Production Friendly Character Skinning

Johannes Saam, Jon Macey, Jian J Zhang

Abstract- Muscle-based skinning is well-known for its ability to produce detailed visual quality. Unfortunately, this advantage has not been well realised in the animation industry, because it works against the normal animation production pipeline. In this paper, we present a novel muscle-based technique, which rather than modelling muscles inside-out, will start from an already modelled character. We provide a number of tools for placing and shaping muscles inside the body of the character. By associating the muscles with the bony skeleton and the skin surface, animating the bony skeleton results in the animation of the skin surface. Compared with other muscle-based skinning methods, our method is not only able to produce detailed visual quality, but more importantly place an emphasis on the usability for production by an animator. Our preliminary experiences suggest that our technique is fully compatible with the current production flow and could be easily used in animation production.



The authors like to thank James Witworth, Peter Lewis and Malcolm Childs for their help and ideas on the development. The students of the MSc Computer animation course for their testing of the applications. Special thanks goes to Ritchi Moore for the modelling of the Cave Troll and Joao Montenegro for the final rendered images.