Sunday, April 25th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Discover how to create FACS facial blendshapes in Maya

The Gnomon Workshop has released Introduction to Creating Facial Blendshapes in Maya, a complete guide to facial blendshape modelling in Maya and ZBrush, recorded by Digital Domain artist Derrick Sesson.

The workshop, which comprises over five hours of video training, explores how to apply the movie-industry-standard Facial Action Coding System (FACS) to facial animation work.

Master the art of creating FACS-based facial blendshapes for animation or VFX
The FACS system splits human expressions into sets of key shapes for different parts of the face, making them easier to recreate and animate in CG.

In the workshop, Sesson discusses how FACS works, before exploring how a standard ZBrush head can be used as the basis for creating facial blendshapes in Maya.

He sets out how to prepare the head for deformation, breaks down the essential shapes for each region of the face, and reveals how to block in those shapes in Maya using deformers, particularly Cluster deformers.

Sesson then demonstrates how to refine the resulting shapes using Maya’s sculpting tools, before bringing the results together into a Blendshape node.

The head model used in the workshop is available free from 3D Scan Store, but the techniques set out can be transferred to any human or humanoid character.

About the artist
Derrick Sesson is a freelance facial modeler at Digital Domain, having previously worked as a lead modeler and character supervisor, including a period as modeling and texturing supervisor at The Mill.

He has over a decade of studio experience in visual effects, working on blockbusters including Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Beauty and the Beast.

Pricing and availability
Introduction to Creating Facial Blendshapes in Maya is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, providing access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.

Read more about Introduction to Creating Facial Blendshapes in Maya

Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.