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The team at Bigtooth Studios have had a busy few months, working tirelessly on an internal innovation project, which we were fortunate enough to obtain funding for in October of last year (Innovate UK). The funding allowed us to dedicate a small team of animators, modellers, coders, illustrators, writers, designers, actors, innovators and all round geniuses to help take our brand new Blender add-on "FaceHugger", through from concept, and turn it into something incredibly special.

FaceHugger gives animators a head start. A tool, that converts real-time facial capture, into fully editable key-frames inside Blender. It is compatible with the communities favourite rigging tool Auto-Rig Pro (Rigify compatibility coming soon), and with the added benefit of adjustable properties, it works seamlessly with any character, including those with stylised proportions.

It works with real-time facial capture data, as well as pre-recorded data. Set up is as simple as a click of a few buttons, and the results are effortless B and C grade animation. For enhanced results, there is the ability to adjust custom properties to better suit your character design. This will allow you to achieve a much cleaner and closer to final outcome, though in both instances clean up is minimal.

The process in 5 simple steps.

  1. RIG - Rig your character using ARP (Coming soon to Rigify)

  2. AFFIX - Connect FaceHugger to your rig

  3. RECORD - Record performance, either live or using pre-recorded data

  4. DIAL IN - Dial in customisable actions for a cleaner result

  5. BAKE - Bake animation onto your character

ITS DONE! Now you can get started on any necessary clean up using editable key frames.

Alongside developing FaceHugger, we wanted to stress test its performance in a 'live project setting'. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to create Bigtooth Studios first children's animation IP. We used FaceHugger, paired with the Rokoko motion capture suit and gloves to create a 5 part children's animation series, coming soon to YouTube. We introduce to you the Bigtooth Studios / FaceHugger love child...

Lilly Pickle!

Bigtooth Studios were given 20 weeks to complete the innovation project. During that time we developed FaceHugger from a very rough prototype through to a streamlined, working Blender add-on. Alongside that development, we also created the first 5 episodes of Lilly Pickle TV.

From initial character concepts, to character modelling, story writing, costume and set design, through to modelling, facial and motion performance, animation clean-up and everything in-between. End to end, the 5 part series was created by our fabulous core-team, and of course we had a huge helping hand from our brand new (as of yet unreleased) tool FaceHugger.

The Bigtooth team landed on the concept of Lilly Pickle, then went on to create all the components of this funky show. The YouTube series will see our new favourite fashionista; Lilly, reading beautifully written, short stories from her eccentrically stylish yet incredibly cosy living room.

Lilly Pickle TV - YouTube series and FaceHugger - Blender Add-on coming soon

With special thanks to Jamie Bakewell, Adame Boutrif,

and all the amazing team at Bigtooth Studios!



Whether you are just starting out and want to learn more, looking for feedback on your work, an industry professional with valuable tips and tricks to share, or you just want a place to chat about software, industry news and what people are getting up to...come and get involved! Bigtooth Studios have a new Discord channel...a community for those with an interest in 3D, Animation, Film, Game & TV.

Follow the link for your invite to join and get involved in the community...See you there!

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