Controlling shape key deform


I’ve created a simple shape key for an eyelid closing over a rounded cartoon eyeball but I’m not happy with the midpoint of its deformation, where the white of the eyeball pushes through the lid. Basically some of the vertices need to move from the open position to the closed position through a slight curve, rather than straight, as they are doing. If I could key another shape in the midpoint that would do the trick, but it doesn’t seem that I can do this. Using two shape keys seems really awkward for this simple movement.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


You could use a lattice for this. Set it to deform a vertex group containing just the vertices that are offending you.

I tried curves also, but the axes made me crazy.

I haven’t tried this yet, but in theory it should work:

First make a shape key for the eyelid both half closed and fully closed. Like you said, it is awkward to deal with both of these sliders, but using the new IPO drivers, you can create a custom slider that controls both shapes. You’ll probably have to set this up manually (I don’t think the widget script can handle it). Basically you’ll set up an object that when moved from 0 to 1 on an axis makes the eye go from fully open, to halfway closed. Then when the controller object is moved from 1 to 2, the eye halfway shape is turned off, while the fully closed shape is turned on.

I hope my explanation makes sense. Goodluck!

shape keys are cool but I’d use bones for the eyelids … unless the eyes weren’t spheres…

check out bassams candyman for a good eyeball/lid rig setup on the orange blog (bones are hidden)

Thanks, these are all good suggestions. Time to hunker down and start studying that Candyman and the new IPO drivers, I think…

Hi Bugman_2000,

Take a look at this topic that I posted:

Even though that topic may not be what you’re interested in, you may be interested in the “minkey.blend” file that you can download there.

If you open “minkey.blend” you’ll see that I have created keys for the upper and lower eyelids. However because keys move in a linear fashion I used two keys for the upper eyelid to prevent exactly what you are saying (eyelid cutting through the white). I have then linked all the keys to the slider (bottom right of the screen) and it doesn’t cut through the white.

It is necessary to ramp the first “halfway” key from 0 to 1 and then back to 0 again as the second key takes over. Take a look at the ipos in the window on the right in “minkey.blend” and you’ll see what I mean.

I think this is exactly the method Sketchy mentioned above.

Hope this helps,
Peter Eisfelder

PS. Once you’re happy with your eyes, you may then be interested in looking at the above topic ( when you try to fathom out how to make mods in your base shape and get them to appear in the edit meshes for each of the keys.


Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I have been meaning to getting around to taking a good look at that thread of yours… Your tool looks like something I’ll be interested in using down the line, even though I haven’t fully understood what it does yet… I’ll also be sure to have a look at the eyelids.

More required reading for the weekend, looks like…