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midix

Facial rig for games - bones or morphs?

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[size="4"]My planned "game" is more like just another 3d virtual world and I'll need some acceptable facial animations for avatars and NPCs (maybe not really natural looking, just something that is not completely awkward).

The game engine of my choice allows me to use and mix both skeletal and morph animations.

As all the body animations are skeletal, at first I thought that it would be easier to deal only with skeletal animations and so I could create a facial rig with bones. But after some exploring I found out that people mostly use morph animations for face. It's hard to find any tutorials about how to create a facial rig with bones and without morphs.

Now I am thinking, which approach would be more logical and more resource efficient considering that there may be many different avatars and NPCs which are running faical animations in the same scene (smiling, crying, talking)? Should I spend some time and create (or find) a facial rig with bones or just go with the flow and do the morphs?

Another factor is that I would like to allow users to change some features of their avatar face. I guess, I could create morphs and expose control sliders for the user. But the problem: if user has modified his avatar with morphs, then how will the bone animations work? After the user modifications, the vertices will be in some other positions and not the ones which the bone animations need as zero positions.

I would be grateful for any links to good tutorials about creating faical animations with bones.

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Ok, I found some facial bone rig tutorials, but most of them are really complex, oriented more towards rendering and not for efficient realtime usage in games. I guess, I have to search harder and experiment with some rigs.

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