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Joint Based Facial Rigging

Recently, we had a little spare time to work on a small research project. We used a female character that we designed in order to see how far we could push the expressiveness of the 3D character with an optimized face rig.

The face rig is made up of 22 total joints, with no blendshapes or correctives (hence no extra drawcalls).

Here is a playblast of our character Mia, doing a standard take animation. The goal of this exercise was to see how far we could push the range of her animation with a real time mobile game budget, and what kind of subtlety we could achieve with a face rig of less than 30 bones.

A few more expressions, through joint deformation.

and finally, here is an exported version running in Unity3D

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