Is that post title correct?… I am pretty sure it is. You can easily see why I had to double check as it has been a year and a bit since we have seen hide-or-hare of Joe Alter’s LipService. However Joe Alter has in fact released the long awaited LipService & LBrush combo for Autodesk Maya for Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms for the price of $300.00 for a node locked license.

One of the features most anticipated with LipService for Maya has been LBrush, which is a nifty high texture painting tool that allows you to paint high resolution textures right in the maya viewport with some nice features including Mush, Projections, and Falloff.

LipService is Joe Alter’s new multi-resolution subdivision surface sculpting, rigging and animation system built into a friendly and intuitively organized Maya plugin. LipService’s sculpting tools are comparable to ZBrush and Mudbox and its animation tools extend this idea of multi res editing through to animation and rigging.

Some of the varied features of LipService/LBrush include:
BlendShapes+: LipServices LBrush tool now has blendshapes, the idea is you attatch a slider to mix in pre-sculpted delta shapes that you’ve sculpted pre-rig.

3D TEXTURE PAINT: The LipServices LBrush tool allows you to paint high resolution textures in maya and directly in your viewport… hit render and the texture’s already there (regardless of what render you’re using). LBrush can handle patterns, projectsions, clone, erase, blur smudge, move, rotate, falloff and more.

SCULPTING: LBrush is a multi-resolution subdivision surface sculpting tool. Similar to Pixologic’s ZBrush and Autodesk’s Mudbox, the sculpting tool has features like stencil brushes, texture brushes, smooth, push, pull, stretch, blendshape, etc running at speeds that blow artisan’s doors off . You can also go back and fourth between LBrush and other Maya sculpting tools while you work with it and even import/export displacements between LBrush and ZBrush and Mudbox.

RIGGING: One of the least satisfying things to deal with in character/creature animation these days is rigging. Studios like ILM, Weta, Sony Imageworks, and Dreamworks have all invested a great deal of effort (see links at bottom) in creating software to help riggers make models still look good in all poses, the reason for this is that the commercial tools have not filled this void in any kind of useful way.

Using PSD: you actually ‘train’ the engine to correct your geometry by stopping in the middle of a sequence and sculpting corrections, at the highres subdiv level. The engine will the recognize those joint configurations in the future and blend corrections in and out as they are approached.

CORRECTIVE SCULPT ANIMATION A common wish or people who’ve ever dealt with skinned characters or simulations like cloth, is that after the all the animation or simulation has been done, they wish they could just go in with their sculpting tools and ‘fix’ or ’embellish’ things. Now they can. Without disturbing the underlying animation with morphs and blends, you can layer sculpts on top of it with tangent space sculpting.

FACIAL ANIMATION: (Phonemes) LipService actually started out 15 years ago as a facial animation system. One of the key benefits is non-linear interpolations, there’s actually a spline motion path for every vertex. This means that your facial animations will require far fewer targets and will actually hit them without coming to a stop. With blendshapes, you have to over sculpt several targets around where you are keyframing just to get it to come close. As our sculpting tools are fully integrated, there are tons of sculpting tools to help animators/modelers create fast shape libraries, and animate high quality face with unprecedented speed. You can also rig facial motion capture with the above pose space deformation tools.