Saturday, October 29, 2011

Part 4 Spline pt2 Facial --Walkthrough A Shot: Step by Step

 Spline Part 2: Facial

 Ok so now we are ready to start facial. I do this by thinking of going from one emotion to the next. I ignore everything else. Just focus on that, put in the little details of the eyes opening nicely, the eyebrows going up settling, holding and then moving. (No floaty eyebrows) I've found less is more when it comes to facial. I also look at my video reference very carefully and notice when my eyes open and squint and how the eyebrows are a few frames behind, ect... very careful study of my vid ref is a must! NO MOUTH ANIMATION YET, hold off, focus on getting the eyes to read clearly and emote clearly.

Eye line is super important. Make sure the eyes look like they are looking at the other characters eyes. Careful not to loose them on the inside of the eyes, so we only see half an eye. 

Here is my video reference, pay close attention to what my eyes are doing.

Here is my first pass at the dad in shot 1:

Here is the boy's facial pass which was much, much harder. This had to be very clear. I even had some ideas I really wanted to put in like a quick look up but it was too crammed and repetitive so I had to simplify.

Here is my first pass on the boy, I did this one emotion at a time. I didn't tackle this all at once, but for not uploading too many videos here is after I went through a few emotions on the boy. As you will see there is way too much happening. I like the extra look up idea, but it's just not working so I have to simplify!

So then I simplified, it was very hard the previous video was version 47 and the video below is version 60. So I had to work really hard to find the essence of the boy and what would read the most clearly.  You will also notice I make changes to the body animation to fit with the facial. (the character is one whole unit, nothing works independently, they all affect each other)

So I think this is in a good place, still needs a lot of work and polishing. But I think it's reading well and now I move on to shot 3 and create the dads facial. Once again I look very closely at my video reference (frame by frame) to see all the little details in the eyes, cheeks and eyebrows.

So that is my facial pass. I had to focus on eye line, clear emotions and I made changes to the body to fit the facial moves.

Here is the entire shot. It still needs more work and refinement. But for this part of my workflow it's working well and I can move on to the next step. With each pass I always spot out new floatyness and things that need to be tweaked. When you see it again it's from a new set of fresh eyes.

Now I'm ready to go back to the frame 1 and start on the lip sync. That will be the next post :)

Hope this all make sense and helps! Feel free to leave a comment if you need some clarification.


  1. Awesome kelly! looking great! keep it moving forward


  2. These are awesome to read and go through Kelly! I really love that we get to see the progression and how what you're thinking during each step.


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