Bones controlled by sliders


I am a newbie and I am looking for a way to control a mesh shape and texture with sliders.
I tried with Shapes keys, but it doesn’t work for rotations. My sliders should allow to scale and rotate the bones (and as well later control colours and texture transparency).

Which way would you suggest ? Are there tutorials that I would have overlooked ?

Thanks in advance,

Well I guess it really depends on exactly you are trying to do but your best bet would probably be a combination of shapekeys, the action constraint, and driving the IPO material.

Animate the bones to create the main motion for your mesh which you can use with the action constraint, which I’ve explained here. You can create any type of bone motion you need on the bones directly and ‘drive’ it with another (slider) bone. (You can directly drive a bone with another bone if they are in separate armatures, but driving quaternion rotations is a recipe for hairloss so I recommend you don’t ;)). You can then add any additional ‘fixes’ to your shape using shapekeys which are driven by the bones you have animated or another slider bone, whichever you prefer. Both of these techniques are actually conveniently explained in this tutorial by Paul Caggegi.

To animate the material with a bone slider (by the way, all the sliders should be bones in the same armature since that way they will be contained in the same action as the rest of the rig when animating), select the object and set the IPO window type to ‘material’. Then select the ‘alpha’ channel text and press ‘n’ to bring up the driver setup window. Setup the driver in there, you can press ‘i’ to create a default curve which you can then edit as you like. This explanation could help you set it up (it’s aimed at shapekeys, but setting up a material driver is identical).

Hope that answers your question :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot, FeelGoodComics. Well I got a lot to read, to understand and to try to put in practice, but that’s nice to get such a quick and detailled reply !

ROFL, you sure got that right :smiley:

You could use an action constraint- that gives you a lot of control

edit: oh I see feelgood comics already mentioned that

Well, I have been trying much, but I don’t obtain what I am looking for.
With what you have been saying, it seems that it goes through animation or am I wrong ?
I don’t want to animate with a timeline.
I would like to have all my sliders on a side of the view window, and then moving these sliders (so only FK), see in realtime the effects on my mesh. It is a help for painting (with real brushes).
I don’t want to render, I just want to see it in texture mode.

If that is not possible, well I’ll give up and try to find another way in VisualBasic or any other media.

What do you think ?

Thanks again in advance.

It’s not a trivial solution because it involves BPython, but you can use a script to drive your transformation channels, with functions in the script that read the slider values and return rotation, translation, or scale values for your bones. You can get realtime response this way. Not sure if there are UI sliders you could use to do this, but you can build sliders out of bones (many rigs use controllers of this sort), and use them in an analogous fashion.

However, if you’re using only FK, why not simply rotate the bones to pose your “virtual mannequin”? I’ve done the same thing now & then for lighting and pose studies, and simple bone rotation worked fine, with no need to do any complicated linkages to sliders of any sort. You can enter numeric values in the Transform Properties window if you don’t feel like directly manipulating the bones, even select them in the Outliner rather than the 3D Window.

Thank you Chipmasque for this idea of Python script, I think I found a good reference at and I will explore that way.

To refer at your advice to control skeletons directly, of course I had thought of that, but if I succeed in my project, I would like to share it with friends who are not familiar with Blender, and anyway for myself it would be much easier with sliders.

By the way, I had a look at your gallery and I found everything great. You are an Artist with A upcase !

Thanks again for all !