Dynamic Heads & Facial Animation Preview Beta

Hi developers!

We’re super excited to release a preview Studio beta for Dynamic Heads! We are only releasing a preview today of the tech and functionality that will be made available in experiences sometime next year.

What is a Dynamic Head?

A Dynamic Head is a new avatar head type that supports facial animation! The new Dynamic Head schema standardizes a set of controls that will allow Avatars on Roblox to play facial animations and trigger facial expressions.

Here are some examples of what you can do with a dynamic head:

  • Set a mood which will be your static face. For example, you set a happy face so you walk around happy all the time :slight_smile:

  • Trigger an emote that will combine a face and body animation. This means when you dance or cheer, your face expression will match your body animation

  • Equip dynamic accessories. These are face and head accessories that will deform with your facial expressions. For example, your beard will adjust when you smile

Dynamic Head Tech Preview

Today, we are only releasing a preview of the tech and functionality that will be made available in experience next year. Below we have linked documentation and example places that will allow you to:

  • Familiarize yourself with the new Dynamic Head schema and the addition of the FaceControls instance to the DataModel

  • Inspect the Head MeshPart and play around with the FaceControls instance in the example place

  • Try out animating the face within Studio using the Animation Editor

How to Try

We have set up two example places for you to try Dynamic Heads

To use facial animation please follow the steps below:

  1. Download example RBXL files from this link
  2. Open Studio, navigate to File > Beta Features > Facial Animation and check the box
  3. Restart Studio
  4. Open one of the example RBXL file from File > Open From File

Resources

Future Plans

As mentioned earlier, this is a preview studio beta for Dynamic Heads. Next year, we will do a full Studio Release and add functionality that can be implemented in your experiences!

Thank you for all the amazing hard work from the engineers and technical artists that contributed towards this studio-beta release :clap:*

FAQ

Expand for FAQ

Q: I tried playing the example place but facial animation didn’t work, why is that?

  • A: In order to try out facial animation you need to open the example place in Studio, turn on the “Facial Animation” beta feature, and restart.

Q: This is super cool! Can I add Dynamic Heads and facial animation into my experience?

  • A: Not yet! This release is a preview of the tech and functionality we’ll be releasing next year. In the meantime you can explore the documentation, familiarize yourself with the addition of the FaceControls instance in the data model, and play around with facial animation within the Studio beta feature!

Q: What is the performance impact of adding Dynamic Heads in my experience?

  • A: We’re working hard to optimize performance and we hope to release this functionality next year with little to no hit on performance. In the current release, the FaceControls instance drives the BoneInstance of the Dynamic heads and as such performance is tied to the number of bones in the Dynamic head rig.

Q: How can I make a new Dynamic Head that supports facial animation?

  • A: Next year we will release templates, tools, documentation, and tutorials that will help you make new Dynamic Heads for your experience.

Q: If I make a new facial animation for a particular Dynamic Head, do I need to re-create the facial animation for a different head?

  • A: Nope! The beauty of the FaceControls API is that we’re standardizing all the controls that move the face. This means that every Dynamic Head could be animated using the same controls and the same facial animation will work with every Dynamic Head that follows this new schema.

Q: How does the increase in the number of bones impact the performance of my experience?

  • A: The example place has Dynamic Heads with 31 bones. While we don’t expect much degradation in the run time performance (FPS), the join time for a game might be impacted slightly with rigs that have 100’s of bones.

Q: How can I use the FaceControls API?

  • A: The FaceControls API can be used to create new face animations in the Animation Editor. Furthermore, plugins can change the FACS values through the code.

Q: Can I directly animate the head using the bones?

  • A: The underlying bones in the Dynamic Head rig are currently exposed in the Data Model but this might change in the future. In fact, these bones are procedurally driven by FaceControls and hence cannot be directly animated.

Q: How can I make existing heads dynamic?

  • A: Currently there is no easy process to do this. Next Year we will release tools, documentation, and tutorials that will help you make your existing head dynamic.

Q: Can I change the FACS controls through a script?

