Transfering the rig to another mesh that has the shape keys with the same names?

I am trying to transfer existing rig to a different character mesh.
New mesh has shape keys with the same names as the original one. (Smile.L, smile.R…you get the picture)

Is it possible to re-assign the armature to the new mesh and re-use facial controls, without re-assigning all the drivers for all of the shape keys? (much too much hassle prone to mistakes)

I hope this makes sense.

I hate bump-ing but this problem needs solving pretty fast :frowning:


Do you mean that you want to keep the weight from one rig and the shape keys of another rig and blend them together? or just the armature of the rig with the shape keys?

yeah, the more I read your post, the more I think it’s a really particular case. What about coping and paste the drivers for each shape key? is it too much?

The basic idea is to erase old mesh and use the rig with the new mesh with the shape keys that have same names (idea is that a smile is basically the same no matter if it is vanilla human, fairy or an ogre) and using the same controls actually adds to the consistency in animation approach).

For example, I have a control that animates shape keys for the mouth (If I move it to left I get o-shape, right Wide mouth, up - smile, down - frown). Now I want to import different mesh that has the same shape keys without re-assigning the control - because I have some ten controls that have at least two shape keys each. And I want to do the process with five different characters. :frowning:

I hope that now I explained things a little better.

Aaaand, although I am not new to Blender, I am not sure how the divers for each shape key can be copied… silly me!

Hey ristesekuloski, meant to reply sooner, but got side tracked/forgot, so your bump worked!! Yes this can be done and it’s relatively painless. In the file with the working character rig, append in your new mesh. If your new mesh has a rig already, append that too, if not, just duplicate the other rig and place it accordingly inside the new mesh. Adjust the rig’s name, add an armature modifier to the new mesh, weight paint, etc, etc… I think you know that stuff…

Select the original mesh, in the object data panel, look to the shape keys panel, and select the first shape key. The slider should be purple (meaning it has a driver on it), right click over the slide and choose ‘copy driver’. Now select the new mesh, locate the shape key slider, right click again and select ‘paste driver’. At this point, if you select the original rig, and move the shape key controller, both mesh’s shape keys should operate together.

Select the new mesh, open an f-curve editor and to the right of the menus in the header, switch it from f-curve editor to drivers. Now select the driver from the top left side to make it the one that is being edited. Press the n-key to open the properties panel. Scroll down until you see a box labeled Ob/Bone with a field by it that has a cube icon and the word ‘Object’ by the icon, next to that is another field with the name of the original armature object in it. Adjust that name to the name of the new armature object for the new mesh. Now the new armature’s shape key controller bone should control the new mesh’s shape key. Repeat as needed. When finished, delete the original mesh & armature and save the new character file.

I have not tried this on 2 characters with 2 armatures, but I’ve done a lot of copying & pasting drivers. In my case, I have to change the bone name, not the armature object’s name. In your case, you’d just change the armature object’s name…


Wow! This… might… work!

Thank you, I’ll try it first thing after work! Thank you, Randy, you’ve just made my day (and its 7 n he mprning here - so I’ll be happy for a while, LOL)


Thank you, this thing works like a charm!