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Learn to create an animated face mask effect! This effect uses face landmark patches to attach 3D animated objects to precise points on the face. You'll also add retouching, face distortion and a make up effect.
A tap on the device screen changes the color of the ears and plays a sound. As a finishing touch, sound detected by the microphone is distorted so the playback is high pitched and squeaky.
Download the sample content to follow this tutorial. You can adapt any of the assets in this effect to create your own projects.
In this guide, you'll learn about:
If you want to build this effect yourself, open the unfinished effect in the sample content folder. So you can get started quickly, we've already:
For this tutorial you'll create the make up effect by applying a custom texture to a face mesh.
Start by creating a face mesh as a child of the face tracker that's already in the scene. To help you keep track, rename it. We chose faceMeshMakeup.
In the Inspector, create a new material for faceMeshMakeup. Rename the material bunnyMakeup_mat.
You'll need to make a few changes to bunnyMakeup_mat in the Inspector:
The make up will look quite bright. Under Render Options there are a few changes you can make, so it looks more natural. Change:
Your project should look like this:
To add retouching, create a second face mesh and rename it faceMeshRetouch.
In the Inspector:
To distort the shape of the face, you'll add a 3D object called a blend shape to a face mesh. It's listed in the Assets panel as bunnyFaceMorph. This blend shape makes the eyes and cheeks a bit rounder, and the mouth a bit smaller.
Create a face mesh and rename it faceMeshDistortion. Scroll down to Deformation in the Inspector. Then:
The shape of the face will look different now:
The whiskers and ears are made using 3D objects.
We'll manipulate the position, scale and rotation of the 3D objects by making changes to the null objects. Otherwise, these properties would be controlled by the animations that are baked into the 3D object.
To add the objects to scene, drag them from the Assets panel into the Scene panel. We added each object to the scene twice:
Adjust the null objects to set the position of the ears. We used the manipulators to work out the best position, but you could also set the position in the Inspector. For:
For bunnyEarRotator_right, next to Scale change X to -1. This will flip the ear over to the other side. Making this adjustment to the Scale value changes the material's normals - they'll now be inside out. To fix this:
You'll use the Patch Editor to position the whiskers, so they're placed precisely below the nose.
First we need to flip one of the whiskers over to the other side of the face, like we did with the ears. To do this:
Again, make sure the material, whisker_mat is set to Double Sided. Check the box under Render Options in the Inspector.
You'll position the whiskers by manipulating the position of the null objects.
To create patches to represent the position of the null objects, select bunnyWhiskerRotator_left and bunnyWhisterRotator_right. You can hold down command on your keyboard to select them both at the same time.
In the Inspector, click the arrow next to Position. A patch will be made for both null objects.
For both Add patches, change the Type to Vector 3. This is because we're positioning the whiskers on a 3D object in 3D space.
The Nose patch is a face landmark patch. It will capture precise data on the position of the nose in the scene, so we can position the objects in relation to it.
Start by connecting the Nose patch to the Face port in facetracker0:
Your graph should look like this:
Tweak the values in the Add patches. This will position the whiskers in exactly the right place in relation to the nose:
The whiskers should now be directly under the nose.
The 3D object we've used to create the whiskers has an animation included in the file. The animation is listed as wiggle in the Assets panel. To make the animation play in the effect we'll use an animation playback controller:
Add the animation clip to the animation playback controller:
To connect the playback controller to the objects in the scene:
The animation playback controller is set to play the animation at the start of the effect by default, and loop continually while the effect plays. You could change these properties, and the speed of the animation, in the Inspector.
We could use an animation playback controller to animate the ears too, but in the finished effect we've used the Patch Editor instead. This is so we can add a Delay patch to make the animation for each ear start at a slightly different time, so the movement looks more natural.
To create patches representing the Animation property of the objects:
Next, create the animation patches. Right-click in the Patch Editor and select:
Under BunnyEar_animated in the Assets panel, select Swing and drag it into the Patch Editor:
First connect the Animation Player patches:
To add the Delay patch:
Set the Duration value in the Delay patch. We went with 0.43 seconds.
Your graph should look like this:
The ears should now be animated.
We've used a Screen Tap, Counter and Option Picker to count through different color options when the screen is tapped.
