Face Creation System

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    • coldroll wrote:

      What happened to the face creation system every time I play Black Mesa the characters look exactly the same? And rarely have any accessories or different items. Also What happened to the security guards ability to get into hand to hand combat with zombies?

      The face creation system is there; the characters look the same on any given playthrough because they're designed to.
      The face creation system doesn't randomly generate faces, it uses artist-designed faces and then randomly selects from a pool of those if the NPC in question doesn't have a specific targetname that is also defined in the character manifest.
      The lack of accessory/item variation is just technical limitations combined with the preferences of the artists who worked on the character manifest. I agree that extra variation, especially in the number of available randomly selected characters would be nice, though, especially because there are many great skins made that aren't actually used much if at all in the manifest. (such as most of the female scientist skins)

      The security guard/zombie hand to hand combat does still exist in a couple of scripted (semi-scripted?) scenes, but they always result in the zombie throttling the guard to death. One of the guards in OC does this every playthrough if you don't save him, and the guard that follows you in the opening of UC has the possibility to fall prey to this as well.

      The Javid wrote:

      I can't wait til we ditch that pattern too. It only blends in with gravel and shitty couches.
    • EDIT: Moderation somehow killed the context of this post. I will now update to make it more on-topic with this thread.

      The Face Creation system is very subtle. A lot of times you don't actually realize that it chose a different facial profile for a character on subsequent playthroughs, and yet it did, and you wouldn't think to check unless you REALLY decide to think about it.

      As for the guard/zombie interactions, I've seen it happen exactly once, ever. The guard got grabbed by a zombie, the guard pushed back, and the zombie stumbled a bit. Neither of them died.


      | Core Developer, PSR Digital | Black Mesa Hazard Course | 403 Aurelius |
      |Author, Hazard Team Compile Tool - Hammer Map Compiler Replacement |

      The post was edited 1 time, last by dky.tehkingd.u ().

    • I have an entirely different issue with the face creation system, which is that it seems like a lot of the faces look pretty similar. At least once, I've gotten a screenshot of two apparently identical security guards standing next to each other. Unless Black Mesa has a Brave New World-type thing going on where they prefer to hire security guards in groups of 96 genetically identical individuals, I am unimpressed.

      I know that the faces aren't randomized; I was, however, under the impression that every character in the game had a unique face texture.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Zen609: dp ().

    • Dr. Maxwell wrote:

      Then why was it advertised as an innovative feature? Unless I'm missing something, this is exactly how the rebels in Half-Life 2 work.


      Except Black Mesa has a TON more faces, all made with FAR less effort.

      Valve had to individually model every single rebel face. The BM devs only had to use 2 faces (male, female), then set a bunch of options to get a ton more.


      | Core Developer, PSR Digital | Black Mesa Hazard Course | 403 Aurelius |
      |Author, Hazard Team Compile Tool - Hammer Map Compiler Replacement |
    • I think the problem is that they didn't put enough sets of faces into the system, rather than an issue with the face creation system itself. As has been said, out of the seven female scientist skins, only three or four appear to have been used in-game.

      Also, if you open the scientists etc. in the model viewer you can play around with the face system in the flex tab. It's quite fun. :3
    • yep I remember thru the game I met like 3 probably identical guards (those in some key places) :fffuuu:

      also what got me questioning the face creation system is that in the anomalous materials some of scientists have glasses stuck in their head textures like they are not fitted, this very thing about the scientist on the first security deck you see in game - his nose is TOO big and glasses doesnt fit right again - really spoiled my first impression of the game and he looks awful comparing to the guard who sits in front of pc
      therefore I suggest to leave the BIG ASS HIPSTER GLASSES out and use only medium and slim ones (which are so smart stylish)

      another thing NOW ALMOST EVERYBODY HAVE BEARDS :fffuuu:
      seems noones shaves... cmon this is fuckin top notch laboratory complex, not some amateur scientist club!
    • More Insight to the Randomized Face Creation System

      This has probably been found before, but here goes.


      I was messing around in Source Filmmaker for an upcoming short of mine (if you want, I'll link it when it's done, but that's not important right now) when I started messing with the hidden controls for a Guard's face. For many custom models that's where the facial flexes are hidden.

      What I found was a lot more intriguing.

      In the hidden controls I found what I was looking for; the facial flexes, but I also found operators that control the shape of the character's face.

      This leads me to believe there's a lot more than just randomized skinning/body groups going on in the face creation system. As you can see in this screenshot, the highlighted items on the left side show off these operators I speak of.


      Well, by messing with them you can turn one character into a completely new one almost. By messing with those controls, I ended up with a security guard for my video that looks like this, no changing of the skin or bodygroup.


      Anyway, odds are this is something known by everyone and I'm late to the party. Cast your stones if so.