up a new model in
TA Facial Animation
Animation greatly speeds not only the process of facial
animation itself, but also of modeling and
set-up for facial animation as well!
split Symmetrical Morph Targets for you into left
and right components for you!
Most character modelers work with the Symmetry Tool active so that
what they do to one side of the model is automatically applied to
the other. However, most Slider-based Morph animation systems, (such
as Morph Mixer,) apply Morphs as one, complete unit. This means that
if an animator wants to have asymmetry in their facial animation when
using Sliders, the modelers need to manually
split their morph targets into separate left and right halves.
In order to take full advantage of TAFA's ability to split
Symmetrical Morphs for you, we need to plan to use the platform-independent
.MDD (Motion Designer) file format to apply our animation to our model.
So, for this Tutorial, we'll
be loading into TAFA, Objects/MrCool_Body'sHead_MDD.lwo
from your Facial Animation Content Directory, (created
within the "Facial Animation" program directory when you install
the full and/or demo versions of TA Facial Animation).
up to 8 lights within TAFA:
- Turn lights on and off
by clicking on their numbered buttons at the right of the Icon Bar
at the top of TAFA's Main Window.
- Change a light's color
and intensity by <ctrl>-clicking on a light's
numbered button to open the color-selector.
- Position a light by holding
down <shift> and that light's corresponding
number on your keyboard while you right-drag
your mouse around the Main Window.
You can Export and
Import Lighting Settings,
Model Settings, Facial Palette Settings, Audio Settings, or all your
Scene Settings to quickly carry-over work from your other scenes!
- Choose File |
Import | Lighting Settings and browse to FA_Scenes/Light_Settings.fa_lighting
(within your TAFA Content Directory) to quickly apply a good 2-point
Around TAFA's Main Window:
Left-to-right, the Icons
at the top of TAFA's Main Window:
- Show/Hide TAFA's Facial
Palette, Surfaces, Morph File,
X-Sheet, Curve Editor and Audio
Control Panel windows.
- Switch among your three,
stored Window Layouts.
- Set the Subdivision
Level of your model, (Cage, Low, Medium and High).
- Set the Background
Color within TAFA's 3D windows.
- Show/Hide the Guides
that represent both the Capture Area and Blending
- Turn on/off the eight
lights available within TAFA.
You can rotate
any representations of your model in TAFA, (big or small,)
by right-dragging on that representation!
window lets you show any surface in your model (by clicking under the
respective Icons, left to right,) as Textured, Surface Color, Gray Shaded
or Wireframe. The far right Icon hides the
surface and TAFA will zoom in or out to closely fit the new
extents of your model's visible surfaces.
TAFA automatically creates
an initial set of Facial Palettes by reading and interpreting
your Morph Names. (In this way,
you can already have most of your Facial Animation set-up already done
for you, simply by naming your Morphs!)
Thanks to this intelligent,
automatic Facial Palette creation, most of our work
for setting-up Mr. Cool is already done for us! All we need to do is
to Lock a preferred Blending Mode
to each Facial Palette!
- NOTE: We've found that there is no, one, perfect
combination of mathematics to allow for the smooth blending among
all kinds of facial Morph Targets. So, we've created eleven
unique Blending Modes from which to
choose which suits your needs best!
Choose a Blending Mode from under the Options
| Facial Blend Modes menu, and activate Testing Mode
by holding the <T> key while moving your mouse
around the Main Window to see the results of that Blending Mode
applied to your currently selected Facial Palette.
Clicking on the Lock
button in the lower-right corner of the Facial Palette
window locks your currently selected Blending Mode
to that particular Facial Palette. With a Blending
Mode Locked to a Facial Palette,
whenever you select that particular Facial Palette,
the Locked Blending Mode overrides your current Blending Mode
selection. (Click again on the Lock button to unlock
a Blending Mode from a Facial Palette.)
- NOTE: The Curves/Radial Blending
Modes offer the absolute smoothest blending between
all four Morphs, however they still have a slight influence on the
model even when the mouse is centered within the Capture Area.
Diagonals/Linear Blending Modes
do not influence the model when the mouse is centered within the Capture
You can orient the Iconic versions of your character in both the Facial
Palette and the Morph File by right-dragging
on the character's Icons. (Changes to the orientation to the Icons in
the Facial Palette window will be reflected in the
orientation of the Icons that appear in the Main Window
when you are Testing or working with a Facial
Palette (Puppeteer) Track.
Around TAFA's Morph File Window:
You can change the way your
model is displayed in the Morph File (and Facial
Palette) window. Left-to-right, the buttons
show your model as: Textured, Surface Color,
Gray Shaded, Wireframe, MIX
(whatever settings you have applied to your Main Window via the Surfaces
Window,) and Text Only.
On the right, is the New
Track button, (currently inactive because we have not loaded
audio for our scene). This button adds a new Track
to your X-Sheet that can hold Morph File Keyframes.
You can change the size of
the Icons within the Morph File by dragging on the
separator-bar between the Icons!
Select from your Morph
Groups, (created based on your Morph
Name Prefix,) with the Drop-Down-List-Box
at the bottom of the window, or from the arrows that flank it.
Once you have your Lighting, Facial Palettes, Morph File and Surface
Visibility settings the way you want them, File | Save Scene As the
base from which you'll start future scenes when working with this model!
- NOTE: The Demo version of TAFA does not allow saving.
You can still follow along by loading the pre-made scenes and files
included in the TAFA Content Directory.