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Face Inset tutorial

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to use Face Inset and head trackers to create effects with multiple heads. We’ll explain the basic setup and also give some tips on how to build the effect optimally.

Preparing

Download the following project and open it in Effect House. You will see that it contains the mesh and textures you will need to complete this tutorial.

↓ HeadTracker.zip

Set up the Face Tracker

We start by adding a Head Tracker entity. We can do this by clicking + Add Object > AR Tracking > Head Tracker. A Head Tracker with a Head object will appear in the scene hierarchy.

Delete the Head entity, as it is an occluder and we don’t need it.

Rename Head Tracker to Purple Alien Head. Then, click and drag the alienHeadBaseMesh from the Assets panel into the Hierarchy. The result should look like this:

Since there will be two of these alien heads, we will need the heads to be a bit smaller, so set the x, y, and z scale of the alienHeadBaseMesh to 0.7 and can rename it to Alien Head.

Set up the Materials

First, create a new material in the assets panel.

In the material, we need to connect the PBR textures. First, click on the newly made Standard PBR material in the Assets folder. Rename it Purple Alien PBR.

Then, for albedo, normal, and MRAO respectively, set the material to use the following textures:

Unfold the Alien Head entity and find the child mesh called alienHeadBase, change its material to the Purple Alien PBR material. The result so far should look like this:

Later, we will need a Green Alien PBR material as well, so let’s go ahead and do that now. Duplicate the Purple Alien PBR material like this:

Rename the material Green Alien PBR like before. Then, change the Albedo texture to alienGreen_baseColor. The material preview in the lower right panel should look like this:

Adding the Mouth

Create an empty entity underneath Purple Alien Head called Face Inset Container. This is where we will put our face inset objects, to make it easier to change the transform of the entire face.

To add face inset entities, we select + Add object > Face Effects > Face Inset

You will end up with a Face Inset under a pre-set face binding.

You don’t need that extra face binding, so we are going to place the
Face Inset object under our existing Face Inset Container, and change the name from Face Inset to Mouth.

Then, delete Face Binding from your scene by right clicking on the Entity and clicking Delete

Tip
Tip

If Face Inset doesn’t show up in the Preview panel, that is because it is being rendered behind the purple alien head mesh. To fix this, simply make sure the Face Inset Container is below the Alien Head in the hierarchy like in the above screenshot. Other fixes can be changing the sorting order of the objects manually or disabling depth testing in the face inset component, but arranging the hierarchy is easiest.

Finally, we will change the Mouth Face Inset component’s properties. First, change the Color field to transparent (alpha = 0).

Then Enable the Outline checkbox, and similarly change the Outline color to #42005D.

Tip
Tip

Please keep the quality at 256 x 256 to optimize the performance, especially when you use more than two Face Inset in the effect.

Adding the Eyes

To add the eyes, we can simply duplicate the existing Mouth and change the Inspector panel properties. Right click on the Mouth object in the Hierarchy panel and then click Duplicate. For the duplicated object, select it and go to the Inspector panel, change the Face Area property from Mouth to Right Eye of the Face Inset component.

Then rename the entity to Right Eye in the Hierarchy view, and set the Transform to the following:

We will also change the Color to transparent and the Outline Color to #42005D by copying in these hex values, so that the fields look like the following:

Finally, to add the Left Eye, right click on the Right Eye entity in the Hierarchy and click Duplicate. Rename the entity to Left Eye, and change the Transform fields to the following:

Change the Face Area Inspector panel field from Right Eye to Left Eye.

Adding the Eyebrows

In the Hierarchy panel, right click and Duplicate the Left Eye and rename the entity to Right Eyebrow. Then, set the Transform to the following:

In the Inspector panel, set the Face Area to Right brow, the Opacity to 0.65, and the Blend Mode to Multiply.

Set the Color to #9B00FF8C and disable the Outline

Finally, make sure the Quality setting is 256 x 256 and the Performance setting is set to false.

In the Hierarchy panel, duplicate the Right Eyebrow and rename it Left Eyebrow. Set the Face Area to Left brow in the Inspector Panel. Then, set the Transform to the following:

Your Hierarchy and Preview panels should respectively look like this:

unaligned-image-0
unaligned-image-1

Green Alien

First, you will want to set the preview window to a video that has two people in it.

To create the Green Alien Head, we can simply duplicate the Purple Alien Head and change a few properties. So right click on Purple Alien Head, click Duplicate, and rename the new entity to Green Alien Head. On the Green Alien Head entity, there is a Face Binding component. Change the Which Face field to 1, and you will see that the new head follows the second person now.

Go to alienHeadBase underneath Green Alien Head in the Hierarchy panel and select it.

Then, change the Material on the Mesh Renderer to Green Alien PBR (which we made earlier). The second head should turn from purple to green in the Preview window.

You can see that the Face Inset entities still have the incorrect face and incorrect colors. First, go through the Mouth, Right Eye, Left Eye, Right Eyebrow, and Left Eyebrow in the Green Alien Head and change the Which Face field to 1.

Then, we will want to change the colors to match the green PBR material.

For the Mouth, set the Color to #C5FF3F00 and the Outline Color to #004A00.

For both Eyes, set the Color to #FFFFFF33 and Outline Color to #004A00.

For both Eyebrows, set the Color to #10852C8C and disable the Outline.

The end result should look like this:

Galaxy Background

Finally, we want to add a fun galactic animation sequence behind our alien heads. To do that, click + Add object > 2D > Image in the Hierarchy panel.

This will create a Canvas parent with an Image child entity. It will also create an object called 2D Camera. We want our background to render behind our alien heads, so we need to change the render order of our cameras so that the 2D Camera renders the background, and then the default Camera renders the alien heads over this.

Set the 2D camera’s Render Order setting to 0, and make sure that it is rendering from Layer 1. Also, double check that your Canvas object is on Layer 1.

Set the main Camera’s Render Order setting to 1, and make sure it is still rendering from the Default Layer.

Scale the new Image object to the size of the screen like so:

And then add an Animation Sequence component using the + Add Component button.

Finally, change the Texture Sequence field of the Animation Sequence to your galaxyBG_seq object. We put our play mode on Ping Pong to make the sequence loop properly.

And now you should be done and have some finished space aliens to play with!