cheap face mocap pt1

I’ve recently watched this tutorial on Pluralsight (ex digital tutors) on Creating Custom Facial Motion Capture in Maya









It’s a nice and simple tutorial that teaches you to track some facial motion capture in matchmover, export the tracked data as locators in maya, and then parent the locators on an existing rig.

The only bit where it was a bit “meh”, is the part where you have to constraint the generated locators to the animation controls.

Generally, face control have values that range from -1 to 1 and from 0 to 1, but the controls I’ve exported from matchmover had crazy values, and to fit the animation curves within these ranges can be a very boring job.

Therefore I thought…wouldn’t be awesome if I could select the locator and re-normalize the curves based on a range I decide?  So I made a script for that!

Now it doesn’t have a UI, but that’s the next step. If you want to play with it now, just copy and have fun with it!


In the meantime I’ll leave you with the mocap video I made 😀

I should really build a facecam because trying to stay still while performing was very hard…

More updates soon!

Motionbuilder constraint tool update

hey I’ve updated the parent script I made on this previous post.
Now is more efficient, and it will change the name in the navigator based on the type of constraint (I’ve set it to work only on position, rotation and parent but it’s easy to modify it)  so it will look like this:



hope it helps 🙂

Perforce and motionbuilder

I’m currently on mobo 2015 and even if now python has been updated to the 2.7.3, I couldn’t find a the 64bit  release for P4Python for the 2.7.

Before finding the right file I had several errors such as:

or I couldn’t even install the package because it was pointing to the 3.3 version of python resulting in:



If you had any of these errors, try installing this version that Matt, a staff member of the perforce forum, gave me:


good luck!


Photography, flashlight and the Inverse Square Law theory

For all the enthusiast photographers out there, I’d like you to have a look at probably the best lighting tutorial I’ve ever seen by the excellent photographer Mark Wallace.

This will really help you understanding the Inverse Square Law theory, and will give you powerful tools to do the level up in your flashlight photography.


Basically what is the Inverse Square Law theory all about?

If the subject is twice the distance from the souce of light, it will receive a quarter of the illumination.
The math is easily shown in this picture :

Image taken from

This will help you with your low key portraits!

Motionbuilder aux effector switch

Hey everyone,
I’ve recently wrote this script (which I suggest to bind to an hotkey shortcut) that switches the values of the aux effector between 100% and 0% and will disable the “animatable” attrubute.




Woot! I finally finished Codeacademy’s python course!



It took me ages to complete this course, but I can finally remove it from my to do list of this year! 🙂
I’ve learned loads, and I strongly recommend to bot anyone who wants to learn this language from scratch and to those who want to improve their fundamentals.
This course is really well explained and if you get stuck you can always turn on the hints or read people’s questions in the q&a forum.

Below you can find the entire course structure:

Python Syntax

This tutorial will introduce you to Python, a general-purpose, object-oriented interpreted language you can use for countless standalone projects or scripting applications.

Tip Calculator

Now that you’ve completed the lesson on Python syntax, let’s see if you can put your newfound skills to use. In this project, you’ll create a simple calculator that determines the price of a meal after tax and tip.


Motionbuilder fingers jiggle animation with relation constraints

I’ve been recently playing with relation constraints to see if I could get a bit of a jiggle in my finger animations.

After watching this video from 3d Buzz, I’ve modified their concept based on my needs.

I managed to do it pretty quickly, but I realized that the deformation they get is too toon even with a very low damping value. Although this doesn’t  work for what I do, I think it could be helpful in a previz stage if you have tails or hair. This is what the connections looks like for each finger (click to enlarge the picture) : fingerJiggle

And this is a video demonstrating the result(the value applied to the fingers is quite low, so the effect is subtle but I think still noticeable):

Motionbuilder relation constraint reference


Following this link you’ll find a reference list to many expressions used in the relation constraint.
Most of them are pretty straightforward, but if you get stuck this could be useful 😉

Motionbuilder parent constraint tool

I’m currently working on the ultimate parent constraint tool for Motionbuilder.
So far the tool is very simple: select the child, select the parent and you have your constraint. In the future I want to add the option to automatically key the weight values before and after a certain range and choose the type of constraint as well.

This is what it looks like in action:

Motionbuilder python tool: parent constraint from Francesco Sternativo on Vimeo.

And this is the code:

Diving in Lanzarote

A couple of weeks ago I’ve been in Lanzarote with one of my mates. We hang around Playa Blanca diving for four days and this is what that adventure looked like. I filmed the dives with my beloved and modified gopro hero 1. I think I’ve pushed it to the limit with this session…I guess I really have to upgrade my equipment!

Diving in Lanzarote 2014 from Francesco Sternativo on Vimeo.