Eyes Without a Face: Integrating detached facial features into Pixar's character pipeline

Anna-Christine Lykkegaard, Ana Lacaze, Jonathan Page


From an asset creation perspective, Pixar's first long formseries, Win or Lose, had a daunting number of featured characters. In addition to the large scope of the project, the design pushed further into the stylistic trend of somerecent Pixar films - favoring graphic shape language infacial expressions. The methodology that was so successful in those projects simply wouldn't scale to the number of characters we needed to deliver. In terms of articulation, we knew that one thing that made wide, round mouths difficult was maintaining smooth surfaces as the topology skewed and distorted around the nose and cheeks. That insight prompted the question: What if they weren't connected? While we pursued this idea with a focus on the advantages in asset creation, when those assets were put in the hands of animators, we found that the approach yielded an unexpected quality to the animation: combining the graphic nature of 2D design in a 3D environment.

Paper (PDF)

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