Makes any Mesh... to FIT and FOLLOWS Perfect the MAIN MESH?


I’m experimenting with Bendy bones for the first time and have lots of fun,
I’m amazed how Animator-Friendly it is and can’t wait to animate something with it!

OK, so I’ve created a simple Mesh from a cube, subdivided it a few times, shaped it a little and added subdivide modifier to make it look smooth (it looks like a Cartoon Potato for now…)

First, I did try my luck with 2D Animated Texture (PNG Sequence), it works and it’s nice but…
I’m wondering about actual meshes as Eyeballs with more details, blend shapes for blinking or resize.
And a Mouth mesh with different blend shapes or even better: Bendy Bones! (I’m not sure yet).

Based on the main Potato-Like mesh I’ve made, how can I add for example the Eyeballs BUT!
Keeping them on the specific place on the mesh EVEN if it will be squishy with the Bendy bones?

It is important for me that even if the main Potato-Like mesh will be stretched, twist and rotate in extreme ways,
The eyes and Mouth will not look like getting out of the mesh but stick to it.

Is it possible without a Lattice? or do I have to use a Lattice for this task?

I’m not very experienced with rigging at all, so as I said it may be hard for me to follow…
If you know a good video tutorial or if it’s SIMPLE to follow with some visual step-by-step screenshots I’ll be happy to learn how to accomplish this.

  • Sorry about my bad English and thanks ahead for helping in this! :slight_smile:

Well for that I would use a number of techniques: :yes:

Like a bendy bone for the potato as a whole, and Shapekeys for the eyes and lips:

And ordinary bones for the legs and feet.

Here’s the blend file to take to pieces:- potato.blend (570 KB)

Just press Play and see how silly I really am. :eek:

Then of course you can ask me any questions on how I did it. :stuck_out_tongue: Which I will answer some time tomorrow onwards…

Other, more sane people might suggest other methods…

Cheers, Clock.

PS. Not a Lattice in sight or a Lettuce for that matter. :spin:

Thanks for the reply clockmender! and for the example file and screenshots.

I thought about making all extruded faces but it won’t be good as a separated spheres for eyes or any other mesh as I explained on the thread, the look I’m looking for should be based on Body + Mouth + Eyes every single one is a different mesh so I can also control by itself, for example stretching the eyes rotating it if I like changing Shape Keys etc… BUT!

These other meshes should be connected fluidly and smoothly follow the main Body of the character… That’ why I thought about Lattice but I’m not sure because it may be super complicated for me especially if the Main Potato-Like shape will be controlled by Bendy Bone.

As you may have guessed from my recent, prolonged silence on the matter - this has taken some thinking about to get what you want - and I am not as young as I used to be. :no:

So here is a solution to the problem of keeping the eye and mouth bones in the same place on the head as you distort that.

The only bone constraint I can find that observes a vertex group is Stretch To. So I made the vertex on the head where I wanted the left eye bone a vertex group and called it eye.L - I added a bone in the “bits” armature that is parented to the anchor bone and has a Stretch To to this vertex group on the head mesh. So whatever I do with the mesh, the tail of this bone is always on the chosen vertex. I extruded this bone to form the eye bone, but this new bone does not inherit scale or rotation, or the eye would distort when you distort the head.

I used two armatures to avoid cyclic dependancy loops - but it is still not 100% stable and may require more thought. You cannot, or is that should not, have one bone in an armature that is dependant upon a piece of the mesh that is dependant upon another bone in the armature - things can go wrong here. :spin:

Then I repeated this for the other eye and the mouth, which I have three bones for. You can scale or rotate these mouth and eye bones but you cannot move them as they are tied to the mesh vertices - which is what you asked me to do, whether you realised that or not! So you can do this sort of thing with it:


Herewith the blend file potato.blend (709 KB) to play with - I have not put any animations on this latest bit - that you can do.

Cheers, Clock. :eek:


You could use the same principles for separate leg meshes also…

Clockmender thank you so much for taking the time and help in this, I appreciate it.

I will probably try this method, it looks like it’s more stable as the eyes are moving with the body but I didn’t check it out yet, I hope check it out later of course.

BTW - While I didn’t solve it, I did try something else with the Shrinkwrap modifier.
it’s not the same and not perfect but it worked for a simple Rig like I’m dealing with (for now it’s simple…)

There are many things I can’t accomplish with the shrinkwrap modifier compare to what you’re showing for example:
A full mouth with teeth and tongue as ONE MESH with many different shape keys because the shrinkwrap modifier will squash the different pieces together into a mess… that’s why I’ll probably test your technique.

But for a simple mouth and eyes, I think I made it work so far… I’ve added many shape keys and a bit space from the original mesh.
As long as the Eyes and Mouth are not over moving on the MAIN body they won’t twisted too much.

