Adding wrinkles to character’s faces is the most common technique to make them look older.
While static wrinkles might be enough for representing age, animating them will add realism and make the character much more expressive.
The Main Idea
We will divide facial wrinkles into two main groups. The forehead wrinkles and the oral wrinkles. We will cycle between the forehead wrinkles as the eyebrows move up and down. We will also add some local twists to make the movement look more natural. For the mouth wrinkles, we will also create several static options and attach each wrinkle variation to a mouth shape that will trigger that wrinkle state.
There are two main types of wrinkles. Wrinkles that form due to gravity and loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles that appear as a result of frequent facial movements.
All facial wrinkles move as the facial muscles move.
The human face consists of more than 30 facial muscles that can form thousands of identifiable facial expressions.
To understand the shape of wrinkles that are formed in a different area of the face it is best to take a deeper look into human anatomy.
Forehead area wrinkles form as a result of different forehead muscle contractions: frontalis, procerus, and corrugator.
Those produce horizontal wrinkles across the whole forehead area, and vertical lines at the root of the nose.
Oral muscles, such as orbicularis, buccinator, depressor anguli oris, and others contribute to wrinkling around the mouth area. Those cause folds around the corners of the mouth, pull the skin at the chin area, and more.
We will want the forehead wrinkles to change their appearance as the character moves the eyebrows.
When the eyebrows move up the forehead wrinkles become more pronounced while the eyebrows are lowered the horizontal wrinkles become less noticeable and the vertical ones appear.
Create a Forehead Movement cycle in the Design Software
Add Eyebrow Handles and Face Behavior to the "Forehead Wrinkles" Layer
Add Layer Picker Behavior to the Forehead Wrinkles
As the lips and jaw move and change shape, different facial wrinkles are formed. For different wrinkles to appear as the mouth changes shape the wrinkles should be attached to them. There are few ways to achieve this:
- It is possible to include the facial wrinkles together with the whole lower face area and tag everything as the mouth. This way the whole lower face will switch each time that a different mouth shape is triggered.
Draw Different Mouth Wrinkles Combinations
Attach Each Wrinkle State to a Mouth Shape
- Create a New Layer named “Mouth Wrinkles”.
- On each sublayer of the “Mouth Wrinkles” layer, add all the possible mouth wrinkles states.
- In Character Animator, tag the mouth wrinkles layer as the mouth.
- Tag each of the mouth wrinkle sub-layers as different mouth shape corresponding to the mouth shapes you would like the wrinkles to appear next to.
Once your character has animated wrinkles, you may want to make other facial elements more expressive. Here are few techniques that will allow you more control over the eye animations in Adobe Character Animator.
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