Zhongli eyes keep squeezing when I use the facial tracking

New Here ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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Hi all! I'm having a little trouble getting my Zhongli character profile's eyes to track. When I look to the side, the entire eye appears to squish up or move the head, depending on what I tag as independent. I can DM the files to anyone who can help! 🙂

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Puppet movement , Rigging

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Feb 24, 2022 Feb 24, 2022
Thanks for sharing the puppet. A couple of changes and it should work. Remove the Left Pupil Range tag from the Left Eyeball layer Add the Left Pupil Range tag to the Left Pupil Range layer Replace the Left Pupil Range with a larger object (its too small for the pupil to move) - e.g. I used an oval filled with red and things moved better then (you can hide the layer so its not visible once working to your satisfaction - it will still kick in even when hidden). Should be at least twice the height...

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LEGEND ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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Can you share a screenshot of the rigging hierarchy with the eyes section expanded? Sounds like you need the eyes and/or pupils to be independent. E.g. the pupils moving if not independent will warp the face.

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New Here ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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Thanks so much for the prompt reply! Here are is the requested screenshot + the appearance of the problem! Thanks so much!

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LEGEND ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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Getting independence right is important for correct behavior. Some suggestions:

  • Make the root of the puppet independent (always) The root layer with the character name.
  • If you have an independent layer with all children independent, its almost certainly wrong. If I see correctly, your Head layer does not have any non-independent children. Normally the face skin would NOT be independent. All the other facial features can then attach to it.
  • Avoid repeating layer names where you can, for specially tagged ones. E.g. Head (independent) has a child called Head (also independent). If CH decides the nested Head is the real head, all sorts of things go wrong. (However, sometimes PSD files include a nested layer with the same name and you have no control. So avoid it where you can.) 
  • I suspect you don't need the eye makeup layers independent. They don't need to move separate to the skin. I don't think it will fix the problem, but may as well clean it up.

I would do a pass over the independent layers and see how much that helps, then share a new rigging hierarchy. Basically if you click on a layer like Head, you should get a yellow outline around the head. If independent, that layer needs to overlap with the parent mesh (for the head, it needs to overlap the body artwork to attach to it). 

 

The other thing that can help is to turn on the yellow mesh of triangles over the artwork (bottom left corner button in scene window) then move the eyes around. Select the Head layer and see if moving the eyes is distorting the head mesh. It might help identify the source of the problem. E.g. if the pupil is independent, it should be able to move around without distorting the head.

 

The other thing is to understand the relative layers of face skin to eyes etc, especially with eye lids and blinks. E.g. if the eye pupils are above the skin, then the skin won't crop the pupils. 

 

Also the eye whites will be defining the pupils range (how far the pupils can move). Not sure how big yours eye. You may need to adjust if pupils are moving too far (or adjust the eye gaze strength settings).

 

But have a go, then come back again. The above is a first pass, then can dig a bit deeper.

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New Here ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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Hi, thanks for such a detailed reply! I was able to take most of your suggestions and apply them, but unfortunately, it didn't solve the problem. I've attached a few photos of my work. 
It appears the pupil doesn't distort the face mesh, but it does distort the entire eye mesh. Any ideas on how I can fix that?
Thanks again for your help! 

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New Here ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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@alank99101739 Here's a better image of the problem. 

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LEGEND ,
Feb 22, 2022 Feb 22, 2022

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That is looking better! (the hierarchy)

  • I would recommend moving the pupil range layer and blink layer up higher. (I always put blink first myself.) I think the clipping uses *all* following layers, not just the eye whites layer. I assume you want to clip the pupils using the eye white.
  • I notice there is a a handle (the numbe "1" on the left and right eye layers). Do you have a handle on those layers? What is it?
  • If you look at the Face behavior etc (lipsync, and others as well), there are "Handles" etc sections that you can expand. It should show for each concept like "Head" and "Left Eye" and "Left Pupil" what layer it found and bound to. Is it what you expected? I am a little concerned about Right Pupil holding a child called Right Puil for example. Did the behavior bind to the parent layer or the nested child layer. If the child, that could be bad.
  • Also the handle on Left Eye/ Right Eye. Did it have a ":" (colon) in the path? If so, it bound to a handle on a layer. That might lead to problems as it is moving a part of the mesh (around the handle) instead of the mesh as a whole. That might explain the problem you have. With the yellow triangles on, sometimes you can see a part of the face/eyes that is "stuck". Looking for handles or origins at that point can then be researched further as a potential clause.