From the menu in the Patch Editor, select a:
Next, create patches to represent the texture and material:
Make sure the material is set to render on both sides of the mesh by checking the box next to Double Sided in the Inspector.
Connect the patches, so your graph looks like this:
Add color options for the ears in the Option Picker. We picked blue and pink, but you could go with something else.
It's important here to set the Alpha value in the Mix patch to grey. This causes the patches to create a mix of the original texture from the texture patch, and the colors coming from the Option Picker.
In the Counter patch, make sure the Maximum Count matches the number of options in the Option Picker. We set it to 2.
You can test this part of the effect by clicking the gear in the Simulator, and selecting Simulate Touch.
In real life the ears would move in response to the movement of the head, instead of in a uniform way like they are at the moment. For example if the head moved quickly, so would the ears.
To achieve this effect we're going to use exponential smoothing. We've added a Patch Group to the project that you can use to do this. It's listed in the Assets panel as Exponential Smooth Vec3.
We'll use the rotation of the user's head to trigger the exponential smoothing. So when the head rotates, exponential smoothing will cause the ears to move in response.
If you click the right corner of the patch group, the group will expand. You'll see it's made of several patches:
The input is driven by the 3D Rotation of the face tracker.
Unpack allows us to take each of these coordinates and perform separate operations on them. In this case, we've used Exponential Smoothing patches to return a smoothed signal, based on the Damping factor. In this case, we set the Damping factor to 200 milliseconds.
Click Back to Main to return to the graph.
Your graph should look like this:
To encourage the user to interact with the effect you can add instructions. To do this, start with an instruction token. In this case we want the user to tap the screen, so add the instruction tap to change to Token value in the Instruction patch.
The Runtime patch detects how long the effect has been running. Combining this patch with a Math patch is useful for triggering instructions before or after a set period of time. For this effect, connect the Runtime patch to a Less Than patch.
Adjust the value in the Less Than patch to 3. This will display instructions while the effect has been running for less than 3 seconds.
To finish the effect, add a sound that plays each time the screen is tapped:
This is known as one-shot audio. It’s super easy, all you’ll do is add 4 more patches to your graph.
We’ve already added the audio file you’ll need to the project - it’s listed as arl_sfx_UISynthElements_os_04.m4a in the Assets panel.
To render sound in any effect, you’ll need a scene object called a speaker. To add it:
The network of patches you’ll build will send a signal to a patch representing the speaker, playing the sound in the scene.
To create a patch for the speaker:
A yellow patch will be added to the Patch Editor:
To do this you’ll connect the Screen Tap patch you’ve already added to the speaker patch, using a Multi-Clip Controller and Audio Player patch to connect the audio file. The Multi-Clip Controller will cause the clip to play in full each time the screen is tapped, even if it means playing multiple versions of the same clip over the top of one another.
To create these patches, right-click in the Patch Editor to open the menu. Select the:
You’ll also need a patch representing the audio file. To create it, just select arl_sfx_UISynthElements_os_04.m4a in the Assets panel and drag it into the Patch Editor. An orange patch will be added:
Now connect the patches. Connect:
Here’s how the graph will look:
You’ve now added the audio clip to your effect! You can test it by clicking in the Simulator. You might need to click the Refresh button in the toolbar to hear it.
Tapping the screen in this effect is a subtle interaction, so the sound shouldn’t be too prominent. Complete this audio effect by adjusting the volume:
To record the user's voice and play a distorted, high-pitched version back in the scene, you'll combine the Microphone with an audio effect patch called the Pitch Shifter.
The Microphone is included in every effect by default. It’s already listed at the bottom of the Scene panel.
Add it to the Patch Editor, so its output can be connected to the audio effect patch. To do this, simply drag the Microphone from the Scene panel into the Patch Editor. A purple Microphone patch will be added:
The output of the Microphone will be rendered through a speaker. Add another speaker object to the Scene panel and create an Audio patch.
At this point, you could connect the Audio output of the Microphone patch to the Audio input of the new speaker for voice recording, replicating the default behavior of the microphone. Adding a Pitch Shifter patch will change the default behavior.
To create a Pitch Shifter patch, right-click the Patch Editor to open the menu and select Pitch Shifter.
To heighten the pitch, enter a number above 0 in the Semi input, with 12 representing the highest pitch. We’ve gone with 5.
Here's how the graph will look: