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Mimic 2 Expressions (Pro Only)

Author: CommonUser

Tools Needed

  • Mimic 2 Pro

Introduction

To add morphs that are not either phonemes or gestures you will want to use the third option. The expression tracks were created for the specific purpose of having an option of adding morphs other then the first two options. Unlike either the Phonemes or the gestures you can add new expressions.

The Stock configuration files come with a few basic expressions, but you can easily add other complete, or even partial expressions containing any combination of Morphs that you want. An example of a full face expression might be an angry Expression, or a fear Expression. But you could also use the expressions to animate a wince on one track, and a grimace on the other, thus combining two separate morphs with different timing and strength on each.

Step 1 - Expression Tracks and Palette

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In the main window there are three sections that concern the expressions. The first is the Expressions Palette (step 1), the second is Expressions Track A (step 2) and the third is Expressions Track B (step 3).

Step 2 - Creating a new Expression

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The first thing we'll do is create a new Expression in the Expressions Pallette. Go ahead and right click (command+click in Mac) in the Expressions Palette, and click on “Add” (step 4). You will see a new expression in your Palette called' er New Expression, (step 5) fancy that! OK enough fooling around, were all tired here, lets just get through this tutorial. Click on the new expression and a definition window pops up (step 6).

Step 3 - Defining Your Expression

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Lets name our new expression, Highlight New Expression in the name window (step 7). then type in the new name of your expression. Now you can open your object tree (Window - Object Tree, and click on the head just like in the phonemes) and extract the morphs you need for your expression (step 8), than highlight each morph and set your strength levels (step 9).

Step 4 - Placing and adjusting your Expressions

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The Expressions tracks in the timeline work exactly the same as the Phonemes Track. Simply drag your expression from the Expressions Palette to one of the two timelines and drop it in place. Why two timelines? As I said earlier you can isolate expressions to one part of the face and use them in combination. Or perhaps you would like to add the new breathing morph from V3 in one track while you use the other for facial expressions (but remember if you are using a morph from V3 in Mimic 2, you must remember to inject it into your V3 mimic CR2 before importing the CR2 . Of course you may only need one expression track. And in that case just ignore Expressions Track B, but to utilize this track which is closed by default, simply click on the small Arrow Icon in the corner to expand this track (step 10). while we are in this corner I'll also mention the lock Icon (step 11) to the left of the arrow, when this icon is depressed the track becomes locked and you cannot drop Expressions into the track or make any adjustments at all (this is also true of all the other tracks) I will not go in depth into the manipulation of individual expression nodes that you have dropped into the track, they work exactly the same as the phoneme nodes and you can refer back to that tutorial for a refresher if you wish. Suffice it to say that you can drag and stretch a node by clicking and dragging respectively on the center and edges of the node. Alt+clicking on the node gives you access to the strength bar allowing you to adjust the strength by dragging up and down on the bar. And all the Interpolation Methods for Between transitions are available in the timeline pop-up (Right Click for Windows or Command+Click for Mac).

Step 5 - Using multiple expressions to build a complex expression set

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In this example I have taken the afraid expression that I made, and loaded three instances back to back in the same expression track. In the first, I have lowered the strength to a slightly worried expression (Step 12), in the second I've raised it a bit higher (step 13), and in the third I have raised it to full strength (step 14).

Step 6 - Using the second track for multiple expressions

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At the end of my animation I want to add a Wince Expression, I could just add it at the end of my afraid progression. But I really want the wince to start before the fear expression ends so I will use Expressions Track B again I used three instances (step 15) but you'll notice that they are a lot shorter, as the wince should be rather abrupt. You will also notice that in Expression Track A I have added a neutral expression (step 16) this is to neutralize the afraid expression at the point that I want the wince expression to take over completely.

Well that's it for the Expressions. Of course there is a lot more you can do with them then this tutorial demonstrates, but its a good start and I hope it has helped along with the other tutorials to get you started with this versatile new Animation tool.