A newbie having simple armature-related issues :)

Hi everyone! I’ve been learning Blender for a few weeks now. I want to make a simple animation with my character.

In my scene, I have my character’s body with its armature inside, and then I have 2 eyes with their separate bones. I rigged the eyes already exactly like in this tutorial separately from the body:

Afterwards, I placed the eyes in their positions. The right eye is a duplicate of the left eye by the way. Now, I want to make them one whole armature. Or Do I need even need to? I tried joining them but afterwards the bones of the eyes don’t work anymore. Here is a SS of my Blender file.

To move the eyes, I used ‘‘track to’’ with the eyeball and eye movement controller (bone). There is no bone in the eyeball. And I used ‘‘copy rotation’’ to open/close the eyelids.

How can I properly connect the eyes and their rigs with the body? The body just has the armature in it.

Would be grateful for help :slight_smile:


It’s hard to say exactly how everything is set up (origins etc) without seeing a file.

If everything moves fine when the main armature is unposed, you could probably get away with just parenting the eye armature to the head bone (bone relative parenting.) Better would be to merge the armatures, but that might require reparenting the eyes (or redirecting their armature modifier.)

I tried parenting them to the head bone but I don’t see the ‘‘keep offset’’ option when I do that, only ‘‘connected’’ after ctrl + P.

Also, the armature of the eyes and the body are separate, I have to click all of them in object mode to be able to edit them together. And when I join them all, then the eyelids close (the eye bones do not function anymore).

I’ve tried your solution as well. I get all the bones moving together when I do that. However, the problem always at the end is that, in pose mode, I can only move the body’s armature and I can’t touch the bones of the eye because the eye bones and body bones are not joined and when they are joined, as I said, the rigging of the eye doesn’t work anymore. I’m stuck :confused:

OR, how about I just move or position the body how I want in pose mode, and when I need to position the eyes, I just go into object mode.

I wonder if this will work for animating…

Nope, doesn’t work. Even though I parent the eyes to the body, in pose mode, the body moves (after parenting it with the armature) but the eyes stay where they are…

It sounds like you’re okay with bone parenting (it’s fine that there’s no keep offset), but you don’t like having to switch between two armatures, which is inconvenient-- I agree, it’s inconvenient.

In which case, the problem you’re having is that after joining, some functionality you built into your eyes isn’t there anymore.

That’s likely to be either because of a bone constraint or a driver. They may need to be inspected to make sure they’re still referencing the right stuff, since the old eye armature no longer exists, and since the local space of the eye’s root bone(s) will have changed after parenting.

But I can’t know what your constraints and drivers are without seeing a file.

Thank you very much for your replies!

I did the eyes exactly like in the YouTube tutorial I posted. I did it in the same scene but as separate meshes, and now just want to connect it with the body. By exactly, I mean the rigging and adding the eyelids. I already had my procedural eye created consisting of 2 meshes, one inner and one outer for the shiny layer of the eye, that’s it. And then I added the rigging and the eyelids according to the tutorial.

I’m sorry, I kind of don’t feel comfortable sending my file, I hope that’s ok. But I can post screenshots of exactly what you want to know.

I hope we can sort this out with your help :slight_smile:

Should I maybe remove all the rigging from the eyes, parent the eyes to the body, and then add the bones again with track to for the eyes and copy rotation for the eyelids? Oh, I might have actually tried this but didn’t work I think :slight_smile:

HI, if you select the bone and then the metarig in object mode and go to parent > Bone it should work and you be able to animate in pose mode:

Then you should know what you did. Look at any drivers or constraints you created on the bones. Make sure that all the settings make sense.

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Thank you very much for your reply!

I will try this also :slight_smile:

Alright, I’ve tried it also, I can move the eye bones this way but nothing is happening with the eyes (they are not moving) :confused:

I have no bones in the eyes. The eyes themselves are tracked to the bones in front of them. Could it be maybe because of this, that I would need to add bones in the eyes as well and track from those bones instead of tracking directly from the eye itself?

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Yes you need bones for each eye parented to the main bone and then track constraint to the eyes control.

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Alright, now I will try this. I hope it works :slight_smile:

I’ve done it from the beginning. The eyes work fine in terms of moving after combining the armature to the body to test out some animation. However, now the eyes stay where they are and do not move with the body. I did not parent the eyes to the body. When I do that, the eye bones lose their function and do not move the eyes anymore. I tried parenting the main eye bone mover (the bigger one in the middle) to my main bone and also to the head bone, but still not working. The body was deforming.

Here is an SS:

What am I doing wrong now? :confused:

P.S. the inner parts of the eyes are parented to the outer parts of the eyes

This setup will not work anyway because you used disc shape eyeballs instead of sphere shape.

You probably have weights assigned to the eye bone from the head object, post the blend file and we can take a look at it for you… Non-spherical eyes is generally not a good idea…

Thank you for your reply!

I can’t use sphere. It doesn’t work with my model. I had to use lattice to make it work with the head model. I had to flatten the eyes. I’m so stuck :slight_smile:

Alright, here is the file:

TEST FILE.rar (574.4 KB)

And here is the link to the lattice eye rigging tutorial:

It’s little bit messy :slight_smile:

And I still need to rig the eyelids as well but I’m already stuck with just the eyes :frowning:

Digitvisions also mentioned this but I can’t use spherical shape for my head’s model. They need to be kinda flat.