 

So, it is looking more normal to me, but I think the clipping is not quite right, and the handles on the Left Eye and Right Eye layers concerns me. If there is a tagged handle, you might want to remove the handles.

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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It appears that there's a handle for the right/left pupil attached to their respective eye layers, but when I remove it, the pupil stops moving all together. Is there any way to fix that? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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After you remove the handle, can you confirm that the correct handle is on the Pupil itself?

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LEGEND ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Just to clarify @TheOriginalGC wording, I think the second "handle" he meant "tag".

 

You don't want that handle on the Left Eye layer. Its like sticking a pick in the artwork drawn onto a thin sheet of rubber then stretching the point around. That would completely explain the behavior you are seeing. It would stretch really weird.

 

But when you remove the handle you said it did not work. There is a "Left Pupil" layer you have (which is marked as independent - which is why moving that layer will not cause stretching of the rest of the artwork - it effectively starts a new sheet of rubber that will slide over the top of the other sheet). If its not moving, click on the Left Pupil layer and check that the "tag" for "Left Pupil" has been set on that layer. It might have got turned off somewhere along the line by accident. CH looks for layers using tags (not the layer name - CH is friendly and automatically adds tags based on layer names for you, but you can override it.) Tags are shown in the properties panel on the right.

 

So, as The Original GC said, also make sure your Left Pupil layer has the "Left Pupil" tag turned on in the properties panel. Hopefully that will fix it.

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have fixed it. I removed the handles from the left and right eyes, and made sure the pupil tags were on their respective layers, but it still doesn't move. 😞
I've attached images of the tags on their respective layers. 

 

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LEGEND ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Okay, next step (sigh). We check the layers it has (and has not) bound to. If it found the wrong layers (e.g. another layer with the tag) it would explain it. (But frankly what you have looks good on the surface.)

 

Here is Rin (Adobe demo puppet). On the right I expanded the Eye Gaze behavior Views and Handles. Could you expand them and we can look for anything strange (like something bound to the wrong layer for some reason).

 

alank99101739_0-1645672739328.png

 

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LEGEND ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Oh, what is the Pupil Range by the way? If the range is not bigger than the pupil, the eyes won't be able to move. I notice you have a pupil range layer - just make sure they are bigger than the pupils. 

 

https://extra-ordinary.tv/2018/04/21/debugging-character-animator-eyess/ has more instructions by the way - this is what I go through.

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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The pupil range is definitely bigger than the pupils. I just checked. 

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Here are the eye gaze views and handles!

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LEGEND ,
Feb 23, 2022 Feb 23, 2022

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Hmmm - I wonder why there are 2 views. Is there a frontal or something tag on the root layer of your character? Try removing that. If that does not work, can you "export puppet" and share a link to the puppet via Google Drive or similar? (DM if you want to keep it private). Running out of ideas...

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LEGEND ,
Feb 24, 2022 Feb 24, 2022

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Thanks for sharing the puppet. A couple of changes and it should work.

  • Remove the Left Pupil Range tag from the Left Eyeball layer
  • Add the Left Pupil Range tag to the Left Pupil Range layer
  • Replace the Left Pupil Range with a larger object (its too small for the pupil to move) - e.g. I used an oval filled with red and things moved better then (you can hide the layer so its not visible once working to your satisfaction - it will still kick in even when hidden). Should be at least twice the height of the pupil generally.

Worked fine after that. 

 

alank99101739_0-1645691332253.png

 

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New Here ,
Feb 24, 2022 Feb 24, 2022

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Thank you so much! This fixed it! 🙂

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