cmiVFX releases another great video hit with the launch of its Softimage ICE and ZBrush retopology workflow instructional solution. In digital animation, physical human animation can take you pretty far, but you won't achieve the final emotional "punch" without turning to the face for expression and emotion. So much is tied up in the face, and through its multiple levels of control through dozens of muscles and underlying bones, it is important to be able to make a solid structural head that is easy to animate. Using proven techniques of edge loops and solid understanding of human anatomy, we will take you through some of the more fundamental principles behind creating an effective head model and animation rig.
In this video, we will be using Zbrush to retopologize a pre-existing sculpted head model. Feel free to use your own, however. These are basic principles you should be able to apply to your own humans, creatures and even animals. These retopologizing techniques can also be used in many different programs, like 3d Coat, Topogun, and even within Autodesk Softimage, Maya or 3ds Max, with the right plugins. Once we have established the basic head form, with correct edge flow, we will use the tools in Softimage to set up an effective rig. We will use bone systems, constraints, shape animation (similar to blend shapes in Maya or morphs in 3ds Max.) Then, we will leverage the powerful ICE system to build a flexible, extensible high-level control system that will blend and interpolate many of the shapes and bone movements with a few sets of controls.
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