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Endomorphs in Layout

As much fun as you had creating different expressions for your character, when it comes to facial animation, the real fun is in Layout. LightWave’s Layout gives you the tools you need to create talking characters. In the next exercise, you will load an audio track from the book’s CD-ROM directly into Layout and animate the cover model of this book to the sound track. You’ll use a displacement plug-in called MorphMixer, as well as the Graph Editor.

LightWave has some features that can make your life much easier when it comes to bones, characters, and parented objects. It has always been a challenge for animators to parent eyeballs attached to a character head whose motions are controlled by bones. LightWave enables you to parent anything you want to bones. When you bring in a MultiMesh object, such as the head for this tutorial, there are separate layers with the head, eyeballs, teeth, and tongue. These layers can be parented to the head; but if the head has bones deforming it, the parented objects will not be deformed. Instead, you can parent the eyeballs directly to the controlling bone. To do this, select the item you want to parent, such as the eyeball, and press m on the keyboard to open the Motion Options panel. At the top for Parent Item, select the appropriate bone. After it is parented, the eyeball will follow the bone movement. The bone won’t deform the item parented to it unless you tell the object to Use Bones From in the Bone Options panel.


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