Faceposer Guide Part 3

Tutorial Description

In this Tutorial, you'll learn about :

  • Look at actor... : Make a NPC Look at a specific target
  • Ramp Tool : Give your events a gradual intensity
  • Face actor... : Make a NPC Face a specific target

Requirements :
- Faceposer Part I : Setting up the workspace

Look at actor...

Let's take our previous workspace :
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1) Right Clic on the timeline of our "look at" channel > Look at actor...
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2) Name your event and specify the target your actor should look at. Leave the other parameters untouched.
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Note : For organisation and presentation reasons, I like to name my events with their type name followed by their target (here : Look at + Player ). So, when you'll have a scene with dozens of events (and you will) you can directly recognize what event is doing what.

Note : In the Look At Actor field, you can use all the usual parameters :

  • The name of the target as it is in Hammer
  • !player to look at the player
  • ...
  • !target1, !target2, ... if you're not yet sure what is the target's name going to be. Afterward, in Hammer (with a logic_choreographed_scene, of course), you can give a value for each !target#
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Note : Remember that the Target doesn't necessarily need to be a NPC...

Great ! Now we have a Look at actor... event !
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3) Adjust its size by widening / shortening its borders.
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Now, if you play your scene, you'll see that your actor looks at his target instantly, which definitely doesn't look (haha... herm) good.
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That's where the Ramp tool comes in hand !

Ramp Tool

In a few words ; the Ramp tool will let you give, at certain times on the timeline, a precise intensity to an event.

Here we go :

1) Select your Look at actor... event and Double Clic on the Ramp tool Tab.
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You'll see the Ramp tool window appear, which looks like this :
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2) CTRL + Left Clic anywhere on the Ramp to create a Ramp Point.
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What you see has appeared is the Intensity Curve of your event.

In my example :

  • The event starts with an intensity of 0%.
  • After 0.25 seconds, the event has an intensity of +- 60%.
  • And at the end of the event, the intensity is back to 0%.

The curve makes the intensity of the event going smoothly from its beginning to its end and through every Ramp Points.

What is going to happen if I play the scene, is that :

  • My actor starts watching in front of him.
  • After 0.25 seconds his head will be somewhere between "in front of him" and the target.
  • Finally, he will slowly turn is head back in front of him.

Note : A very important thing to notice, event tough the head is not turning 100% toward the target, the EYES, they do (fortunately) look right at the target.

How to Manipulate the Ramp Points :

    a) Create :
    CTRL + Left Clic on the timeline of the Ramp Tool

    b) Move around :
    Keep CTRL + Left Clic pressed on a Ramp Point > Move the mouse around

    c) Delete :
    Left Clic on a Ramp to select (it will turn red) > Press Delete

Now that you know how to manipulate the Ramp Tool :

3) Create as many Ramp Points as you need to make a smooth animation.
The following is a simple and classic example, but remember, freedom to make more complex animations is all yours !
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4) Play and enjoy !

Face actor...

Well... that part will be short, as it works EXACTLY the same way the Look at actor... event works, excepts it controls the chest and eventually the legs if the intensity of the event is 100%.

A Face actor... event is mostly used along with a Look at actor... event as facing a target doesn't make the actor look at it. Instead, he will randomly turn is head around.

A few explanations nonetheless :

1) Right Clic on the timeline of our "look at" channel > Face actor...
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2) Name your event and specify the target your actor should face. Leave the other parameters untouched.
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Note : Now the thing I wanted to say concerns that checkbox Lock facing (twist but don't turn). Well, personnaly, I don't like that option who, as it's names says, makes your actor move his chest only. I don't like it because it can look really odd in some situation (when the target is too much behind the actor for instance).

Instead, I'd rather make a Face actor... event with a 50% intensity.
Here's an example :
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That way, the actor will only turn his chest a little, and eventually turn a foot or a leg if the target is too much behind. A move that looks natural.

Here's the result in game. The Rebel turns a little in Barney's direction (check his right leg's position ) :
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Congratulations ! Making a NPC Look and Face something is a big step forward in the making of realistic scenes !

In the next Faceposer Tut', I'll be talking about another very important subject in scenes : NPC animations (Sequences & Gestures).

Until then, enjoy and have fun !


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