Toon Face Rig _ Lower Right Eye Blink Controller Issue
Posted: 05 April 2021 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Joined  2020-04-25

Hi there,

So my I was setting up my face Pose library and noticed my right eye lower blink controller seems to be broken and not having any influence on the lower eyelid mesh. I checked the weighting and it seems to be fine (The eye tweak controllers work fine separately), but the overall lower blink controller doesn’t work.

From what I learn from my past controller issues, thanks to your help lol, I thought to enable/adjust expression numbers in the PSR tag, but the “R_Lower_Blink_con+” controller doesn’t have a PSR tag…I do see that it has 2 expresso Tags, but I’m not confident in my expresso knowledge yet lol.

If you don’t mind please take a look at the link below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L-1s9E6PRH_7VNZ9MkXI5zHTsgKJkJid/view?usp=sharing

Worst case scenario, I can still get by with selecting and manipulating the multiple eye tweak controllers, but it feel like I’m over looking something and there’s a solution here, any thoughts?

PS: Please forgive me, I’m not sure if my issue applies and should be asked specifically to this tutorial, but it feels like it might be correlated to the weighting.

All the best,
David

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Posted: 05 April 2021 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Hi David,

Thanks for the file and for using Google Drive.

Please use only the Help Button to open a new thread, and if you do so, please do not change the headline thanks.
https://www.cineversity.com/forums/viewthread/475/
I mention it, so you know why I moved the thread over to the Q&A. Not a big deal at all. It is a click for me to change that, but if you would use it as intended, then I could leave it there, and others could find it.


To your question:
Somehow the values that will be used to drive the blink were set to zero. Since the Xpresso has a multiplier in it, anything times zero will be zero, and with that, the provided information is “canceled”.

Please have a look here:
https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/qxvTlDvxFlzIpPZaEzuH2SJtu38KoZWSB1gZh4jvucS

Node stuff:
Yes, I have heard this way too often to ignore. Xpresso is not the most used option in Cinema 4D. Like most node-based operations, it doesn’t provide a lot of guidance. When I learned Shake (a nodal compositor) nearly two decades ago, I think I felt the same pain, coming from the so familiar After Effects. Nodes require to know what you want. If you do, it is a great method.
Well, if someone else has set it up, it is a question of reading the information flow that is given. The X-Manager> XGroup should help here as it should show the information flow top to bottom, but the rig is not sorted that way. Xpresso can get away often with that, but it is not suggested. So you miss the readability here to a certain degree. But I see it constantly that the priorities and information flow are not given the attention it needs. (In the clip below, I have sorted it, I can’t resist.

So how to get it solved anyway? If the right side works, you have a blueprint for the left side. My first step is a piece of paper and then check where it goes from the controller, to see what is affected. I write everything down. If that is clear from one side [left in this case], I check the other side [right side].
Give yourself some time to get familiar with Xpresso. It is too powerful to be ignored. The good thing here is, you need to understand only what you need, not all at once.

All the best

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Dr. Sassi V. Sassmannshausen Ph.D.
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Posted: 06 April 2021 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2020-04-25

Gotcha, that makes sense! Thank you.

Thanks for your thoughts on expresso/nodes, I plan firstly to put in a lot of practice into character animating and get their movements as natural as possible (if your have any tutorial suggestions on animation theory, please feel free to share) but after that I will definitely dig into learning more about expresso, always seems to be very useful/powerful… or I may find I need it sooner than I think lol anyways.

Thanks again,
David

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Posted: 06 April 2021 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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You’re very welcome, David.

We don’t have that kind (acting) of training here. Going by something I’m working on for a while, I would say, go out, observe people. Will that work for cartoonish characters, certainly only to a degree.

I know that the idea is often, how do I learn this (placeholder) with a 20-minute tutorial. If I could bottle things up like that, I would love to do so. The question of character movements is a question of acting, which is a lifelong challenge in my book. The same is true for Cinematography, or modeling, or …
Yes, most jobs can be explained in 20 minutes to an hour, but it doesn’t provide any depth or quality.

I might tell you what you already know, but we talk in a forum where many people in various levels of skills read along. So, more in detail: Take an acting class, or read the Nine Old Men from Disney-Studios. These two might show you the bandwidth of the needed answer. Or just take videos of people doing their “thing”, like someone sweeps the floor. How can you introduce a character by just doing this, how to express his/her personality with just that?
My own take: I took a course a while ago about how to direct actors because that is what we are doing here. Besides that, I always enjoy taking classes from people who know their stuff, like taking the “Masterclass” about acting with Helen Miren or Samuel L. Jackson, which certainly has given me a lot to think about.

In a nutshell, what is your character doing, his background, how has that shaped his behavior, movements, and what not? Observation is one key, but always with an eye on what characters like to hide and shows up with some subtleties anyway. Acting is a very elaborated and rich art form, and character animation is precisely that. There is a lot in making parts of DVDs/Blu-rays available, like from Pixar and such.

Enjoy the ride.

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Dr. Sassi V. Sassmannshausen Ph.D.
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Posted: 07 April 2021 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2020-04-25

Thanks, great insights and exactly what I hoping for, really appreciate it.

It has been very intriguing to learning the reasons for why things are done and move certain ways, pertaining to character animation, and the “magic” that’s going on behind the scenes.

I will start delving the resource options you provided and start observing and learning.

Thanks!
David

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Posted: 07 April 2021 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Hi David,

The rigs are done by artists and technical directors who do this daily for a living. Yes, it is gratifying to re-engineer those and learn from them. I have certainly gained from these contributors a lot.
When I started to visit the Berlinale Film festival in Berlin, I was eager to analyze every film. We went to this festival with our whole studio, each year. After ten minutes into each movie, I have to admit that I was lost in the story and forgot what my target was. Gladly we met the directors, actors, and producers from other productions, so my learning was not limited.
What I try to say is that we can see a character and get hopefully the emotional impact we need to understand the story, but that doesn’t mean we can reproduce what the character did to get us to the point where we were at the end of the movie.

To bring a character to life is a very complex artistic work. The idea that the rig is allowing us to work with us and not be in the way is the ideal. Hence why a good setup is so crucial. We have come a long way with these, and going back around 25 years, where one had to move one “bone” after the other, was certainly something different than what you create here in this thread alone with the character.

I hope you can find excellent resources. In the end, we direct the audience’s feelings and how they receive the story in general. My test is often if I can transport the emotions with a cube and a sphere as nose already, I can certainly do it with a complex character. However, we are used to reading people’s expressions, so any expression is part of that communication. To find that balance where one can’t nothing take away or add without limiting the result is the key. But when you get there, nothing else in the art can really compare with it.

Enjoy the ride.

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Dr. Sassi V. Sassmannshausen Ph.D.
Cinema 4D Mentor since 2004

Photography For C4D Artists: 200 Free Tutorials. Texture, Panorama, HDRI, Camera Projection, etc.
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