corners are inset to follow the natural lip curvature
Note the landmarks along the Jawline to the ear and from the lips down to the neck. It is important to be accurate here!
For this particular character, with it's awesome beard, I had to inset the jawline a bit to match the actual skin of the character! Turn off Face Snapping to move vertices beneath the surface.
In this example the eyebrows are a bit off...