  • A: Yes, as long as the script is running as a plugin.
397 Likes

This topic was automatically opened after 15 minutes.

This is terrifying

374 Likes

This update looks really good and has a lot of potential! The facial animation on the left looks really cute and very cool. This is one of the best updates for Animation on Roblox. However I do have to say that the one on the right looks a bit uncanny and creepy, I’m not a giant fan.

I feel as if going the cartoony route is the best idea for most of my experiences.


Now I’m going to see this in my nightmares, thanks Roblox!

image

180 Likes

I don’t want to be that guy, but it may definitely be possible to script cursing emotes. How exactly will this be moderated?

Edit: Definitely a cool feature that I can’t wait to use to make my metaverse more immersive.

35 Likes

Wow, this looks awesome keep up with this!

24 Likes

Why though? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, 1.0 is just better

56 Likes

It’s cool, but can we get some more gif/video support before trying to make facial animations :stuck_out_tongue:

25 Likes

Yeah, the one on the right in the video looks a little bit odd to me tbh but I’m liking the left one!

All of the comments below are about the more realistic looking face.


Edit: Wanted to give some more constructive feedback aside from just stating “me like this one but not this one.”

I like the iris and presumably the ability to change the iris color - that’s cool. What I don’t like that much is the sunken in appearance of the eyes.

Here’s an example from a game I was developing a while ago (not my art work):
image
It’s sort of a mix between the appearance of the left one and the right one, which I personally think would look a lot better. :man_shrugging:

Edit 2: Also the new arms. The hands just look extremely weird. Someone posted below but here’s a higher quality image.
image

Edit 3: A female face honestly doesn’t look that bad when using the more realistic option.
image
I think it has something to do with the eyelashes balancing the look out, while the male eyes just have the sunken in appearance alone (since all of the eyelash options except for one make the face look too feminine imo). Maybe add some sort of dark outline option that goes around half of the eye like in my first image? I think it’d make the male faces look a lot less creepy without having to rely on really feminine looking lashes.

Because of this, currently I kind of feel that I have to cover my face up with a beard and really thick brows in order to make a decent looking male character (hence why most of the pictures of male characters that I’ve seen with this seem to have beards).

Edit 4: To be fair, I look like a baby when I shave off my beard. Maybe I just really like beards.

39 Likes

The one on the right looks scary the one on the left is perfect

19 Likes

these hands scare me

96 Likes

Looks pretty cool! The one on the right seems a bit cursed though, mainly because of the eyes.

17 Likes

Absolutely incredible, I like where Roblox is heading, I just hope that new features, in the long run, won’t end up replacing all the older ones.

16 Likes

As a developer I am very happy with this and welcome it with open arms. Just leaving my opinion here because there seems to be a lot of toxic non-actionable feedback around tech demos of updates similar to these, but this opens the doors for more possibilities and more immersion. After all, what makes Roblox, well, Roblox, is the diverse community and the diverse range of experiences that are made by talented developers on this platform :sunglasses:

35 Likes

Left one is welcome with some work, right one can leave.
Looks okay? Not something I personally like but I can appreciate the work out into it and I’m sure it’ll get better over time, I think.

16 Likes

Why is this necessary

Why was money spent to make this

44 Likes

That’s cool but I suggest something for animated faces. Please add 2D animated faces for people who like retro stuff.
Imagine getting a 2D limited animated face. It means if you own a limited face, it can be animated if you enabled it in your settings or something like that!
It’ll help limited faces to stonk a lot!
I wish roblox employees understand what the young roblox community wants (I mean everyone around 18 years)

11 Likes

I actually tried this out via roblox studio, I’m disgusted. This doesn’t look like roblox at all and is stepping out of the comfort zone of what we’re used to, this will defenitely ruin roblox game’s and it’s classicity. If this is forced on everyone for sure I’m quitting this abomination.

Try it out to see what I’m talking about, I actually had hope for this before trying it out.

36 Likes

So does this work with 3D Models?

6 Likes

flashbangs of the wild future

9 Likes