Anyone know what has happened to ludwig's face controls here?

This is a practice animation I’m working on using Nathan Dunlap’s ‘ludwig’ character and rig. I’ve got him throwing a baseball, and now I’d like to go in and work on his face. Unfortunately it seems his face control gadget is not working anymore. How do I get it to work again? can anyone help?

here’s the blender file:

The Ipo drivers seem to be gone. I’m not sure how they disappeared like that. Keying the shape Ipos in the action editor can interfere with the Ipo drivers, but it shouldn’t delete them.

You should see the Ipo driver curves should be in the Ipo Editor with the mesh selected and “Shape” selected in the dropdown. Pressing N will show the driver details. There don’t seem to be any drivers set up here.

You can find out more about Ipo drivers here:

I’m not sure how you managed to break him, but I think your best bet to fix it is to append a new ludwig into the scene, and then link him to your throwing animation. Then you can delete the old one.

Also, just for the record, Nathan Dunlap did quite a bit of testing of Ludwig before Lud’s public release… but he didn’t make him. :smiley:

Thanks for the pointers, I was totally stumped. I’ll look into some drivers tutorials and see if I can’t fix him, otherwise the linking idea. Yeh, I realized after I posted that Nathan didn’t actually make the rig, it was Jason Pierce if I’m not mistaken. Anyway, it’s a great learning tool, and I’m grateful to have it.

Jason “sketchy” Pierce as he’s known among the in-crowd…

bugman_2000 do you know where I can find a good tutorial or write-up, on how to do that linking method you mentioned?

oops, it was -sketchy- who mentioned that… :o

All you have to do is append another Ludwig from the Object tree in the append dialog, (just select everything except the camer and the lamp), then select the new Ludwig’s armature and go to the action editor and choose your “Throw Ball” action. Done.

Nice animation btw ! :slight_smile:



There’s a good video tutorial on appending (Vital Functions - Appending) here:

I’ve appended another copy of ludwig into the scene. I thought he might come in as one piece, and it would be a simple matter of applying the ‘Throw Ball’ action, but I actually had to append him part-by-part. After that I had to manually enter the new parent and modifier targets. Perhaps I missed something there.

So far, I have a second ludwig performing the same action, but his facial control rig is still having absolutely no effect. I checked the original ludwig file, and it is still 100% functional, so no problem there.

Here is the latest version of the blender file:

If anyone has the time, I’d really like to know what’s going on, otherwise I guess I will just put this project aside until I have more knowledge and can put the pieces of the puzzle together on my own.

Thanks for all the help so far.
( bugman, I am really hanging for your book ! :slight_smile: )

“part-by-part” … not sure what you mean, but when you opened the append dialog, did you navigate to the “Object” tree? If, so you can select everytihing from that "tree " by pressing “a” to select all, or RMB to add to the selection set, then click on Load Library, and it should all load at once.

Even better, is to take the original Ludwig file, (or a copy which would be a good idea :), then selec the ludwigArmature, then spaceBar/select grouped/children, then CTR-g Add New group, which will create a group with all the parts of Ludwig combined. (You can rename the group in the Object buttons (F7).

Save that file, then when you want to append Ludwig into a scene, use that saved file as the append target, and navigate to the Group “tree” and choose the group you created previously, and everything in that group will be appended.

Alternatively you can use (a copy of) the original Ludwig file, and append from your “broken” file the “Throw Ball” action. Instead of appending from the Object or Group section, you append from the Action section. After you append the action, it should show up in the action editor, just select the Ludwig armature and choose that action and it should work.

As for why your face rig stopped working, I managed to get your original file working, but I’m retracing my steps to make sure I understand what happened.

A few things for sure :

  1. There are three armatures in Ludwig :

    • ludwigArmature - “body skeleton”
    • FaceControl - “gui” face controls
    • ludwig_face - “internal face armature” (linked to FaceControl

“ludwig_face” should NOT be keyframed or generally touched for animation. It needs to stay linked to the “faceDrivers” action, and that action should generally not be modified or messed with.

That armature should be on a layer by itself with the layer turned off (select that armature in OBJECT mode (CTR-TAB) then press “m” to move it to a layer and turn off the layer button.

In your “broke” file, you’ve “connected” the ludwig_face armature to the “Throw Ball” action, which is part of the reason why the facial controls (for the jaw bones and other ludwig_face bones) have stopped working.

