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Chapter 12. Deformations and Movement > Preparing for Facial Animation

Preparing for Facial Animation

Although there is not enough room in this book to describe the entire process of creating facial expressions, movement, timing, and the art of character animation, there is enough space to stress the preparation you can take before you embark on such endeavors. Facial animation is one of the most difficult aspects of 3D animation. Human facial expression has so many nuances that we take for granted. If you stop to look, really look, however, you’ll find that with a few key facial expressions, you can make a character come to life in LightWave.

A number of books on the market deal specifically with character animation and the human form. Many of these books discuss facial muscle structure and illustrate various facial positions. This chapter takes a different approach and uses a simple method—do it until it looks right. Although most of your preparation requires manipulating the 3D model, you should take some time and visit your local library or bookstore to study the human form. This, along with just watching people’s movements and expressions, is the best way to prepare yourself. From there, it’s up to you to create facial animation.


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