Dominque Gigante (blueguineapig)

4 replies · posted

Advanced Rigging Question

Hi CGCookie Crew!


My name is Dominque and I've been using Blender for about 7 years. I have a pretty advanced question about  rigging. It's not so much a problem with Blender as it's really more of a question involving a feature mainly coming from Maya. I know Kent used to work Maya a while back, but if anyone is familiar with the software, please lend a hand if you can. I usually would post something like this on BlenderArtists, but really I need a one on one talk with someone who really knows how to work around Blender's rigging system.

I'm trying to rig a cartoon characters face in a certain way, but I don't know if Blender is capable of doing it. It does involve shape keys and Maya's Blendshapes. It's kind of hard to explain in text as what I'm trying to do was featured in a Maya advanced facial rigging course. I would share the videos explaining what happened but I bought the course and don't want to redistribute the content on accident. I couldn't find an answer to this online, but I did find a post here explaining, more or less, the core issue for what I'm trying to do. https://devtalk.blender.org/t/live-update-of-source-mesh-while-modifying-connected-shape-keys/12229

I know I had to read that post a few times to understand what he was saying. Sadly no one answered, but like I said earlier, I need someone who can possibly come up with a workaround. Or at least a method that would yield similar results. It would probably be easier if I could explain it in person or in a discord call, otherwise I would be here all night typing out two hours worth of video footage from that course.

Thanks to all!! Seriously!

  • Hey blueguineapig , I tag waylow as he is an animation and rigging virtuoso who I'm sure will be able to help you.

    • Thanks!! Hopefully he’s free sometime soon so we could get in touch.

    • crew

      Hi Dominque,
      Yes I know what you are talking about. In Maya you can have a second mesh be the input of a shape key on the first mesh.
      So it kind of works like a dynamic shape key. (This is sometimes called the Dorritto technique)

      Sadly you cannot do this in Blender.  Shape keys must be static.

      Although, I'm pretty sure with the dependency graph changes in the recent versions of blender you can use the shrink wrap constraint and have it affect the same mesh (no need for a second mesh). However, I have only done some simple testing of this and have not tried it in production as yet.

      I hope this makes sense.  (especially the part about me not fully testing it yet haha)

    • Ah kind of a bummer with not being able to do it in Blender... I feel like if we could just have the shape key feature as a modifier, then we could target another mesh with similar topology and boom, that's it. Then we could hook up another Armature to the second mesh and have the bones affect the first mesh. This would allow for easier weight painting, and a more flexible setup.

      Honestly I wish I knew more about Python to script something like that, or maybe the devs could consider it. It would be awesome if someone made an Add-On for that! One day...

      I'll give the shrink wrap constraint a go.  Hopefully it's some form of workaround.