Hey guys, I am in my 3rd year at University and have been working on my Final Year Project! I will be investigating into animated normal maps and using them to enhance a facial rig. Most of you will know this but a few examples are the Uncharted series, MGS4, L.A. Noire etc.
The aim of the project is to present the outcome within a game engine. I have cracked the technique of using FaceFX and wrinkle maps so UDK will be the game engine used. A test video will be added when it's uploaded.
As part of this project I have been comparing examples of good face topology to find similarities.
Some of the models I have been looking at Naughty Dog workflow (link below), forum discussions (link below) and also books such as D'Artiste Character Modelling.
GDC PDF - http://www.naughtydog.com%2Fdocs%2FN...sZDZ4mssc77uYg
Polycount Discussion - http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80005
The image below is a paint over from an image in the forum discussion linked above (owned by crazyfool). Iv'e found that these are the key edge loops necessary for adequate topology, the rest of the face is mostly dependant upon the artist and doesn't make much of a difference. What do you guys think of this?
So having found this out I have created some preliminary testing showing how animated normal maps can affect different parts of the face. These were to prove the technique was possible. Here are Tests 1 and 2 so far and I will upload Test 3 soon.
Test 1 - http://vimeo.com/32637979
(Test showing how two separate normal maps are blended at different intervals on the same mesh)
Test 2 - http://vimeo.com/32638258
(Test showing the increase in emotion expressed on a mesh by simply using an animated normal map)
Here is a link to show you how the blending material was created: