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Custom blendshape VOP (animated displacement and tapering)

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So i am starting a new character but more so than like the others i want to focus more on high resolution facial animation. I have a few questions i want to run by you.


I made a custom blendshape vop a while back but as always im wondering if this method is the right way to go.


Is it better to just have dozens of file sops feed into a vopsop?


The custom vop itself is simple but another problem i can foresee is i want to be able to animate displacement for pretty much every shape and possibly animated bump, on top of that i will be using weight painted and/or tension based attributes to blend and split off some shapes into other shapes along with blending in portions of the model that will only be displaced.


How can i feed those additional maps into a shader? I would like to specify the maps and their weight at the sop level.


ie I model a Brow raise, split those off into Outer Brow raise and Inner Brow raise, which is then split off into Left and Right, the animated displacement and bump map will also respect these regions. 


I was thinking something along the lines of this.


Simple Blendshape VOP




Shape/Model (string)

Weight Slider (float)

Split Left/Right (int) - Optional

Blend Width (float) - Optional

Left Weight (float) - Optional

Right Weight (float) - Optional

Custom Displacement Map 

Custom Bump Map


This is a simple vop, but how would i taper blendshapes off. (A complete facial expression ie happy, that will be split into various shapes, eye squint, nose flare. upper lip raise, lower lip raise, chin raise, cheek raise, brow lower. I can paint weights to separate these shapes but i dont know how to manage it. Some shapes might only yield 3 shapes from one expression another like the example could provide 7 or ultimately 14 for both left and right.



This is a important topic for me and hope i can find some answers.






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would be great if someone could make a professional asset for this kind of problem. it just solves the weightmap blending issue, which i didnt do is a joystick ctrl creator for the viewport which would be driving this asset. anyways... this worked fine for now, since the face model and dummy ctrl objects came from maya.

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Thanks for the response, i will check out your files. 


I really would like to hear from others as well. This is both a technical problem but one that i know has many methods of implementation.

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Is this sort of what you're looking for

(start at 2:59 in)

I made a simple OTL that had 4 corners, and a central controller (I guess a joystick?). I just had it driving a couple of channels in a Blendshape SOP.

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