Face-bones for game engine skeleton
|Target version:||MakeHuman 1.2.0|
I'd like to propose that we add some basic facial rigging bones to the game engine skeleton. I've not seen a game without facial animation in quite a number of years, it's even common-place on modern mobile games. I'm thinking a set of very basic mouth and eye bones. Having basic mouth animation, opening/closing of eyelids and basic eye ball rotation would be ideal.
Of course, we do need to keep the bone count limitations into consideration and it might be worth considering having two game skeletons, one with additional bones, and one that matches what we currently have (53 bones in the game skeleton).
My preference would be to stick to a total of 70 bones or less due to UE4 using hardware skinning on mobile devices, which is very fast but limits the bone count on those platforms to 75 bones. As soon as you try and exceed that the model won't even show up on UE4 mobile. We are currently sitting on 53 bones in the game engine skeleton, so it means we have around 15 bones to play with. I think it's important giving people the chance to add some additional custom bones, hence my proposal of no more than 70 bones, with less being the preference.
Regarding Unity 5, my understanding is that it uses software transformation of bones and as a result, doesn't have a bone limit to worry about on mobile devices, however, additional bones would mean additional processing time, so just something we need to keep in mind.
I'd like us to keep the rest of the skeleton exactly as it exists today as it works really well in UE4, and retargeting is pretty simple with the bone setup we have at the moment. So my preference is just to add some face bones to what we already have.
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