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Facial Expressions: Shape Keys, or Facial Bones?

edited November 2020 in Suggestions
After thinking about an issue involving shape keying with bones.  My big question is, to everyone here, what if we just switch entirely in moving the face with facial-posing bones.  I've always ran into issues animating faces with shape-keys anyways, and it usually ends up a bit off!  What if we have free reign to animate the face however we want by just having facial bones, and have a separate pose library set up for just that?  That way, when this ever gets to a point of animation, just click on a pose in a facial pose library, key it in, and transition from facial expression to facial expressions in the timeline from our pose library.


  • odesodes Administrator
    I've thought of this as well. The problem now is that we don't really have any experience of creating any such rig. Dogson is relatively new to rigging, and I don't rig anymore. Still, it's a valid idea and one we have discussed internally.
  • I think the old yiffalicious facial poser was a relatively good solution. It offered a lot of expressions, at least for most of its characters. It does not offer complete freedom but is not overwhelming. But the interface was hard to navigate due to a large number of slider options in small space.
  • edited November 2020
    Well, I remember in the suggestions post, you guys were talking about the BIGGEST issue with doing shape keys for the face was the tweakables.  I was messing with the horse girl I'm working on at the time, and I was trying to find it.  I was like, "Tweakables? what tweakables?"  It wasn't until I uploaded a canine mod, that I saw those tweakables in the face and I was like "OH; those tweakables!"  That's when I knew, that shape keying facial expressions might be near impossible.  (BTW. both horse heads need tweakables.)  You're customizable program, reminds me SO MUCH about DAZ 3D Studio's.  And they have a MASSIVE amount of sliders to customize a person, but when it comes to the face and body, they use bones.  In fact, most big studios use facial bones.  I know Overwatch does.  BUT, if you do decide on facial bones, I can tell you that might make the work SO MUCH EASIER!!  If each head has their own facial bones, then anytime you tweak a head or mess with it in any way.  The facial bones remain in tact.  Also, if you make a new model,  just import the facial bones to it, set it with automatic weights, and you're essentially done.  AND if you create a separate pose library for facial bones, than the sheer VARIETY of facial expressions is limitless.  If you want the same effect as shape keying sliders, it can be done, but, that requires a knowledge in drivers, and that's when you get in the deepest of weeds.  However, It only needs to be done once on one facial rig, and that facial rig can be be used for ALL base faces.  But, I wouldn't think it necessary for sliders, anyways. I know when I rig a model in Blender.  All I have to do is set it to automatic weight paint, and BLAMO, it's fully rigged with very little tweaking with weight-painting.  IK's can get a bit tricky, but overall it's fairly easy to do.  If you like, after I'm done with this horse model.  I'll make a basic rig with facial bones in Blender and port it as an obj.  And send it in this Forum.  I do see some issues with tweakables if you make the snout bigger, but I think there's a workaround for that, too.  Rigs are my jam; I got a pretty solid knowledge in the language of rigs; at least in Blender.
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