Applying TAFA animation in LightWave®
using .MDD (
Motion Designer)


  • In order for LightWave to know exactly where Mr. Cool's Models, Textures and Scene Files are located, be sure LightWave's Content Directory is set to your TAFA Content Directory. (In LightWave [8]: Edit |Set Content Directory...)

  • Load: Scenes/WelcomeToFacialAnimation_MDD.lws into LightWave.




Play Video


  • NOTE: I've found that the best, full-character animation comes from making sure that the Character can convincingly convey his line of dialogue without facial animation first, before doing any kind of facial work! Then, when you do incorporate your facial animation, the character's performance becomes greater than what you would likely have achieved if you had worked your scene with facial animation right from the start.


  • Select Mr. Cool's head Object, (MrCool_Body'sHead_MDD) and click on the Properties button to open the Object Properties window for that Object.

  • Under the Geometry Tab of the Object Properties window for Mr. Cool's head, set the Subdivision Order to Last, (or After Motion, if you are using Worley Labs' FPrime for Real-Time, Progressive Rendering).

  • Under the Deform Tab, click on Add Displacement and select MD_Plug from the list.

  • Double-click on "MD_Plug <>" once it has been added to your Displacement List to open its Properties window.

  • Click on the triangle to the right of the MDD Filename input and browse for the .MDD you created from the last step. (If you are exploring the Demo Version of TAFA, you'll find the .MDD we created for you in: FA_Scenes/Output/WelcomeToFacialAnimation.mdd.)

  • Set Key-Move to ON, leaving everything else at their default settings. (If Key-Move is set to OFF, then the head object won't be affected by the Character's Bones.)

  • Click OK to close the MD_Plug Properties window, and then close the Object Properties window for Mr. Cool's head.

  • Scrub through your scene, (or build a LightWave Preview,) and you'll see that the animation we created in TAFA is perfectly applied to Mr. Cool's head as he delivers his lines!

It's as easy as that!