Creating a Cartoon Character in Cineversity Brand ID: Setting up Eye Control Rig

Photo of EJ Hassenfratz

Instructor EJ Hassenfratz

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  • Duration: 08:15
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In this video we will utilize a FFD Deformer, Target Tag, and a Constraint Tag to create an easy to use eye controller for our octopus character.

In this video we will create an eye controller for our octopus character by using a combination of a FFD Deformer, Target Tag, and a Constraint Tag that allows us to easily animate our characters eye movements.



In the previous video I showed you how you can set up a simple mouth rig to control your mouth movement. In this video we're going to create a rig that'll allow us to easily animate our eye movement. So what we're going to do is create a new Eyeball set up here, so I just kind of set this up just to position how this would look like, how these eyeballs would be positioned on this face. But what I'm going to do is just remove this Eye Group from the symmetry and then just zero out and just reset all of the parameters here, so reset the Scale to one, Rotation, just redo everything reset the position. I'm just going to hide all of my facial features except for my eye. And then I'm just going to drag and drop the pupil underneath the main Eye White sphere and zero this out as well. And just move this forward, and what I'm going to do is to get that stylize flatten eyeball shape. I just scaled everything down in the Z. But what you going to see if I tried to rotate this eye to be pointing somewhere else, it's going to rotate and be flat. So we're going to need to flatten this out a different way. So I'm just going to reset this Z scale to one. And the way we're going to flatten everything down is by using what's called an FFD object. So, if I just drag and drop this underneath our Eye White Sphere and then hit Fit to Parent. What I'm going to do is just make sure that everything is within this cage here, so I'm just going to make this cage a little bit bigger. And what the FFD object allows us to do, it stands for Free Form Deformer. And if I go into point mode, you can see that I have access to all these points that I can move and manipulate and it's distorting or deforming our eyeball. So what I'm going to do is actually select all the points by hitting CMD+A and then just scaling every point down on the Z. So we're actually scaling down using a Deformer, which is going to help us when we actually want to rotate our eyes, so I just drag and dropped our FFD outside from underneath the child of the Eye White. And if I go ahead and rotate the Eye White around, you can see we have this nice kind of looking around of our eyeball. And this is just by rotating our sphere. So since we're flattening out using the FFD Deformer, basically all that's happening is if I turn the FFD off, I'm just rotating this sphere around and then flattening it out and getting that nice stylized flat eyeball look that we had from the beginning. So this is really great. And now what we really need to do to create an eye rig, is set up an object that this sphere can rotate and point at or target. So what we're going to do is set up a target tag by right-clicking on the Eye White sphere, going to Target, and then this will allow us to define a target object that this object rotation will point at. So let's just select a Circle Spline for now. And this will be the Left Eye Target. And right now our sphere is really big, so we'll just scale this down. And move this forward in front of our eye there, we'll just make this a little small there. So what we can do now is use that Circle Spline as the target object. And what you're going to notice is that our pupil went to the back side of our sphere. So to fix that we just simply need to just move this iris forward, and making sure that we're not actually going outside the boundaries of our FFD or we'll get that distortion. So I'll just again, go to my FFD and just make it a little bit thicker, in the Z. And maybe a little bit in the X and Y as well, just for good measure. And now I can go and select my Eye target. Move this around and you can see that we're now aiming where our eye is looking at, which is really great. So what we can do now is, you can see if I move this too far, we're getting some distortion, so I want to be able to constrain this circle object's axis center to inside just a little boundary. So what I'm going to do is duplicate this target circle and just name this Left Eye Bounds. And what I can do is use a constraint tag, right here in the Character menu, and go into the Clamp mode, check that On. And in the Clamp mode we can have a boundary set for an object. So the boundary for the Eye target I want to be that other circle that we created. So if I now try to move this object, this original circle target spline, I can't go outside of the boundaries of this other circle here. So let's actually color-code these things. So let's go into the boundaries Basic tab, and for Use Color we're going to turn that On and let's make this like a yellow. And then for the target we'll change this to, say blue, and then just to clean up our viewport we can actually hide the visibility in our viewport of that FFD Deformer, so now we visibly can see the target is blue and the boundary is that yellow. So this is a really nice boundary, it allows us to not stray too far to the edge of our eye. We can probably actually maybe grow the boundaries a little bit more, so maybe 5.5, so now we're just going to the very edge, can probably get away with six centimeters. So now we're just going to the very edge of the eyeball and we don't want the eyeball to actually roll into the back of the head, so this is a perfect boundary here. So I'll just reset this so the eyeball is looking straight ahead and then I'm just going to select all of my Eye elements here, and group them together and this will be my Left Eye Group. And then what I'm going to do is just move this off to the right and then I'll duplicate this by hitting CMD+Click and dragging, and this will be our Right Eye. So I'll just go ahead and rename that Right Eye Group and then scroll down and just rename these from L to R, so we can make sense of all this. Keep things nice and organized. And now what we can do is turn back on our head geometry and just position our eyeballs where they should be. So I'll just do that really quickly. So you can see right now our eyes are kind of pointing outwards and it looks kind of odd. So what we're going to do is select both the bounds in targets on each side and just move this to the right, so he's looking towards us. Same thing with the left eye. Move that towards us. So now it looks like he's looking right at us. And now what we can do is select both targets and move this around and we can control the direction both of the eyes are pointing. So now what we can do is create a new Null, and this will be our Eye Control, and we'll just bring this forward. Just put it smack dab in the middle of our face and then we can create a Display of, like a Circle and maybe make that as big as we want. And then just take our targets and drag and drop them underneath the Eye Control. And now we can move this one Eye Control and that'll control the movement or the positioning of where our eyes are looking at. So in this video we utilized an FFD Deformer, a target tag, and a constraint tag to create an easy to use eye controller for our octopus character. In the next video, we're going to create a simple rig to animate our eyes blinking.
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