DriverRig: Shape Keys to Bones

Short introduction
DriverRig tutorial

Did you know you can set up your control bones to drive shape keys? If you did know, then you could remember of how long and awful the manual process can be, even seemed as impossible at most times.

That’s why DriverRig solves that big problem by simplifying the process and automating it as much as possible so you can easily set those bones to drive the shape keys.

With this new automation for your models’ topology you can also achieve total facial control over any character whether complex or simple.


Category: Shape key automation
Software: Blender 2.83, 2.93, 3.x
License: GPL

So what can you do

  • Make a list of Control Bones that activate shape keys
  • Generate drivers for all targeted shape keys so moving the bones in a specific way triggers them
  • Create a 3D UI with headings and Custom Bone Shapes for visual clarity
  • Speeds up the process of adding bones and setting up drivers on shape key
  • Much easier to test, track, edit and delete than it is in default Blender
  • Use the generated shape keys in the Unreal Engine
  • A bone can trigger multiple shape keys
  • A shape key can be triggered by multiple bones

What are the versions

  • Custom Bone Shapes without the addon (157 shapes as a .blend file)
  • Full addon + the Custom Bone Shapes

These Custom Bone Shapes do not require the main script to work, since you can just use the shapes for your own rigs. Every single variation and alteration is meant for specific uses in regards to rotation, direction or size.

Don’t think this is all about faces, since it’s meant to work on any mesh. To begin its use, target the armature and add control bones to the list. Now choose which shape you need it to activate and just Generate.

It’s important to remember that if a shape key already has a driver it will be deleted!

Naturally you’d generate more and more shape keys and things could get disorganized, for which Shape Key Collections offers the solution with a folder management system –

But if you want to also be able to divide shape keys, group and merge them, including the Shape Key Collections addon, then Master Shape Keys is the greatest toolbox you can add in combination to DriverRig –


Version 2.2

  • The 3D interface now generates with a root bone which can be moved, rotated and scaled, just like any other bone. This has completely replaced the ‘UI-based’ system doing this with Offset sliders

Version 2.1

  • Can now give each shape key a target value which the shape key will be given. ‘1’ means the shape key will have a value of 1 when the bone is at max position

Version 2.0

  • Ability to use the duplicate key (CTRL+D), with the addon enabled, is now fixed
  • Rotation location and scale offset values are more intuitive and update in real time
  • Parenting capability now allows for specific bone parenting instead of just the root
  • Eye dropper can now properly select the armature
  • A bone can now trigger multiple shape keys
  • A shape key can now be triggered by multiple bones
  • There’s now an option to give each control bone a visible name in the UI
  • Generated text is now properly removed after creation for the rig
  • The text on the 3D UI is now cleaner and has options to be in all caps
  • Addon made compatible with Blender 2.83