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The human face is very organic and when using a normal map, things with animation get a little tricky. I’m trying to animate a blink with an eye where this wrinkles appear on the face as the eye closes. Not just the eye, but this wrinkles are needed for other expressions as well. Something like this example - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc7ADD4b8_0

Any ideas how this so called "animated normal maps" can be accomplished with Blender, because in the UV's I know to work only with still images?

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You can first create multiple normal maps with wrinkles at different locations(for example one map each for the eyes/mouth/etc.) and then you can simply blend them over one another using using an mix rgb node. Then you can add a driver to the mix factor and let for example the eye bone rotation drive the wrinkle strength. Material Driver

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, interesting idea. Do you also know if maps can be automatically baked for each animation instead of baking them for each frame? $\endgroup$ – Vladimir Dec 13 '14 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ I am not quite sure what you mean. You only bake everything once and then adjust the lnfluence of the individual maps via the drivers(/ bones). $\endgroup$ – Luca Scheller Dec 13 '14 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ is it possible to make the baking process to be automated? Lets say, from frame 1 to frame 20 and that process to be automated for clicking once on bake instead of clicking 20 times on bake for each frame? (My English is not good, so if I confused you again, it's not of a big importance) $\endgroup$ – Vladimir Dec 13 '14 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately you would have to bake it manually, but I think writing a python script for that shouldn’t be too hard. P.S. You English is great :) $\endgroup$ – Luca Scheller Dec 14 '14 at 17:49
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You can make a whole normal map (face wrinkles, clothes wrinkles on joints and so on) and mix it with Dynamic Paint, works on Cycles and EEVEE. Then make the object approach the region where you want the wrinkles to show up.

The only problem that I can think of is if the arm fold comes close to the face for example, maybe it works if the painting mesh stays "inside" the mesh and it paints as if comes closer to the surface.

Good luck!

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