Originally posted on 20 March. Scroll down for updates.
Joe Alter has released LipService 6.5, an update to his facial sculpting, paint and rigging toolset for Maya.
There isn’t much info about 6.5 on the website yet, but according to Alter: “We’ve added a feature called ‘muscle memory’ that’s quite similar to Tissue [Weta's Academy Award-winning 'character simulation framework'].”
“It memorizes deformations (muscle systems, cloth, and so on) into a PSD [pose space deformation] and lets the artist further embellish them through sculpts.”
Sympathy for the deformations
There have also been “major improvements” to puppeteering characters via the mouse, some of which you can see in the video above – which shows Mick Jagger as you’ve never seen him before*.
The look is definitely Uncanny, but check out the facial deformations; then watch the rest of the video to discover how they were created. As a bonus, you get to listen to Sympathy for the Devil as you do so.
LipService 6.5 is available now for Maya 2010 and above on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The update is free to registered users; new licences start at $300.
Updated 31 May: Alter has now posted an interesting demo video of the muscle memory system, comparing the results to conventional skinning and muscle simulation systems. Check it out above.
*Or heard him: the audio clip the 3D character is animated to is from This Is Spinal Tap.