It’s not WOW! because I’m still a noob, but here is a screenshot for the current WIP:

Well… In that case I would combine both methods:

So I positioned the eyes and mouth using my bones techniques as above and then added a Shrinkwrap Mod to the new planar meshes, added Solidify and Sub-Division Mods and some basic shapekeys, so I can do this with it:

Then did some posing with the shapekeys, you can still scale, or rotate, the meshes using the bones as before, but you can also distort them using the shapekeys. The meshes stay where they should be because of the bones and stay just above the surface because of the Shrinkwrap Mods. The solidify gives a nice rounded edge, like they have some volume and the Sub-Div makes them smoother and fit better to the head shape as you distort that using the bendy bones. :stuck_out_tongue:

Does this do what you want?

Blend file: potato.blend (745 KB)

Cheers, Clock. :eyebrowlift2:


BTW. If you don’t want all of a mesh to be affected by the Shrinkwrap - just use a Vertex group, add the vertices to be shrink wrapped to it then chose this vertex group in the Shrinkwrap Mod…

Here’s the setup for the Vertex Group in the Shrinkwrap Mod.

Note the eye is now domed, only the outer faces are actually shrink wrapped to the head.

Cheers, Clock. :eyebrowlift2:


Mmmmmmmm - not true!

I rest my case M’Lud…

Hehe I just grabbed the blend and it’s so funny! :smiley:

So, basically I’m happy with my current simple setup which is similar to what you did (without solidify).
but the problem I found with the Shrinkwrap is… if you slide for example one of the eyes to a bit extreme rounded part of the mesh it start to lose it’s smooth original shape and twist.

It’s not critical for now, but I didn’t found a way to solve this.
I believe that the other option is the Lattice one and bone on each eye so even if the main mesh (head) stretches everything will stretch with it.

I understand why this twisting-shape happens, simply because the mesh stays on the same angle instead of rotating all over the mesh, but I’m not sure such option even possible with shrinkwrap… is it? :confused:

I’m considering to just leave the character as is without a Lattice at all but I’m not sure yet…
I will see how it will move with the Bendy Bone first.
I’ll do some other tests and I’ll update here if I’ll run into some weird issue again like the shrinkwrap.

Sorry about my bad English and thank you so much for your supportive help, I appreciate it!


So just add some more edge loops and the mesh can deform better:

Don’t worry about your English its perfectly understandable to me!

Cheers, Clock.

Unfortunately I already did but still there is a tweak as the object cross it’s original 90 degrees compare to the rounded main mesh.

I have sent you a PM. In some circumstances I have rotated the bone that the eye is “bone” parented to.

Cheers, Clock.

Yes, exactly this is what I meant if I want to just move the Shrinkwraped meshes in some points I can’t just trust the move, I will also need to rotate and re-place it which is not so “user-friendly” for a rig.

Originally Posted by Alonbecause the shrinkwrap modifier will squash the different pieces together into a mess

Mmmmmmmm - not true!

Let me show you this even that your rig based on rotating and not moving all around the wrapping head.
I just moved the each eye and even the mouth a bit to the right without moving, you can see the twist:

As I explained before, if you want to get rid of the twsited shrinkwrap you need to rotate the mesh to wrap on the main mesh (head).
Luckily, in my specific model I can just move it a bit before it’s getting the twisting effect.

I just hope there was an automatic solution for that, maybe with a bone in the middle of the face… I didn’t try but it may be a solution.

I think that I’ll just limit the movement of my eyes and mouth because I don’t really want a complicated setup, after all I’m just a noob and I want things to be easy for me to work with, but I’m always happy to learn. :slight_smile:

I see what you are saying, the rig as it is does not allow for relative repositioning of the eyes on the head. For that we need to look at a different approach - much more complicated as it was hard enough to get them to stay still! The idea is that the eyes are parented to their bones and you should only do to the eye what its bone can do - not move them independently of the bone. The bones can only be rotated or scaled since they are constrained to stay still on the head mesh.

I will give this some more thought over the next day or so. I am away all next week without my Mac, so the may take a little time unless i come up with a solution before then.

Cheers, Clock,

Thank you so much for exploring these many solutions with me clockmender! :slight_smile:

I’m starting to believe that Lattice in some way will do the way… but I’m not sure yet because my first priority will be Bendy Bone for the Body / Head which I’m still exploring.

The good news is that the current “face” with the help of shrinkwrap and shape keys I can animate almost any expression I like,
And I didn’t even setup any bones for the body/head of the character yet so it’s a super clean rig for now.

I think - for now - you just leave the eyes and mouth where they are on the face, don’t try to move them around the face and only alter their shape with Shapekeys or scale/rotate them using the bones. Once you have this all in your head and sorted, we can look at being able to move them around the head as well. This is going to be difficult as you are also squishing the head!

I don’t thing lattices are going to help - I see all sorts of dangers here! But go ahead and try, you may be lucky!

Cheers, Clock.


One final thought - Why not use Shapekeys to move the entire mesh around the face?

So the Basis key has the vertices in the right place and another key has them moved away from the normal position. I don’t have time to test this as I am busy all day until this evening UIK time.