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Stop Staring!: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right Paperback – 22 Aug 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Bk&CD-Rom edition (22 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0782141293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0782141290
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

"No other book to date presents facial animation concepts, theory, and practical application with the authority that Stop Staring does."
—TIEM Design

Crafting believable facial animation is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding aspects of 3D graphics. Done right, this art breathes life into otherwise deadpan faces.

In this extraordinary book, professional animator Jason Osipa teaches you how to achieve realistic facial modeling and animation. Using detailed practical examples complemented with high–quality images and a touch of humor, Osipa leads you from design and modeling to rigging and animation. The CD and full–color insert demonstrate techniques you can use to fine–tune your facial animations.

Reviewed and approved by Alias|Wavefront, Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right, uses the Academy Award® winning Maya® 3D animation and effects software as the focus for its examples, yet the principles and techniques are described in ways that will be helpful to anyone working on facial modeling and animation.

Mastering the Face
Start out by getting familiar with the range of possible facial expressions, then focus on animating and modeling the mouth, eyes and brows. When you’re ready to bring it all together, you can generate a scene from concept to completion. Topics covered include:

  • Understanding how the whole face affects expression
  • Learning visimes and lip sync techniques
  • Constructing a mouth and mouth keys
  • Building emotion through the eyes and brows
  • Building interfaces to easily connect and control your models
  • Skeletal setup, weighting, and rigging

About the Author

Jason Osipa has 5 years of focused industry experience in 3D facial animation and modeling. In recent years, he′s been the Supervising Technical Artist at Mainframe Entertainment and an instructor in CG animation and production at the Vancouver Film School. Jason currently works at 3D game maker, Surreal Software. Jason′s professional credits include ReBoot, Max Steel, Barbie in The Nutcracker, and Casper′s Haunted Christmas.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Client d'Amazon on 1 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
seriously, Facial modelling and animation is basically one of the hardest things to do in 3D, 1 frame of bad timing or 1 over-emphasized motion could mean the loss of reality, meaning you lose your audience!
Jason Osipa has a way of taking this complex matter, and making it extremely simple! using 4 basic movements for lip synch (open - close - wide - narrow) and 2 for the brows (up/down - squeeze)
He then takes these simple motions, and by combining them he makes stunningly realistic facial animation.
I've bought about 10 books on animation in general so far, and this is DEFINATLY the best one I've read! I Truly recommend it to anyone who is serious about character animation. Although it is more aimed to the maya user, he explains how to do the same things in other packages through sidenotes. Beware though, this book is not aimed at the novice, but more at the intermediate user.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Michael Watts on 30 July 2004
Format: Paperback
An amazing book on how to efficiently model your head for animation and which takes you through the process of animating expressions. Aimed at the Maya user (but can also be used with other software) this isnt for people new to their software package of choice. But if you need to know a lot about animating a head and all the intricacies involved then you need this!
Well done Jason Osipa on a truly great book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 33 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Forty blend shapes... 7 July 2005
By Michael H. Young - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant concepts and discussion of details, but somewhat slow in painting the big picture. He never really comes out and says it, so I will. The end result is a control rig for 40 blend shapes, each painstakingly hand drawn and tuned. The state of the art doesn't allow shortcuts; I don't think it ever can or will. If you can accept that all 40 shapes are needed to model the range of human facial expression, this book is for you. Osipa makes a compelling argument that each is necessary; guides you through the modeling to make it possible; and wraps up with an elegant rig to control and manage them all. The result is a talking head, simply amazing in its range and control of nuance. Still, 40 heads per character is a huge investment. Is it worth "Doing Right?" Or can you continue to fake it? Buy the book; play with the rig; and find out for yourself.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books on my shelf! 12 Sept. 2004
By John Sheffield - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'd fallen into an uninspired rut of "it's as good as it's gonna get!" with regard to the facial animation work I've been doing, when I ordered this book because Amazon's Recommendation script has established some sort of fiendish control over my brain. I didn't expect to be moved too much, having read a fair amount on facial animation and lip synch and been presented with paraphrases of the same stuff over and over. As it turned out, I was hooked on "Stop Staring" after about a page. After a chapter or two, I was picking shards of my shattered animator's ego out of my palms. I'd also eagerly agreed to the idea of locking what I already knew away in a dark closet and starting from scratch, this time for real. The improvement in my work since doing so has been obvious and exciting. I love the controls he supplies as well. If you're still controlling your faces via lists of numeric fields, becoming acquainted with this puppeteer-like alternative is worth the price of the book even if you didn't read a word of the text!

