Title: Creative tools for producing realistic 3D facial expressions and animation

Authors: Emmanuel Tsekleves; Ricky Constantinides; John Cosmas

Addresses: Imagination Lancaster, Design, Lancaster University, LICA Building, Bailrigg, LA1 4YW, UK ' School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Middlesex, UB8, 3PH, UK ' School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Middlesex, UB8, 3PH, UK

Abstract: Creative exploration of realistic 3D facial animation is a popular but very challenging task due to the high level knowledge and skills required. This forms a barrier for creative individuals who have limited technical skills but wish to explore their creativity in this area. This paper proposes a new technique that facilitates users' creative exploration by hiding the technical complexities of producing facial expressions and animation. The proposed technique draws on research from psychology, anatomy and employs Autodesk Maya as a use case by developing a creative tool, which extends Maya's Blend Shape Editor. User testing revealed that novice users in the creative media, employing the proposed tool can produce rich and realistic facial expressions that portray new interesting emotions. It reduced production time by 25% when compared to Maya and by 40% when compared to 3DS Max equivalent tools.

Keywords: computer-aided animation; creative computing; facial expressions; facial animation; digital entertainment; digital creativity; usability; creative tools; 3D expressions; psychology; anatomy; novice users; emotions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCRC.2016.076052

International Journal of Creative Computing, 2016 Vol.1 No.2/3/4, pp.199 - 230

Accepted: 17 Dec 2015
Published online: 22 Apr 2016 *

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