Vital Mechanics Creating Realistic Skin Simulations for VFX Pipelines
3D Character animation has evolved over the years from simple mesh deformation, blend shapes, to complete skeletal and musculature rigging.
A company called Vital Mechanics has been developing algorithms to automatically simulate the sliding of skin over the structure. Using motion capture, 3D scanners, and a host of other tech they have studied skin and its dynamic properties. The ultimate goal is to have a complete understanding and ability to predict how the skin should move over the surface automatically without hand animation.
Their software Vital Skin FX is currently available as a Maya plugin, and has begun to be used by VFX houses such as Image Engine, who used it for characters in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
If you’d like to read more or contact them visit the Vital Mechanics website.