Last week I got the latest update for Character Creator 3 and iClone 7, and it has quite a few interesting things. However, one of the things that got my attention the most is the new Expression Set (ExPlus, including ExPlus_Tongue).
When I was deciding if I should switch from Softimage to Character Creator + iClone for my game character needs, my main point of interest was realistic facial animation. A lot of times, I have seen videogames (including high budget videogames) fail at facial animation. Long story short, I was pleased with the results, and right now I even have a concept trailer for Just Let Me Go, where you can see some of the facial animations in action (body animations are still a work in progress, like the rest of the game, heh).
I thought the facial animation system worked just fine before. It allowed me what I wanted to do, and I could get a lot of really nice expressions. This image shows the expression I get when moving a single point using the old system.
And this shows the expression I get when moving a single point using the new system. This one works more natural (pulling surrounding areas of the face to create a more believable expression).
Since the new expressions move surrounding areas, it’s easier to get nice facial expressions with little work. To get the one below, I only moved 3 points (the corner of the lip and two brow points).
Another thing I noticed is there’s a larger limit to the control points. For my character of the horror game, I wanted her to “squint” heavily, since the face model does that a lot. However, there was a limit to that so I had to go beyond the slider values manually. ExPlus lets me reach more extreme facial expressions easily. On top of that, the software now lets me animate the tongue (that is something I was going to do manually, using morphs, since I wanted tongue animations in the game, but now I can do it using the built-in expressions).
Character Creator and iClone were already amazing tools for facial animation, but this made them even better.
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