Skip to main content

Blender notes: bone drivers for shape keys

Posted on: Sunday, 28 June 2015 @ 1:28pm
Blatting about
More specifically

Set up controller bones (I like them in their own Armature) and make sure the "deform" box in the bone properties panel is unchecked.

Setting up face controller rig for bone drivers in Blender 2.74

I find it easier having the entire face moving around with the eye directional controller because I'm weird like that (and also they end up in odd places because of how I have the head controller).

On the mesh where the shape keys are, right click on the shape key that needs to be driven by the bone.  In this example the eyebrow raise.

Setting up bone drivers in Blender 2.74

Click "Add Driver" on the context menu that pops up.

The numbers will end up with a nice purple background.  Open up the Graph Editor somewhere and switch it to Drivers.

Blender 2.74 Graph Editor settings for bone drivers

Scroll down in the N panel til you find the variable Blender helpfully adds for you, find your Armature and the bone you're using for the driver, and pick how you want to control it (I used a rotate for the eyes opening and shutting and translate for eyebrows and mouth because that makes sense to me).

Variable settings in Driver N panel in Blender 2.74

Because I seemed to have to translate a very long way to get the shape key to go all the way, I moved the bone as far as I wanted to move it to get the shape key to a value of one and then did some gumby maths in bit that says "Scripted Expression" which is located directly over the "var" thing in the immediately previous screenie.

Munging numbers to avoid having to move bones so far

So far I've found that changing the "Type" to "Sum Values" or "Average values" seems to work better for the things I use rotations to drive.

Move bones, watch shape keys in action.

No comments yet

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.