How to create a Face 3D Rig in Blender

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Rigging is a unique high-tech process in animation. The result is creating a 3D model with a virtual skeleton in which all the bones are interconnected. The same thing happens in real life. It simulates the realism process from the character’s bones to unique facial expressions; for example, the character walks, his joints move, and his bones take a particular position. It is a delightful process, a genuinely cutting-edge word in this area.

creating of a Face 3D Rig - elf

What is needed for Rigging

The designer independently sets the weight of each bone. The heavier it is, the more impact it has. We add that sometimes the skeleton can be copied because various characters differ in the same build. What about animations like rabbit ears, dragon tails, or mythical creature wings? All this is also quite realistic when using modern technologies. For bones, restrictions on movements are established. For example, people’s knees do not bend back, and their head does not rotate around their axis.

Rigging process on the example of an animated character - a girl

3D Rigging is used for advanced skeletal animation in video games. In addition, Rigging has advantages:

  • ease of setup
  • variety of visual features
  • excellent quality parts

You should hire a professional animator or an outsourcing studio if you need a quality 3D setup for your video game. As a rule, developers use several different technologies, not only rigging 3D models, so blendshape and morphing are worth mentioning. Kreonit offers professional services in this area at an affordable cost. We use various technologies and programs to create the highest-quality rigging. It is elementary to order rigging service from us. Just contact us; we are always in touch. 

Rigging process: teeth and tongue

Face Rig in Blender

It is excellent open-source software and one of the best facial animation software. It supports its drawing tool, is a perfect option for beginners, is ideal for creating high-quality animated characters, and has gorgeous lighting effects.   

Rigging is most commonly used for various characters. A Rigify tool allows users to simplify and speed up the rigging process significantly and take advantage of all the pluses, such as constraints and custom bone shapes. 

This tool helps users automate the creation of character rigs. You build complete rigs from more minor parts of the rig. As more rig parts are added to Rigify, it should become more capable of rigging various characters and creatures.

Rigging process: mouth

Main characteristics

The users can always give away rigs created with Rigify to people who don’t have them, and the rigs will still be fully functional. It doesn’t tie the rig to the mesh, so you still have to do the skinning, etc. 

Continuous reinstall

If the generated rig does not meet all the characteristics you need, you decide to add something else. You can regenerate your rig without losing the previously generated features.

Modular equipment

The building blocks of Rigify can be mixed to create any character. If you need to create a face rig 3D model with three eyes, Rigify can handle it.

Animated female character

The flexible set for character animation

You can bend and deform the character as you wish with the interactive controls of Bendy Bones.

Expandable feature set

You can save and code your meta rigs into a button, making them available anytime without creating them manually.

Shared animation across all Rigify installations

If Rigify creates the control system, you share the meta rig across different characters. This tool stores all the information needed to create complex controls in more straightforward frameworks called “meta-rigs.”  

Animated male character

Brief outline – Face Rig 3D Model in Blender 

Edit preferences

Rigging Rigify

Shift А – Armature – Human Meta-Rig

We are working on the character skeleton, which is necessary for the face of our animated character to come into motion.  

Mesh ‣ Snap to Symmetry.

Generate Rig :

Object Data Properties – Generate Rig

You click on different points by raising your eyebrows, eyes, and so on. Check out how your animated character is transformed by expressing emotions. 

Parent with the Rig

Just click Ctrl P – with automatic weights.

Origin to Geometry

Right Click – Set Origin – Origin to Geometry. 

Cursor to selected

Shift S – drag the mouse down.

Pay attention to the layers you will see on the right side of the screen.

Animated character - anger emotion

Selection to cursor

Shift S – drag the mouse up

Parent the eye to the eye bone

Click pose mode  

Ctrl P – Bone

Detailed description – Face Rig in Blender

Work with the skeleton

You need to click “Edit preferences” – “Add-on” – Rigify is an auto-rigging system enabled by clicking the checkbox adds Armature – Human meta-rig. It’s a skeleton. Compare the dimensions of the skeleton and the face of our animated character. Ctrl+Z.

Animated male character

Divide the mesh of the character into parts

3D cursor. Scalable. Add-on Rigify. You can make a rig for any character. The mesh of the character needs to be divided into parts. For example, the eyes and jaws must be separate objects.

Remark

Meshes are one type of Blender object. They are also called polygrids and grids. These are three-dimensional geometric primitives, changing which users create more complex shapes with the help of fundamental transformations and various modifiers.

Edit mode. Move the cursor over the eye, press L, then P – Selection. Thus the eye became a separate entity.

Animated character - surprise emotion

Object mode. Select the eye and press Alt P – Clear Parent and Keep Transformation, then delete the Armature modifier and all vertex groups for the other eye. and for teeth.

