Using Rigify, but keeping only specific facial features

I’m getting to grips with blender, and want to create a character rig for animations on an anthropomorphic animal character. Basically a human with ears.

I’ve tested out, and after finding the documentation, watching some tutorials, it seems it’s a very versatile tool to make rigs for your characters.

The problem
I would like to make a character rig, with eye controller bones, but i planned on animating the rest of the facial features with shapekeys. But it seems like to have any of the facial features, eyes included, you need to keep ALL of the face-rig bones you get when importing the beta-rig. I can’t find any way to only have the eyes, or jaw for example.

So i’d either wanna figure out a way to do that. Or to add in an eyecontroller on the rig after rigify has created it. That part seems a big deal confusing though, cause i think it’s using python scripting to make ui menus for specific controls and sliders.

I appreciate any help. I’m new on the forum.

Hello fren, Rigify is modular and you can add/ remove(all) facial bones on metarig and it’ll generate a rig from it no problem, you can’t, as far as I know, unfortunately, partly remove bones from a rig type (face in this instance), rigify won’t be able to generate a rig from it. Read about rig types https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/addons/rigging/rigify/metarigs.html In your case I would generate the body rig using rigify, and make face rig by hand joining them later (it’s not only possible it works like a charm), could be quite confusing for a beginner I believe, good luck to you fren!

Main part im curios about, is that the generated rig, has all its bones controlled by ui buttons, (in the n tab) and i haven’t managed to figure out how i would append more stuff to that, i suspect it can’t be done without scripting. Is there any resources guides or whatnot for that?

I mean those are just hotkeys/switches for some functionality, if you append your face rig to it it won’t brake anything no worries, just select 2 rigs (or any number really) in the object mode, and Ctrl-J them together. Well if you’re going to edit the metarig at some point you’ll have to be careful because it would overwrite your face rig upon re-generation but you can always have an intact version of the face rig in your scene.

There’s nothing wrong with having bones that don’t do anything. Shapekeys aren’t great in conjunction with bones, not without taking special care, but if you don’t actually use the bones, it’s the same as not having them.

If you wanted, you could disable deform on a bunch of bones generated by Rigify. If you wanted, you could manually delete any of the bones it generates.

But like I said, you don’t have to do any of that. If you don’t want to manipulate a mesh with a particular bone, don’t manipulate that bone. That’s all you have to do.

Should be added, having a good facial rig is not a bad way to actually make your shapekeys, at least some of them.

I might need to take the approach of deleting unneeded bones after the fact. I just like things to be neat and perfect for a character to animate.

I think it would make sense to have the ability to create a rig with rigify only using the eye bones for example, without requiring you to line up ears nose and so on.
Say if you’re creating a cartoony character that doesn’t even have a nose. The one i’m making now doesn’t have human ears for example.

Would anyone have a guess as to who to contact to inquire about such additions?

Yes, the face is a singular “building block”, you can’t selectively delete parts of it. There were plans for an improved face preset but they are on hold as far as I understand.
As you say, deleting parts of the Generated rig is totally fine. The only problem is that if you re-generate the rig it will restore all deleted features. So delete when you’re done with your metarig!