Facial Rigging

This is a tutorial setting up a Facial rig Jason Osipa style within Max 7. I strongly advise everyone to purchase the book "Stop Staring" by Jason Osipa. It goes over a rather innovative approach to lip synching. It also goes over modeling and edge loops for good lip synching deformation. Even though the book is for Maya the principles travel across all major 3d packages.

I used the parametric head creator by Bruce Forel. It is a great script for people to begin modeling heads. I dont personally use the script, but I found it very helpful for the purpose of demonstrating this tutorial. Check out his script here

Things you will need before you start

First you will need a head with the morpher modifier already on it and hopefully a couple of targets already loaded into morpher...at least 4 so you can see the real benefits of the rig.
Here is a file the has 4 morph targets set up so you can test out the exercise. The morph targets are:
Right_smirk - Left_smirk - Mouth_open - Mouth_pout

Second Rig Tools script. My friend "Phatdaddy" (Walter Osborn) wrote a script that automates the controller creation for the face rig. The rig controller is based off "Rigman" (Alvaro Sanint) controller Phatdady's Rig Tools script

This tutorial is also possible to do with the Joystick Manipulator by Borislav Petrov (not nescassary for this tutorial) http://www.scriptspot.com/bobo/

Open your scene with the morpher head in it

1a. Click on Rig Tools and type in "Mouth" in the name slot under "Parameters" 
Pay close attention to the default Units. The Width and Height are set to 5 units. This will come up later on.
Click in the front viewport to create it

2a. Go to the " Animation " menu and select " Reaction Manager "

3a. In the reaction window click the " Add Master " button in the top left

4a. While in " Add Master " mode, click on the controller circle "Mouth_circ" Then go to Tranform - FK Sub_control - Position - X Position. This will add the master (Mouth_circ / X Position) in the "Reactions

5a. Now click on the button " Add Slave " it should be next to the " Add Master " button

6a. While still in " Add Slave " mode, select the main head with morpher applied. Go to Modified Object - Morpher - [1] left_smirk

Notice how the value of the " State01 " and the "left_smirk" target value are both set to 0.00

7a. Double click on the value of the State01 . Set the Value to 2.5. Remember the area of the square was 5 units, so the distance from the middle to any side will be half

8a. Double click the value of the left_smirk target and set it to 100. This means that whenever you move the controller to its full extent, it will set the corresponding morph target to 100. Now you will create a neautral state

9a. In the states panel, click on "Create State"

10a. Set the value of both the new state (State02) and the target (left_smirk) to 0

You have now linked morpher to a controller. Repeat steps 3a - 10a linking the master to the appropriate axis direction you will move the controller and using the morpher head as the slave corresponding to the respective morph target you would like to call.

Note: remember that the state value going up and right will always be a positive value and negative if its going left and down. This is an example of a completed setup for the x axis. Notice the negative values for the right smirk....this will be assigned to the controllers left position or the "directors" left

Hope this tutorial has been helpful. I advise you to go over this tutorial several time to fully grasp the use of the "Reaction Manager". It's an extremely powerful tool.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at alden@aldenfilion.com

Please visit http://www.aldenfilion.com/ and check out my latest work

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