out of ten times, when you being to model a realistic head, this is where you
start, then progress outwards. Preferably, you would want to model it closed;
this way, later on you can open the lid and fold the skin back.
face moves almost all of the time in some way, albeit slight motion. The eye very
rarely stays static, which therefore affects the deformation of the eyelid due
to the curved shape of the iris passing underneath the skin. Observe the motion
of your, or another person’s, eye (use a mirror if you can’t find a willing subject!)
to determine which elements move or deform and which muscles pull the eyelid into
method, and this may sound odd, is to touch your eye as you blink to feel which
part of the eyelid deforms when the eye passes under the skin or when you blink,
frown, have a twitch (etc). By doing this, you will discover that only the top
eyelid actually rotates over the eyeball itself; the bottom lid is pulled up over
the eye by a small muscle at the corner of the eye which stretches the lid over
the bottom of the eyeball.
animate all these elements may sound slightly daunting, but it is not the case.
The thing to remember when modelling a face is that you have to be able to animate
and deform it to perform various facial expressions such as anger or happiness.
To animate one facial expression to the next, you would ideally use a Morpher
modifier. This consists of various “Channels” to insert the final expressions
you wish your character to perform, such as sneering, and one of these expressions
can be a blink. Animating this blink motion is a simple case of animating the
value of the Blink channel slot to close and re-open the eyes, or can be set up
to a Manipulator slider to be animated directly in the viewport.
if you really fancy being clever, you could set up this Blink channel value to
a Motion Capture controller, linked to keyboard key, so when you play the animation
back in real time, if you act out the scene / dialogue you want your character
to perform, every time you blink, press the assigned key, and your character will
blink also. You could even set up the eyeball motion to a mouse or joystick Motion
Capture controller to completely animate the eye in real time!
rest of the eyelid motion would be set up separately, and be linked to the motion
of the eyeball, such as the lids stretching and moving when the eyeball rotates
up or down, but not when rotating side to side. This could be performed by inherited
limited directional hierarchy from the eyeball to a null object, linked to a soft
selection or FFD cage on the eyelid to deform it slightly.
the eyelid shape is deformed somewhat when the iris passes underneath the eyelid,
which could be deformed using Volume Select with the Iris as the selection area,
with an X-Form modifier applied after to scale and deform the lid slightly.
easily animate any facial movement in Max, a Morpher modifier should be used.
Manipulators can be set up to animate directly in the Viewport.|
Morpher Blink spinner setting can be linked to a Motion Capture controller and
set up to a keyboard key to animate in real time.|
published: 3D World magazine,
Issue 17, October 2001.
Draper, October 2001. Reproduction without permission prohibited.