Facial Animation Part 3: Face Key Creation in iClone 4.0

Unlock the power of the Face Key Tool

Unlock the power of the Face Key Tool

Hey hey, iCloners out there, if your like me and can’t get enough of the new Facial Animation functions in iClone 4.0 then today’s tip is for you. This tutorial focuses on Face Key creation, Facial Bone Animation, Face Feature Posing and other lip-sync fine-tuning techniques. But first, let’s talk about what the new Face Key feature, it’s a new menu that allows users to create facial morphing animation that is…get ready for it…able to be keyframed. Not only that but it can also be used in the same manner as The Puppeteering Panel (See Part 2) to create facial expressions. That is the difference between Facial Bone Animation and Face Feature Posing, Facial Bone Animation is used to manipulate the Facial Bones and create the facial morphing animation itself, check out how I make the Jimmy Toon’s nose grow in the video below to see an example of this aspect. Face Feature Posing is also a standard function inside the Face Key menu that allows users to quickly and easily create facial expression using keyframe creation. All these keyframes will be viewable on the Timeline in the Facial Layer Track. It’s a fun and easy to use new addition to your iClone Facial Animation abilities, so give it a try by following the steps below or watch the free training resource provided at the bottom of the post.

  • Add an Actor into the scene
  • Click the Animation Tab
  • Select the Facial Animation button
  • Create a Basic Script (See Part 1) for your character
  • NOTE: In this example I use my real voice for the voice of my actor by Recording my own voice directly
  • After applying Facial Animation to your Actor, Open the Face Key Tool
  • Select the FACE KEY button in the Modify Panel to open the menu
  • Begin creating Facial Layer keyframes using the Face Key Tool
  • NOTE: To view the keyframes you are about to create open the Timeline using HOTKEY: (F3) and then click the FACE tab to view the Viseme, Expression, and Facial Layer Track
  • Notice the 2 sections of the Face Key menu, Muscle and Detail, select Detail
  • Notice the Right Face, Front Face, and Left Face tabs at the top in Detail mode
  • Edit the Face Bones by clicking and dragging the Node you want to change in either Right Face, Front Face, or Left Face modes
  • Move forward in time in your project and then make another Edit to the Face Bonesto create keyframed facial morphing animation
  • To create Face Feature Posing you need to select the Muscle mode now in the Face Key menu
  • NOTE: This will allow you to select Solo-Features of the face and edit them to create Expression
  • Again move forward in time in your project and then make an Edit to the Face Feature Poseto create keyframed facial Expression animation
  • Begin selecting Solo-Feature areas such as the Eyes (as seen in the video below)
  • Select the Rotate or Orbit tool from the bottom left of the Face Key interface and then Click and Drag to make edits to the features position
  • Repeat the previous 2 steps until you are pleased with the Face Feature Pose you have created

Face Key creation in iClone 4.0 is a long-overdue addition to the Facial Animation and editing tool set. I remember my first question when Head morphing edit capabilities were introduced in iClone 3.0 was…”Can I keyframe that?” And now that answer is YES in iClone 4.0. Combine the skills you will learn from Facial Animation Parts:1, 2 and 3 in the new real-time production environment and you are now fully equiped to take on even the most complex of scripts and performances. The Face Key Tool opens up tons of options to choose from in the categories of face shapes, poses and expressions while offering the ability to create and edit the keyframe date you develop, I mean honestly, why wouldn’t you want to learn this new tool? To do just that please feel free to check out the free training resource video below and start making faces! Enjoy!


2 Responses to “Facial Animation Part 3: Face Key Creation in iClone 4.0”

  1. 1 WarLord
    October 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    It is truly a treat to visit your website. Thanks for sharing the info!

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