Driven Animations of Bone Shapes?

Hey, I’ve been setting up a rig using bone shapes for a better visual control…right now I’m trying to get a “hand clench” bone shape to animate based it’s position, so that when its in the “unclenched” position it shows an unclenched hand, and when its in a “clenched” position it deforms into a clenched hand.

The problem I’m having is that the shape keys for this simple animation are applied to the mesh used as the bone shape, not the bone itself. So all my bone shape meshes are on a different layer, and when that layer is turned off the bone doesn’t animate.

Here’s a video that hopefully shows you what I’m talking about more clearly:

This of course is not a necessary thing, but I’m hoping it’s still possible.

I gotta say I like that idea!!! :smiley:

Watched your video and had to try that out. Took me 20 mins to get the shape key setup right. But as soon as I watched your video, the answer was right there. Simply move the bone shape mesh to the same object layer as the armature. Disable it’s view/selection/render in the outliner… I struggle with setting up drivers in 2.5, but yea, it works.

This is a great little trick, you’re a freaking genius!! Well, maybe I’m going a bit too far there…but I’ve never thought about driving shape keys for bone shapes before…

See attached .blend



HandRigFingerShape1.blend (232 KB)

oh oh oh haha…i should have thought of that. i guess it’s not ideal for keeping everything neat and to its own layer, but who cares about that as long as it works.

why thank you =] haha. as i said its pretty much useless, except for keeping you a little excited while doing tedious adjustments. i had posted another video on screenr to the same effect: that time i wasn’t using bones, just drivers applied with other objects (which is why i ran into the problem when i wanted it to affect bone shapes).

i dont remember how i got the idea, maybe it’ll catch on

Well, actually, I think it keeps things even cleaner I think. I used to have the mesh on one layer, armature on another, and bone shapes on another, this way you are only using 2 layers, not 3… And really, from an animating point of view, does it matter? Generally, we hide bones not needed for animation on other layers away from the user of the rig, so now the bone shapes are hidden as well…

Yes, it does have limited uses, but in the case of a hand clutch controller like you used, it’s a good idea. I’ll be using this on the character I’ve been working on.


yea i agree, cool