This paper presents the FaceTOON system, a semi-automatic platform dedicated to the creation of verbal and
emotional facial expressions, within the applicative framework of 2D cartoon production.
The proposed FaceTOON platform makes it possible to rapidly create 3D facial animations with a minimum
amount of user interaction. In contrast with existing commercial 3D modeling softwares, which usually require from the
users advanced 3D graphics skills and competences, the FaceTOON system is based exclusively on 2D interaction
mechanisms, the 3D modeling stage being completely transparent for the user. The system takes as input a neutral 3D
face model, free of any facial feature, and a set of 2D drawings, representing the desired facial features. A 2D/3D virtual
mapping procedure makes it possible to obtain a ready-for-animation model which can be directly manipulated and
deformed for generating expressions. The platform includes a complete set of dedicated tools for 2D/3D interactive
deformation, pose management, key-frame interpolation and MPEG-4 compliant animation and rendering.
The proposed FaceTOON system is currently considered for industrial evaluation and commercialization by the
This paper investigates how the 3D facial animation techniques can be exploited within the specific framework of 2D cartoon production. An overview of the most representative 3D facial animation techniques is first presented. Physical modeling, free form deformations, direct face parameterizations and controller-based approaches are identified and discussed in detail. From this critical analysis of the literature, we selected for evaluation purposes two different controller-based approaches: RBF- and wire-based deformations. Experimental results have been carried out on a corpus of 3D face models with both neutral and target expressions available. The RBF-based techniques provide smoother and more stable deformation fields at a lower modeling effort than the wire-based approaches. Both methods are appropriate for achieving 2D/3D deformation and automating the 2D cartoon production.