Hide polygons to work with the selected area

Choose the head’s polygons and hide them by clicking on H. Hide the mouth polygons. Then select the upper jaw polygon and press L to select all. Then you should choose the anterior teeth separately with the shift clamped. Then you should click P – Selection. Select the jaw in object mode and press Alt P – Clear Parent and Keep Transformation. After that, remove the Armature modifier and all vertex groups. We will rename the eyes and the upper jaw so that it is easy for us to deal with them. Hide them from the viewport.

Edit mode – X-Ray mode. Select the polygons of the lower jaw meme Ctrl I – to invert the selection. Then hide the polygons. We separate the tongue from the lower jaw. Please select all the polygons that belong to the language and hide them. We only need the area in which we will work.

3D model animation process

Select the jaw and make it a separate object. Select the jaw in object mode and press Alt P – Clear Parent and Keep Transformation. Let’s give the armature modifier and all the vertex groups. Let’s rename the given area and then its terms. Choose the character, go to edit mode, make the character’s body visible, and set the mode to X-ray. Choose the polygon of the language. Click on L to select the rest.

Create a new group

Let’s go to vertex groups and create a new group. Rename. Press Assign to add all vertices to this group. Also, create a group for the mouth and add vertices there. Make all objects visible.

Create face bones

It’s essential. All bones are made with a meta-rig. How to add facial bones? Select meta-rig and go to edit mode. In the object data properties, open the Rigify buttons tab. Look for a list of all Rigify modules. We are looking for a super face. Click Add sample. At the origin, you will see a construction of bones in the shape of a face. Align the position on the character’s head. Hide some bones.

The rigging process: eye movements

Do not separate the bones 

The bones of the face 3D model cannot be separated from each other. Places where several bones connect, should be mixed so that the connection remains unchanged. Align the bones that are on the midline of the face. Click the number Three on the Numpad. So we went to the side view. Align the bones along the contour of the face. We go along the character profile, aligning all the bones strictly along the contour, and we go through each point.

Be sure to mirror edit to make it easier to work

Turn on snapping to polygons and mirror editing. All actions are repeated on the other side of the face. Each chain of bones is responsible for its location. The bones near the lips are responsible for the facial expressions of the mouth and so on. These bones on the forehead are responsible for the movements of the eyebrows. In general, the purpose of these bones is to mimic the activities of your character’s face then occur—the bones on the forehead end at the top border for raising the eyebrows. Align the bones around the eyes, nose, and cheekbones. Thus we draw the skeleton.

Jaw pivot point

Attention! The jaw pivot point is significant. It is responsible for the movements of the ears, hardly needed if you are animating the image of a person. But if you are animating an animal, it may move its ears so that the movement of the ears should be given some attention.

Rigging Process: Anger Emotion

How to work easier? Go to the mode object and hide the meta-rig, for example, eyelashes. Let nothing prevent you from working with a specific area. Select the character and go to edit mode. Then choose the vertices in the area of the eyelashes and move on to a new group of vertices. Add a mask modifier to the hero. Part of the mesh can be hidden with it.

Align the chain of bones

Select meta-rig and go to Edit mode. Align the chain of bones along the area of ​​the upper eyelid. Rotation of the eyeballs. Edit mode: highlight the eye. Object – Set Origin – Set to Geometry. 

Shift S – Cursor to Selected

Select meta rig—Edit mode. Select the bone: Shift S – Selection to cursor. The bone has moved to the center of the eyeball.

In this way, you can work in any area. Create your Face 3D Rig in Blender; it’s easy and fun. Or order from us, and we will save you time and create a real masterpiece – a character for the game, marketing, and so on.

Conclusions

Facial animation is an advanced technology that allows you to create excellent 3D models whose facial expressions are as realistic as possible and indistinguishable from the facial expressions of a living person. A rig is placed inside a pre-drawn blank – a set of virtual bones and joints, and the patterns of its functioning and possible transformations are established. Kreonit is well-versed in various technologies. Contact us, and we will quickly and at an affordable price create gorgeous animated facial-rig 3D models for you.

FAQ

  1. How long does it take to rig a face?

If the user does all the Rigging, skinning, face tuning, and deformation, then 7-8 days is an approximate time.

  1. What is facial Rigging?

Face rigging is adding controls to a face to animate different facial expressions. These controls are usually tied to either blendshapes or deformers.

  1. Is face rigging hard?

The face is a very complex surface that can take on various shapes. However, modern technologies make this function available to every user.

  1. Which software is best for Rigging?

The following programs have skeletal animation features – Blender, Maya, 3 Modo, Ds Max, ZBrush, Cinema 4D, etc. 

  1. Is Blender good for Rigging?

Blender offers special rigging tools, including Envelope, skeleton, and automatic skinning. Easy weight painting. Mirror functionality.

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