Morph targets and bone rigging for 3D facial animation : A comparative case study

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Högskolan på Gotland/Institutionen för speldesign

Abstract: Facial animation is an integral and increasing part of 3D games. This study investigates how the two most common methods of 3D facial animation compare to each other. The goal of this study is to summarize the situation and to provide animators and software developers with relevant recommendations. The two most utilized methods of facial animation; morph target animation and bone driven animation are examined with their strong and weak aspects presented. The investigation is based on literature analysis as well as a comparative case study approach which was used for comparing multiple formal and informal sources according to seven parameters such as: performance, production time, technical limitations, details and realism, ease of usability, cross platform compatibility and common combinations of systems. The strengths and weaknesses of the two methods of 3D facial animation are compared and discussed followed by a conclusion part which present recommendation to which is the preferable method to use under different circumstances. In some cases, the results are inconclusive due to a lack of data.  It is concluded that a combination of morph target and bone driven animation will give the most artistic control if time is not limited.

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