An early overview of LipService, back before it went into beta. Newer (non-embeddable) videos showing individual features in the facial sculpting and rigging tool can be found on Joe Alter’s website.
Joe Alter has shipped LipService w/LBrush 5.0, his facial sculpting and rigging plugin for Maya.
We’ve covered LipService several times throughout its beta process. At its core is a ZBrush-style toolset for sculpting facial shapes: not just during character setup but as corrective blendshapes for animations or sims.
The workflow was recently extended by the introduction of ‘Blendshapes+‘ – a system for sculpting blendshapes outside the rest pose, or over the top of one another.
Rigging and animation tools
The idea of corrective blendshapes is inherent in LipService’s automated rigging system. According to Alter: “Using PSD, you ‘train’ the engine to correct your geometry by stopping in the middle of a sequence and sculpting corrections. The engine will the recognize those joint configurations in the future and blend corrections in and out as they are approached.”
Throw in nonlinear interpolation for more efficient shape-based facial animation, pose space deformation tools, and 3D painting, and you’ve got a pretty comprehensive – and as far as we’re aware – unique facial toolset.
LipService w/LBrush 5.0 is available for Maya 2010 and above on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. A node-locked licence costs $300, a floating licence $500, and additional render licences $120 each.
The official blurb is below:
“After six years of intense development and beta, Joe Alter has released LipService w/LBrush for Maya 2010-2013 for all platforms. This incredible tool incorporates similar sculpting/painting features from Mudbox/ZBrush directly into Maya and includes a boatload of high-end animation tools.
Utilizing high-end tools like PSD, Corrective Sculpt and a whole new class of Blendshapes at the subpoly level allows you to increase the amount of animated detail in your scene by orders of magnitude. The integration is so smooth and intuitive that character rigging/pipeline set-up becomes a far more artist-friendly proposition, enabling you to sculpt changes right on top of your existing rigs or simulations.
Demo licences are available on request.”