Stefan Habel

Visual Effects Software Developer
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Facial Animation Toolset for Maya

A facial animation extension for Autodesk Maya

Last updated: 30 December 2021

My role: Software Engineer, UI Designer
Languages/Frameworks used: C++, MEL, Maya API, NSIS

The Facial Animation Toolset for Autodesk Maya is a set of plug-ins and scripts that are dedicated to facial animation, and was developed as part of the "Artificial Actors" research project at the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction of Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

FAT for Maya consists of the following tools:

Tool Description
AFS Adaptable Facial Setup Automates the most time-consuming aspects of the facial setup process while offering comprehensive control over all facial regions
GM Geometry Matcher
with Skin Weights Cloner
Morphes volumes from a source geometry into a target geometry and clones weights from one skin to another
CBS Corrective Blendshape Manager Provides a UI for creating, editing and deleting blendshape targets for a skinned blendshape mesh

During my time as an R&D intern at the Institute of Animation I was involved in the UI design and programming of the GM and CBS tools, working with MEL in Maya. I also created the toolset's installer for Windows using the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS).

You can download the toolset from the AI's website:

animationsinstitut.de/en/research/tools/facial-animation-toolset
Screenshot of the Geometry Matcher's "Locator Curves" frame Screenshot of the toolset's shelf in Maya
Screenshot of the CBS Manager's "Create" tab
Screenshot of the CBS Manager's "Edit" tab
Screenshot of the CBS Manager's "Delete" tab
Screenshot of the toolset's Windows installer, page 1 Screenshot of the toolset's Windows installer, page 4