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Facial animation: Animated Normal maps

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[font="Calibri"]Hello there. I am a final year student at Staffordshire University, studying Computer Games Design. I am having a little trouble with my dissertation project, hopefully if I give you some of the project’s details and the issue I’m having maybe somebody can shine some light on the situation.[/font]

[font="Calibri"]My aim is to apply a normal map onto a 3d head that can be triggered in specific areas, based on the movement of bones in the facial rig. The entire model (plus animation, bones etc) is to be imported into Epic Game’s Unreal Engine.[/font]

[font="Calibri"]So far a facial rig, consisting of bones in a similar layout to the Marcus Fenix rig, has been constructed. [/font]

[font="Calibri"]Also, research and a case study in creating animated normals within a games engine have been done. Results show this as an ineffective method for producing my final goal.[/font]

[font="Calibri"]Finally, research and a case study have been conducted into animated blend masks, as a way to conceal and reveal certain areas of the face’s normal map. This approach was not effective as specific areas of the blend mask cannot be triggered.[/font]

[font="Calibri"]Any help here would be much appreciated. Thank you[/font]


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