Facial muscles


During the second week of our Cgtarian course, I grew fascinated by Mike's heavy emphasis on the muscle structure of the face. Yes, rules can be bent, but by grounding in reality it will help sell the illusion that your character is made up of living tissue.

Encouraged by my teacher's enthusiasm, I have the proceeded to do my own research. Hopefully it save me much dibble dabbling when producing the ten second dialogue piece, later in the course.

This video is a great introduction to the overall muscle structure of the face. It talks about each muscle in the face and how it affects movement.

The Brows
The brows are moved by the occipitofrontalis and corrugtor muscles. The occipitofrontalis is made up of two main parts. The occipital belly and the frontal belly. When working together these pull the brows up. Note in the diagram, the direction that the brows are pulled around.

The frontal belly, when acting along, pushes the brows down in a frown. The frown is made stronger when pulled by the procerus and depressor muscles, and more deeply placed corrugtor.

The mouth
The orbiculas oris surrounds the mouth, closing the lips and squeezing them together. It is important to note that the muscle surrounds the entire mouth.


The lips are pulled up by a combination of muscles acting from the side. When building mouth shapes, note that the middle of the upper lip cannot be pulled independently from the outer part.

The smile
Around the orbiculus oris, is the risorus and zygomatiqus muscles. The zygomatiqus muscle pulls from above and behind, while the risorus muscles pulls from behind. When they contract, it allows us to smile.


''The Duchenne smile involves both voluntary and involuntary contraction from two muscles: the zygomatic major (raising the corners of the mouth) and the orbicularis oculi (raising the cheeks and producing crow's feet around the eyes).
A fake smile or, as I like to call it, a "Say Cheese" smile involves the contraction of just the zygomatic major since we cannot voluntarily contract the orbicularis oculi muscle.''
( Noted from Psychology Today.com)

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