Skill Level Intermediate
- [Narrator] Making a face rig using shape keys inside of Blender is surprisingly straightforward. In this week's Blender Tips, Tricks, and Techniques, we're going to show you how. First, we need a character, like a monkey. Go into your front view, and make sure you're in orthographic, and let's click on the monkey and make a character. Now, the very first thing I want to do is go to object data, hide this stuff, and make a bunch of shape keys. Now I'm going to go ahead and make shape keys that make my character's mouth go up, down, in, and out.
Go ahead and make some more, and we'll talk in a few seconds. There we go, nice. Now let's get out of edit mode and make sure none of these are pinned. Okay, looks good. Next thing, we need to make an armature. So I'm going to go in the 3D view, so I'm going to hit the side, put my 3D cursor about here, and hit shift-A, go down to armature, and add a single bone.
Now let's go to the front view, hit N, make sure that it's right on zero on the X axis. Okay, go back into side view, and go to edit mode. Grab the top of my bone here, and we'll just quickly move it down. You could snap it and get it exactly straight, but for our purposes, this'll look pretty good. Okay. Now, I'm going to name this armature under data. I'm going to call it armature face.
And this bone I'm going to call mouth underscore control. Cool. Now let's go back to object mode. Let's click on our monkey, let's open this up, close out my T panel. Go to graph editor. Go to object data, and finally, inside my graph editor, click on drivers. Hit this little plus button.
Now to add a driver, you're going to want to click on mouth down, go to value, right click here, and go to add driver, manually, create later. A driver is really cool in Blender. It basically says whenever one thing happens, something else should happen. You can do quite a bit with it. You can even add scripted expressions. For our purpose, we're just going to use maximum value. That is, whenever it hits a value above a certain amount, we're going to say, hey, do something to the shape key.
So use maximum value. And you know what, this curve is really hard to see. So let's get a little bit more real estate, and go to view, all. There we go. I can even shrink it down just a little bit. Note that I actually haven't changed any values. I'm just changing the way I see the curve. Now, under object, I'm going to pick armature face. Under the bone, I'm going to click mouth control. And I need to decide how does this actually work. Well, I want the mouth open and closed when I go up and down on the Z.
So let's hit escape here. And switch this X location to Z location and use local space. Alright, so Z location, local space, maximum value, on mouse down. Let's click on our bone, go to pose mode, click on it one more time, and bring it down. Hey, it works! Sort of. Alright, let's hit escape. What's happening here is that it's actually, well, kind of going really slow.
We can fix that with this curve. Just click on this little guy, come up here, and you can specify any value. I'm going to actually type in something crazy, like nine. See what happens when I do that. Hey, look at that. It actually sticks pretty good. Okay, now that you've made one driver, you can actually copy that to all the others. So let's right click and go to copy, click on mouse up, paste driver, mouth out, paste driver, mouth in, paste driver.
Now let's do one at a time. Let's go back to mouth up. You're going to want to click on it over here, go to drivers. And in this case, what I want you to do is hide all of the other curves really quick, and let's just confirm we're on mouth up. Now come up to F curve, and this value actually should be negative. And I'll show you why in a second. Click back on this bone and go up. Hey, look at that.
Now it goes up and down. Cool, hit escape, come back to the monkey. Let's unhide mouth out and hide mouth up. Go to my driver. Now this is actually attached to the Z location. In this case, I want it attached to the X location so that when I pull my bone out, my mouth comes out, and when I come back in, my mouth comes in. Let's hit escape, back to the monkey, and change this from Z to what? X, you got it.
Okay, let's go back here. Now that might be a little too strong. So in that case, we can come back to this F curve. Make sure you still have that point selected. And you can type in a different value, like say seven. Yeah, that sticks a little bit better. Okay, now let's come back to mouth in, go to drivers. Remember, we're using X. And let's, oh, wait a minute. We've got a small mistake.
You haven't unhid mouth in, so let's make sure that you've done that because now what we need to do is come up to F curve and switch its value, not from nine, but to negative seven. Why? Well, if we unhide mouth out, we click on this guy, we can see it says seven. So with that same logic, we imagine mouth in would just be the negative of that, so negative seven. And just to confirm, it is in fact on the X location. Okay, let's grab this bone.
Hey, look at that. Pretty cool. Now there's one more thing I want to show you. And that's maximum value. So right now, whenever the bone passes zero, it starts to feed into this. However, if we set this maximum to, say, I don't know, 2.5 for example. And let's just copy that really quick to everything else. Now you can take your bone and move it beyond what you actually initially created.
That way you get a nice, big, open mouth. So if I hide my graph editor really quick and zoom out, my monkey looks like he's talking. And his mouth is really big. Now isn't this great? We've been able to make a quick face rig for our monkey, and all it took was just a few clicks. Why don't you get in there and see what other crazy shape keys that you can add. And just remember, add some drivers, have fun, and make the best monkey you can.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.