How to deal with Facial Animations

Hello Everyone!

I need some advice on how I should approach facial animations. I have no skill in rigging or modeling, So I would have to hire someone to help me, but I’m at a point where the face is just too static and personally I feel it takes away from the immersion. Any advice on how you all add facial animations to your characters?

You could look at this thread for some basis.
But it seams that there currently is no facial animation system implemented in UE4.


It is really not to complicated to make some face morphs. Correct lipsync is another thing.
How do you want to trigger the facial animations and which ones?
Random, speechbased?
Edit: For wrinkles you need many vertices, when you want to archieve it right. (right facelayout and density of loop cuts).

that or extracted normal maps that blend in and out (or even animated maps) tho that is like the next level. First you want a facial system ingame either with just blend targets or bones.

Just yesterday I was able to add my full bone based facial rig into the engine. Im currently applying it via a separate facial state machine and using blendAdditive in the animGraph to merge facial and body animations.
By having a bone based rig and regular skeletal animation clips for facial animation its then easy to drive off blendTargets and facial wrinkle maps in those clips with notifies or some system im yet not aware of. Also you can then create facial animations that is really targeted to the speech file in your dccs (maya,max,blender) with more than just blunt lipsync and have them nice and synchronized on execution ingame.

So how are you planning on making your face rig? bones only? A combination of bones for broad areas and blend targets for details? Or completely in blend targets?

Screenie pls, how long it took you?

Im at work now, but Ill post a demo later today when I come home… Its nothing fancy tho, havent done anything with blends and maps so far, just spinning ideas here on what I think is possible. In fact I havent got any updated demo of it so far… its not that special tho for it be worth making one… But heres a demo I made months ago in maya testing my latest bone based mouth rig which I managed to get into the engine:

Was just experimenting around, took me about 1 hour to figure out how to make it work. Im fairly new to ue4 and discovering the capabilities with a facial skeleton (my current skeleton asset didnt include facial bones) So had to look up how that works… thankfully the engine is quite smart about skeletal assets and it was just a matter of adding the body mesh with facial bones included and import using the original skeletal asset. That simply includes those facial bones in the asset whenever a mesh with facial skinCluster references it. From there I just made a quick test animation in maya, exported it and played it on an emote action I had set up for the body days before.
In the end its quite simplistic, but I can definitely see the potential here.

I like it :), i am fascinated in morphing too, but way more simple then your “simplistic” stuff.

heres a little demo of how im currently approaching this
Ive only been looking into unreal integration of my facial rig for a few hours tho, so there may some room for optimization.

that’s very helpful, thank you

LOL “oops” ^^ @Adeptus
That is really cool looking ingame.
Everyone will buy that because she has rigged breasts and i bet there could be some fun with those
facial animations.

yeah haha, dat blooper.
But im pretty sure they wouldnt allow me to make it a marketplace asset because it has a non-standard skeleton… and because of nudity :frowning: