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Facial Expressions with Mesh Avatars?


Amphei Jierdon
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I used Blender and Avastar to create a mesh avatar and I am quite happy with the result. 

 

Unlike most common mesh avatars, who still use the LL-head, and their users have to cover nasty seams on the neck with chokers, I gave my avi a mesh-head, which looks much smooher and doesn't have any seams.

But of course the eyes of my head don't blink and the face doesn't follow any facial expressions like smiling, open mouth, stick out tongue...

 

I would be interested in your opinions. Will we live with LL-heads forever?  Or will we model a bunch of invisible facial expressions wich are controlled and switched by HUDs and scripts? Or will we have something like "facial expression bones" to solve this? Are there tricks, I maybe didn't think of yet?

 A nice example of what I mean is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sapCS8t0PA

 

I don't know, how it is done, but I fear, that sims would crash, if many avas would use faces like this. 

 

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I doubt this is done with multiple mesh heads. Plus, there really aren't any expressions in this head. What is likely going on, is the jaw is rigged to the mskull bone, which is an extra bone in the SL skeleton. I do this with most of my avatars. I even make speech gestures using by animating the mskull bone, which can be used with voice. The eye lids look very smooth, but I still think it's just another mesh with different materials to switch between to make it look like you are blinking. This is another trick that I use.

Other than these 2 options, we are never going to have facial expressions, outside of someone making custom expression with different meshes and changing the visibility of them. LL just doesn't give us any ways to do this efficiently.

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I once watched one of this heads in a sim with very slow texture loading. The head has different material zones. Clearly visible in this case since they loaded one after another. Mouth and the zone around the eyes are texture animated. There was only this single sequence visible in the movie.

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