Face Consolidation

Hey Folks! A bit more work on faces today, as I tried to get the new assets aligned a bit more consistently for rigging purposes.

Early in the day, I had some feedback for Emily (top-down sprites) and Michael (interaction texts), plus some other admin catch-up to do. And once that was done, I had a few "next tasks" from which to choose. On one hand, I could try and finish the new portraits. On the other, I could return to character generation.

Chargen is probably the more important one, in the long run. It'll enable more of a "game." And it'll be important for answering questions about gameplay and what exactly I'm building. It'll take longer to get anywhere with it, though. And it'll be more of a behind-the-scenes system than something to show in screenshots.

Portraits, in the short term, might be a bigger bang for the buck. The latest ones from Emily are pretty close to what "final" looks like, and animation is getting close. If I could get those running smoothly and looking good, particularly with swappable parts, I can probably put a fork in that and call it "done." And if Emily finishes other tasks before I have something new for her to work on, having these ready to go means she could pour new variations into the templates I've setup for even greater visual "wow" factor. And it also means she isn't sitting around waiting for me to invent work. Not that I expect to run out of ideas any time soon :)

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I decided to try and finish up portraits.

There were a few mismatches in the sprite pieces she sent over. E.g. male faces a few pixels off from the female face, eye alignments a few pixels off, etc. But all told, they were pretty easy to get all lined-up in a single .psd file. And I added some colored dots on a layer for reference, so Emily can see where bones are located to animate eyes, lips, etc. Hopefully, that'll work well as a template for future variants.

I still need to do one more pass on the bone weights/positions to verify my latest tweaks didn't break anything. I should also try to shore-up the one crazy facial pose from yesterday, too. And I should verify that the variations of parts all work nicely with the animation system, and can be swapped around without issues.

Still a bit of work. But I think this system might be almost ready for prime time!


ra1's picture

How are you interpolating movement between the points? Direct line? Bezel?

dcfedor's picture

Are you referring to the bone/vertex influence falloff? Or tweening curves?

The face mesh only has a few more verts than there are bones, so the falloff is more like a step function. A few intermediate verts have 50/50 or 25/25/50 weight distributions, but most are 1-to-1 mapped to bones.

As for animation curves, it's a straight linear transition from base pose to expression pose in most cases. ~0.25s transition time.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Malacodor's picture

Hi, haven't looked in for quite a while. The new faces look great! But as usual I have something to complain about. These faces all look like models, not like average people. For the sake of realism some ugly faces should be mixed in.

Ran around with a clown mask before it was cool

dcfedor's picture

Thanks! And yeah, there will hopefully be a bit more variety in the end. This is just the first few test faces.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games