  1. Ludwig’s face is also deformed with “shape keys”, which are controlled via IPO Drivers linked to the FaceControl armature. If you select the ludwig mesh, then go to an IPO editor and choose Shape as the IPO type, then select one of the channels (smile.L, frown … etc), there should be IPO curves there, but in your file they are missing. Maybe you were playing around in there and deleted them ? :slight_smile:

I’m still investigating what else is wrong with the file, I’ll update here when I can repeat my “fix” :slight_smile:

One of the shortcomings in 2.42a is the vulnerablity of char rigs to be inadvertenly broken as in your example. In CVS now and hopefully in 2.43 is a new feature called Proxy Objects. It’s tied into the append mechanism, and allows objects to be “locked down” so that they can’t be modified, which will be great for avoiding problems like you’re encountering. I’ve played with the new feature and it seems to be (mostly) working. I’ll try it with Ludwig and see if I can make a (more) user-friendly/save version :slight_smile:

btw, if you turn on the “Compress File” option under the File menu, the original Ludwig file compresses to ~270 K when saved :slight_smile:


Thanks for that Mike_S. I’m just going through your instructions now. By “part-by-part” I meant that I had to select each element of the ludwig character and append them one by one. For example, the armature, and then the mesh, and then the eyes, etc. Hopefully I can get it all to append in one swoop like you suggested.

Will let you know how it goes…

Good news, I have the face control rig working again :D. I used the ‘a’ key like you suggested to bring everything in together (minus the camera and lamp). Previously I was trying to use shift+LMB to select the various parts, not realizing that blender’s ‘RMB to select’ paradigm was universal throughout the interface.

The setup must have broken when I pulled ludwig in part-by-part. As for the original facial control rig breakage, I am stumped. Being my first animation in blender I no doubt did something screwy. I’d still be curious to know what happened if you can figure it out. Thanks everyone for the help :smiley:

Umm, I assume you mean with your “new” appended Ludwig? (did you delete the old one?) Appending the original Ludwig shouldn’t (???) have any effect on the “broken” Ludwig … I don’t think anyway :slight_smile:

Did you “connect” your Throw action to the newly appended Ludwig?

I updated my original post, you may have missed the info (that I have so far) on why the face controls got broken


Yes that’s right. I got the new ludwig working by connecting my original action to it. I didn’t fix the original ludwig though.

Sorry, yes I did get the original post. The explanation was great thanks. I basically only used the first half of your instructions as that was pertaining to getting ludwig appended correctly. One thing did confuse me,


It’s probably something basic, but I’m not sure what you meant here by “connected to the Throw Ball action”.

This is likely the case :o

At this stage, I don’t think I can fully understand how I wrecked the rig, even with your explanation. I am just glad to have the action in tact, and ludwig’s face working again. I think the best thing for me now is to tackle some tutorials on rigging and driver set-ups.

Please don’t spend any more time unless it’s for your own interest. Thanks for all the help :slight_smile:

“connected to”, I just mean whatever the current action is for the armature.

Your file had the Throw Ball action as the current action for the ludwig_face armature, when it should be the “facedrivers” action. The ludwig_face armature is not meant to be animated directly, only the ludwig_armature and the faceControl armatures are intended to be animated.

You also had the Throw Ball action “connected” to both the FaceMaquette object (the “frame” for the face controls), and also to the Ludwig mesh itself ! :slight_smile: The mesh (Ludwig object) should not be directly animated either :slight_smile:

It looks like maybe you selected everything visible in the viewport in while in OBJECT mode and keyframed everything :slight_smile:

With this rig you only want to select the ludwig_armature or the faceControl armatures while in POSE mode and keyframe only those bones.

There are also “internal structural” bones that are not intended to be animated (though it shouldn’t matter if they are keyframed … just clutters your action editor). It looks like you might have pressed alt-h (Pose/Show Hide bones / show hidden which reveals those “structural bones”.

In 2.42a there is now the “bone layers” feature, which allows bones to be placed on different layers instead of using the hide (“H”) feature. This allows different groups of bones to be displayed/hidden, whereas the old Hide/display mechanism unhides all bones that were previously hidden.

The bone layers display pane is in the Edit Buttons (F9) / Armature / Display Options panel. To place bone(s) on a bone layer, select them while in POSE mode and press “m” … a “floating” bone layer panel will appear, click on whatever layer you want to place the bones on. To hide / display them , click on the corresponding button in the Display Options panel.

There is a similar row of buttons under the Selected Bones panel, which indicates/controls which layer the selected bones will be assigned to.