As clichèd as the thought may be, the only negative feeling I get from this book is that, having learned so much from it, the lack of time available to go back and redo most of the work I've already completed on my current project is fairly traumatic.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The best book on Virtual Human face animation design. 23 Jun. 2004
By Quinbould - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As author of "Virtual Humans" I'm always looking for good books that bring a higher level to face animation. This is it. Jason writes in an accessable style, good humor and the kind of authority you want in a book. Frankly most other books that cover this subject are pretty boring and the faces are ugly. Jason is a very talented pro who privides you with everything you need to create the best, most realistic facial animation in remarkably easy ways. I recommend it highly to those of you who want to perfect your face animation techniques. His approach is different and better than any other that I've seen. I especially recommend this book to anyone who has purchased "Virtual Humans"
Peter Plantec
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By James G. Petropoulos - Published on
Format: Paperback
I can't possibly say enough good things about this book and its author! The first thing which struck (and stuck with) me is that Osipa is an animator first and foremost; Osipa spoke my language from the first page! Basically, he simplifies the many elements which go into facial animation and has come up with a virtually fool-proof yet expandable system based on combining several blend shapes at a time into an extremely flexible series of facial expressions! Previous books either left me marooned with a gazillion blend shape sliders, or otherwise barely explained the process at all in any clear terms. Osipa's book concentrates on facial animation as it applies to lip sync and facial acting!

Using his own head as a model, Osipa also takes the reader through a quick yet very complete facial modelling course, which concentrates on modelling the head with animation in mind and avoiding many of the pitfalls we might otherwise overlook. Particular attention is given to the eye area, the mouth area, and less obvious but equally important areas such as the teeth and eyebrows (all of which figure in to quality facial animation). Subsequent sections deal with the blend shape process and modelling the various expressions themselves. His advice here is priceless, and he constantly reminds us of basic facial proportions and relationships and how they change as the facial expression changes. He also applies these "rules" to more cartoony heads. ALL of this is well-represented by examples on the accompanying support CD. There is very little room for error!

Perhaps the most important feature of this book, however, are the chapters concerning the rigging and weighing of the head, and setting up the facial controls (things many animators tend to shy away from). Had it not been for Osipa's book, I probably would have shied away from the expression editor one had ever explained how it works in any of the other books I've purchased...but Osipa eases the reader into the magical realm of creating expressions. To make it even easier, the support CDs contain the control sliders and expressions. All I had to do was copy and paste them, and Lo! it worked! By seeing expressions in action, I tried a few of my own and they worked as well! Osipa should be covered in gold for this chapter alone!

Finally, Osipa presents his own take on how to approach lip sync. It may or may not be to everyone's liking, but it does work and it is well-founded on what real dialogue looks like on film. Rather than the traditional phonemes (where the facial expressions are based on the sounds one usually hears), Osipa uses "visimes", a more visual breakdown of a dialogue. Instead of vowel/consonant sounds, he explains visimes in terms of "open", "closed", "narrow", "wide", &c. His control system, however, can be used for both his "visime" method as well as the more traditional phoneme method.

I've said a lot already but there are a few more things I wish to share with potential readers of this book. ALL books have a few warts, and this one is no exception, but the warts are few and very far between! The most significant "wart" is that some of the support files were written for older versions of Maya and may not work on newer versions, but Osipa maintains a website with updates, and perhaps newer editions of the book have already addressed this. Another relatively minor inconvienience is the flow of the book. One must jump ahead a few chapters and then back a few in order to build the head, which can make things a bit confusing the first time through. There is a method to this madness, however, and with patience and repeated readings (you WILL want to read this until you've memorized it!), it isn't a problem. There are one or two places in the book where Osipa's wonderful sense of humor might temporarily confuse the reader, but studying the support files cleared up most of my own confusion.

Perhaps the BEST thing of all is Osipa himself. When all else failed and I still couldn't figure something out, he actually answered my e-mail questions! He is an author who supports his product, and will endeavor to help all who ask. I've practically worn out my first copy of this book but not in vain! Once mastered, the contents of this book will bring a new confidence to any MAYA animator and open up a whole new world hitherto available only to a knowledgable few! If I could give this book six and a half or even ten stars, I would! Bravo Zulu, Jason Osipa! WELL DONE INDEED!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Lost in the woods without this 19 April 2006
By Patrick E. Donnelly - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently finished a big project that required sync and realistic facial expressions, and reading this book was like being bathed in a pure, heavenly light. Osipa guides you through the creation of numerous plausible blend shapes and helps you avoid the most common errors. Before I bought this, I was doing everything wrong. The range of emotion that this system is capable of expressing is near total, and certainly enough for any project I can think of short of a major motion picture.

Don't make the same mistakes I did the first time around. Unless you have years of instruction on human anatomy in motion under your belt, buy this book before you attempt any kind of lip sync or serious facial animation. It will save you from the pain of building inaccurate shapes and watching your character painfully contort into each of them to strain out an expression. The information Osipa provides on lip sync in the age of computer animation is very, very valuable to someone like myself who has tried to sync in the past and failed. The facial rig that the book provides in the attached CD and the automatic scripts that apply it are, alone, worth twice the modest price of the book.

I have a lot of marginally useful books on 3d that contain just enough information to cash in, but this resource is clearly heartfelt. Osipa wants to teach you how it is done and his easygoing style makes it a pleasure to read.
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