Thursday, May 13th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

How to create stylized facial rigs for production in Maya

The Gnomon Workshop has released Creating Stylized Facial Rigs for Production in Maya, a guide to creating professional facial rigs for cartoon-style animated characters.

The workshop, recorded by Sony Pictures Animation character TD Hector Abraham Torres, comprises over four hours of video training.

A detailed guide to creating facial rigs for cartoon-style character animation in Maya
During the workshop, Abraham Torres sets out a range of techniques for creating a stylised facial rig suitable for use in animation for film, TV, games or VR.

He begins by introducing the basics of character rigging, and the importance of understanding real-world facial anatomy, even when working with cartoon-style characters.

The workshop covers the sculpting techniques Abraham Torres uses to create blendshapes for a facial rig, and his tips for creating facial topology that ensures realistic facial deformation when animated.

He also sets out how to create a professional control UI for facial rigs, with the user interface created during the workshop available as a downloadable project file alongside the tutorial videos themselves.

The head model used throughout the workshop – a vampire character created by Makar Malicki – is available from the ArtStation Marketplace, and costs $7.

About the artist
Hector Abraham Torres is a character TD at Sony Pictures Animation.

He has worked on a range of animated features and TV series, including The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, Monsters at Work for Disney+ and Max Steel for Cartoon Network.

Pricing and availability
Creating Stylized Facial Rigs for Production in Maya is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, which provides access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.

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Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.