Facegen Tools

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Facegen Tools for HeroEngine is a group of scripts that automates much of the tedious process that is involved with the FaceGen process. You can access FaceGen Tools from the Character Tools utility panel in 3ds Max in older versions of the Art Pipeline. In Max 2012 and newer this tool became entirely inoperable due to changes in Max and is no longer included.

Prerequisites

Please note, Facegen Tools is an old tool that was created for the Hero's Journey team, and was never fully completed or attended to be used outside of the Hero's Journey game team. It's not available in Maya nor is it supported by the Hero Engine team.

Facegen is a very intense art pipeline that can take several hours per character with one dedicated team member that does nothing but troubleshoot the Technical Art aspect of Facegen. It is not recommended to be utilized in a game project if someone can not be dedicated to Facegen. Furthermore, Facegen can become a performance burden if not used within a strict budget. It was used for morphing a character body's height and weight in Hero's Journey. It was later discussed among the members of the team that it would be have been easier and cheaper to just make fixed character heights and swap out the character models and rigs when a player picks a preset height, instead of a slider that blends the multiple models.

Before setting up a FaceGen Dynamic Character, it is required that you have a solid understanding of dynamic characters with HeroEngine. This is the Beta version of this tool so it may have some kinks, please refer to the Facegen documentation on this wiki if you need further explanation of any given step. There are a few things this doesn't do yet. It does not copy your completed .egm, .ctl or .fg files, and it only sets up morphs as skeletal morphs.


UPDATE: 3ds Max 2009 users, if you get an MAXScript runtime error, please see the FaceGen FAQ page to resolve this known issue.



In the following steps, we will:

Step 1: Prepping you Control Morphs .max file

The objects that are shown in your viewport will be scanned for FaceGenTools control meshes panel. The meshes respect traditional morphing rules.

FaceGen requires at least three morphs ( a base mesh and two targets ) in order to run. If you only have one target, simply duplicate one of them and make it a dummy.

Step 2: Setting up FaceGenTools Settings Panel

Step 2 - Blank Settings Panel


After the Settings Panel is complete it should look something like the next two images.

step 2 - Loaded Settings Panel step 2 - Loaded Settings Panel

Step 3: Setting the Control Morphs

The Control Meshes tab scans the viewport for geometry that can be used as a control morph and places it in the list. For each control morph, you must select a skeleton and a keyword.

Step - 3 Control Morphs panel opened, but not set
The following image is what the panel looks like when all settings have been completed.
Step - 3 Control Morphs Panel Set

Press the Set Up Character button to start set up. This will do the following.


Step 4: Run Facegen Customizer to create Base Statistics

Step - 4 Create a New FG Data Project
Step - 4 Loading .tri files
Go to the facegen root directory that you specified in step 2. Open the customizer_1_1 folder that is inside your Facegen Directory that was specified in step 2. Run customizer.exe

First time users of FaceGen Customizer, please see FaceGen_Customizer for license information.


After opening the Customizer,

  • For example if the my facegen project data is called "Goldman_fgprj", then the Goldman_fgprj directory would be at the same level as the customizer_1_1 directory ( the customizer.exe is in here ).


Q;\autofacgenProjTests\Goldman\Customizer_1_1\data\internalMeanFace.tri


Customizer create cache.png


Step - 5 Export new parts or convert existing parts for integration

Step - 5 Convert Existing Parts
For existing parts, do the following: Now we need to take any existing parts for the character, convert them to .obj and run them through the customizer. Existing parts are likely: part files that are already exported and loaded up and the dynamic character skeleton.


The Following will occur:


For new parts do the following: New Parts are parts that have never been exported before.

The Following will occur:


Step - 6 Run Facegen Customizer Parts integration

Customizer load project.png
The parts now need to run through integration in order to conform to the control meshes.
Customizer parts integration.png




Step - 7 Upload all the files

Skeletalmorph clean engine ui.png


See also

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