Updates to the Dynamic Heads Beta Feature

Hi Developers!

Last October we released the Dynamic Heads & Facial Animation Preview Beta. Today we’re making some updates to this beta feature and releasing some new functionality to prepare for our full release of Dynamic Heads and Facial Animation later this year.

To use the features mentioned in this post, you will need to turn on the following two beta features in Studio:

  • Facial Animation
  • Automatic Skinning Transfer

Update to the Beta Feature

The major change we’re making to the beta feature involves hiding the bone instances under the head MeshPart in the Data Model. Previously we’ve shown these bone instances, but moving forward they won’t be visible in any Dynamic Head asset.

We’re primarily making this change to simplify the Data Model and avoid any confusion around animating Dynamic Heads using the bones. All face animations should use FACS, which standardizes the animation of Dynamic Heads to a set of 50 controls regardless of the underlying bone count.

Below you can see that the Data Model has changed to hide the bone instances under the Head MeshPart.

Previously                                      Going Forward


Documentation

Alongside this update, we’re releasing some fresh documentation, example files, and test scenes to help with creating, implementing, and animating Dynamic Heads!

Below is the full list of the documentation:

We’ve also updated the example scenes we released last year to reflect the changes in the assets we mentioned above. Here are the links to those place files:


Face Animation Editor

To help with the creation of Face Animations, we’re excited to release the Face Animation Editor into beta! The Face Animation Editor provides an intuitive interface to animate Dynamic Heads using FACS within the existing Animation Clip Editor plugin. More information can be found here!


Automatic Skinning Transfer

We have also released Automatic Skinning Transfer into Beta. This enables layered clothing accessories without built-in skinning to deform properly. By turning on the “Automatic Skinning Transfer” Beta Feature, you will see a new property under the WrapDeformer’s WrapLayer instances which allows the deformation of accessories based on the skinning information of the character it’s attached to. More information can be found here!


Future Plans

This release brings us one step closer to more immersive social communication and self-expression through Dynamic Heads and Facial Animation.

As a sneak peek, we’re working towards several upcoming releases that will expand the use of Dynamic Heads & Facial Animation:

  • Full Release of Dynamic Heads and Facial Animation
    • This will allow developers to integrate Dynamic Head assets in live experiences along with face animations for emotes and locomotions.
  • Catalog Release of Dynamic Heads
    • This release will add characters to the Avatar Shop that have Dynamic Heads and are capable of Facial Animation.
  • Live Facial Animation
    • This introduces the ability for players to drive the facial animation of their avatar using their live facial expressions through audio and video input.

As we move towards the above releases, players will begin entering your experiences with Dynamic Heads equipped. As such, we’d love for all of you to play around with this tech and ensure your experience is well equipped for this new functionality that will become available later this year.

We’re continuously working to develop these features and would love to hear any feedback, bug reports, or feature requests from all of you!

We have also opened a Beta program that will allow interested developers to integrate Dynamic Heads in a live experience ahead of the full public release as a way to provide us with feedback and suggestions. If this is something that you would like to participate in, please fill out this form!

We’re super excited to push this tech further and see what all of you create! Please try out this new feature and let us know if you have any questions, suggestions, or if you run into any issues.

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This topic was automatically opened after 10 minutes.

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This double-announcement is more than welcomed by the development community! I appreciate the ping from Dev Relations as always.

To anybody who has used the controls, how stable are they? I’m curious if they are ready for industry use.

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This is quite interesting, I am excited to see where this is going. Will experiment with this in my games!
Are there any projected dates for when this will officially launch out of Beta?

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Given how R6 does not support this functionality, what is the process for adding dynamic heads on R6 rigs? Would simply moving the Head_Geo MeshPart from the Blocky Character Model reference file into the R6 rig work? This seems to be the case - I got it working on an R6 rig without any major issues.

Additionally, the Blocky Character Model reference file’s head seems to be incorrectly textured, having a pitch-black color unlike the rest of the rig:

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Oh…DYMANIC HEADS ITS GONNA BE AWESOME!!!

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Putting a debug mode on this thing to HSROuter closes my studio @darkmodeonn
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https://gyazo.com/733889228d222d15919987570367e257

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i dont feel like much of anybody wants this on Roblox, please give us the option to disable it and dont take it away, because this looks like it could be straight out of a nightmare in my opinion

what head style is better?
  • normal R6/R15 style
  • Rthro style
  • the new Dynamic heads

0 voters

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Please provide meaningful criticism on the topic - I personally find it very useful. If there’s anything specific in mind, please voice out those concerns.
Additionally, you are able to use both - no one is forcing you to switch to dynamic heads!

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I just think that they look bad, and it would look awful in most games because it just doesn’t fit in at all

Do you want to join games and look at this face out of nowhere?
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at the most this will be used by trolls for a few weeks at most

I can already see the youtube videos of 4 year olds going into cafe games and asking for rat pie with this face on

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Those examples are tech demos to show how flawlessly accessories such as beards, glasses etc work seamlessly across any avatar type. It’s up to the developers to implement avatars which look good with these examples.

Besides, it’s not as if the current R6/non-dynamic-head characters are any better? This is my friends Roblox avatar for instance:
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Definitely gonna be interesting seeing what people will do with this animation now it has been updated, voiceovers will definitely have a new level of immersion! I feel like Roblox is catching up with other engines, but could you please focus on R6 and R15 to make sure there’s no texture collisions like there is with clothing? We want updates that are ready for the public when they release…

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thanks :)! will defenitely use this in my game

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This is going to be really useful for story games and dialogues!

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Interesting. Can’t wait to see what the community makes!

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How will the bones being hidden from the DataModel mesh with scripts? Can we still index them and manipulate the structure outside of using FACS if we’d like to make our own procedural-esque faces?

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My only regret is that I will make FACS compatible faces, but they will only ever live in my game.

It’s a minor thing, I guess.

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Great question! We’re aiming to launch out of Beta in the next 1-2 months. In the meantime we’d love for you to try Dynamic Heads and help us with any feedback ahead of the full release.

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Did the file open for you with this texture? It would be helpful to know any repro steps we could use to investigate this further

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The bones being hidden will also mean that you can’t reference them in any scripts. The benefit of standardizing the animation with FACS is that the facial animations will consistently work on all dynamic heads and allow better layering of animations that all use FACS.

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