Face rig

This is a facial rig that I developed based on the muscles of the face. I’ve tested it on a model, and while I’m pleased with the way it works, I’m open to suggestions on improving it.


FaceRig.blend (648 KB)

Is it good? Bad? Terrible? Somewhere in between?

It’s hard to tell without a mesh to demonstrate how it works in practice. I can say that without any limit location/rotation constraints on the control bones it’s possible to get some completely broken and bizarre deformations from this, but beyond that I have no idea. A naked rig is of limited use for demo and critique purposes.

Okay, here’s a link to the updated file:


You’ll definitely need to carefully fix the weight painting. Currently, even slightly raising any part of an eyebrow causes the entire forehead to rotate, and raising or lowing the upper lip causes the nose to either collapse or droop. Similar problems all over. Frowning makes the ear stretch, etc.

Okay, I’ve done some work on the weight painting and I think it’s an improvement.


Sorry I’m late to the game…

I downloaded the first version with the mesh, without your touchups to weight painting. Set out to create phonemes to do a lip sync and I had a few problems. Couple of shapes I couldn’t make with the rig. I’ll have to download the new weight paint job, and see what I can do as far as mouth shapes.

2 things I see missing is the ability to puff out the cheeks, and to snarl the nose.

Give me a week to re-tweak things. I like what you have, but I want to look further into the deform bones, see how they work.


Did I say a week??? What was I thinking???

Seriously, this has been done for 3 weeks and I never got around to posting it, sorry about that, life happens…

When trying to make phonemes for the ‘Q, strong U, W, R’ shape with the lips, I had problems with the nose. The lip controllers have too much control on the outer edge of the nostrils. Having control over that, having a snarl the nose control, would help.

To further play around with this, I decided to make it attempt to kiss, that’s the closing part of the video. Here I had the above problem and I’m thinking the control bones for the lips are backwards. When trying to roll out the lips, the upper lip controls drive the mesh down into the lower lip. I would expect the upper lip to roll out without intersecting the lower lip. If the tips of the controller bones where in front of the lips, instead of behind, should fix that and feel better.

I was a little confused at having 2 mouth corner control bones, one with a constraint on it. Which bone do I pose? I assumed the constrained bone was not meant to be posed.

Anyhow, it’s not much. Could I use this mesh and rig for a few tests??? I’ll share the work…


P.S. I’m not an animator by any means…