An Automated Rigging System for Facial Animation.

M.Sc. Thesis, Program of Computer Graphics, Cornell University


We present a system for the automated rigging of human face models, providing a significant time savings for this arduous task. Our system takes advantage of previous work which deforms a reference facial surface to conform to new face models. In particular, we have matched our reference model to digitized human faces. We parameterize the construction of the reference rig on the surface topology of the reference model; thus, the rig can be procedurally reconstructed onto deformed copies of the model. The animation parameters of our rig are based on the expressive muscles of the face. We present a novel skin/muscle model, based on wire deformers and point constraints, to implement this parameterization. The model supports any number of muscle contractions about a particular skin patch, yet gives the artist ultimate control over the shape of the deformation. Finally, we present a flexible environment for loading, rigging, and animating new models quickly and effectively.

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