View Full Version : Rigging: Sticky Lips for Jaw Rigging

07 July 2010, 01:39 PM
Hi Guys;

I have done a lot of searches on the internet. But I have been able to find nothing so far. ( If there is one, please forgive me and share it with me )

I want my character's mouth very adjustable so that I can swicth beetwen two diferent circumtances.

The first one is opening the jaw with the lips.

The second one is opening the jaw without effecting the closed lips. This action is widely used for chewing movement.

I tried some methods including clusters,bones and even blend shapes. None of them worked properly...

I realy need a solution. I can even pay you ( yeees, cash money :S )

I'll be waiting for your replies.

Best Regards;


07 July 2010, 01:54 PM
Hey Ozan,

There's a couple of ways to do something like this. You could add extra joints for the 'lips and the area' that should stay put for the 'chewing movement'. You could constrain this to the 'skull' and to the 'jaw' and make a slider so you can choose to let it either follow the jaw or stick with the skull.

Another way would be to use a sticky lips setup as done here:
Sticky Lips (
Though, this might produce ugly results for what you need.

I recommend going for option one, as you can 'paint weights' in a cleaner way for the desired area.
Good luck.

*Waiting for that payment, hehe!*

07 July 2010, 02:21 PM
Thank you BigRoynl.. What a quick reply!!

First of all, I have to say that the page you sent me was excellent.

Even though It looks more advanced , It is still worth to give a try. Nice page and there is a clear explanation. Thank you so much.

If I go back to your first suggestion which is great as well; I am not that clear about this solution.

Should I use these new bones to bind the lips ?

If so, What will happen to controller on the lips ( which are clusters in this case ) and the blendshapes ?

If you can be more clear, I'll be much more happy. Now I am in office and we do not use Maya in our pipeline. As you have already guessed, I can not open Maya and try What you suggested me to do.

07 July 2010, 04:30 PM
you can also get a fairly decent result with Blend shapes and some set driven keys. You can also use Wire Deformers. There are a number of ways to achieve the effect. It really comes down to how much time and effort and what the end reuslt is that you are attempting to achieve.

07 July 2010, 06:52 PM
Besides, the way to do it totally depends on what way your characters facial setup will be done in total, as the jaw setup you'll be using is just a part of the face and must be able to work correctly in conjunction with the other controls. So there's no easy explanation on this topic.

07 July 2010, 07:33 PM
Unless for some reason you really want the chew shape to open with the same rotation as the regular jaw controller, your best bet is probably just to make a 'Chew' attribute somewhere and build the shape with set driven keys and/or blendshapes.

This is the common way to do it, it's relatively simple and should work fine with any setup.

Adding in a switcher for the jaw rotation to switch between chewing and opening sounds like one of those wacky animator requests they probably wouldn't end up liking anyway. Just give them an attribute for it. :)

07 July 2010, 08:19 PM
*Tries to has the guts to go with JayG*

Animators love being lazy. :)

07 July 2010, 08:31 PM
Haha. I'm not suggesting not to give an animator what they want, because that is a big part of a rigger's job. However, sometimes you can use a tactful response to show the animators that what they want may not be the best solution and you can give them something even better. Communication is key. ;)

07 July 2010, 08:38 PM
I'll bookmark this page and when an animator gives me a hard time I'll show them this thread and will link 'em through to you. Let them argue with you, and I can get back to work. Hehe.

No but you're totally right. So I agree to go for the setup where there's a slider for the state of the mouth (in SDKs and or blendshapes) instead of the amount of it following the jaw. (Unless you really need to animate something specific and you're a 100% sure you need this type of control.

In the end in all comes down to, what do you need and what's the fastest way to use it.

By the way JayG, love your blog! :)

07 July 2010, 08:45 PM
Thank you so much guys.

I have received many usefull replies from you. It was more than I had expected.

Let me tell you something about my mouth rigging process.

I think of using point on surface controllers which allow the animator to shape blendshapes even further.

So, I am gonno use 6 POS controllers ( three for upper lip and three for lower lip )

There will be two jaw joints: first one is used to get the mouth opening movement. The second one is just for controlling.It has no movement and is parented to the main head joint.

I also add a middle joint which is driven by the other two jaw joints via point constraints. So its position will always be in the middle of those joints.( regardless of distance between these two joints) Know What I mean?

Then, I make my POS controllers follow the middle jaw joint by using point constraints. This is gonno be switchable. When the switch is off, jaw will open in a normal fasion. When the switch is on, jaw will open while the lips are closed.

It is just and idea. I am still working on it. It is a little bit complex though. All I wanted to get is a simpeler solution.

Thank you so much again.

Please keep on sharing. I will also try your suggestions.

Best Regards;


07 July 2010, 08:50 PM
As stated before you're probably giving the animators more control now than they probably will be needing in the end. But I guess you'll choose whatever is right for your project.

Note that when you point constraint a joint to the position between these to joints the 'joint' will not 'rotate' and as such will not 'rotate' the jaw but will let the front slide forward. But then again, while you're creating the rig you might already find a work-around to this. (Because you'll probably notice when you're building it).

Good luck. When your rig is done, I'd love to see the end result.


07 July 2010, 06:20 AM
ok... you will see my finished rig...

thanks a lot...

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