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Facial Rig

This is a peek into some of the work behind scenes of 'Shadow of Mordor' circa 2012.
I wanted to create a rig that would feel fluid and fleshy in game (xbox360 at the time) and was capable of playing any animation on any face, with minimal amount of extra work.

This on-and-off project took about 3 years, from initial theory conception, to learning how to code in MEL, to adapting to new projects and expanding features and improving workflows.

The rig also featured:
-Auto rigging
-Auto skinning
-Auto LipSync
-Face Customization
-Editable Joint Location (non destructive)
-Custom Facial Expressions overlay, with..
-Custom character libraries
-Custom phonemes (per character), and a..
-Character Share window (so all animators could share expressions and poses seamlessly) .

What you see is 28 skinned joints and 34 total joints starting from the neck up. The theory involved primary muscle group structures which would ideally control blah blah blah..

Thank you for reading! =)

Circa 2012, this was an informal/ internal video meant to share the progress of the tools in a team meeting. Most features, like auto lipsync, can be seen in the last video, below.

This was the real time performance rig and ROM for Xbox360

Although developed for a later cancelled project, the tools helped enhance the scope of characters and performances in 'Shadow of Mordor'. We could push shapes and proportions to their limits and keep the performances intact. (This was my first test..)

This was a fuller compilation of internal videos I hastily put together to show an interested party... Pardon the typos!