Rigging eyelids for protruding eyes


Hi there,

I’m rigging a character which has huge eyes that are almost completely protruding out of the body and might even detach during animation. I’m having difficulty getting a decent eyelid setup done because the eyelids have to cover the entire eye back to front during a blink and would preferably have to disappear completely when the character isn’t blinking or making a specific expression.

Here is my reference:


In the first few seconds, the character blinks and his eyes go from being almost completely outside of the body to pretty much being “swallowed” by it. I really would appreciate some ideas on how I could accomplish this.

I’m a Cinema 4D user so I’ve attached a file of my current setup using blend/morph shapes. This approach isn’t working because I need the lids to disappear and because it’s not really going to make the eyes sink into the body.

Any help would be appreciated. :slight_smile:


hi there, have you seen this rigging reel https://vimeo.com/22844101
there rig is using a range of deformers layered such as cluster, lattice, blendshapes, squash and stretch, etc on top of existing joint/bone based deformation. the trick and technique is to layer the deformation in proper order so the joint deformation or skincluster is driven first, then comes the blendshape and the lattice and so on. try using blendshapes/morph target as these are predictable and easy to setup. you can add a lattice/ffd on top to tweak the fixes.


check the rotation on your objects. they are all over the place.
also is there a reason why your object is so tiny in C4D?

look into fan-joints for the eye lid.

I haven’t done any rigging in cinema for ages, but please see attached file for a simple fan-joint setup that lets you control upper and lower eyelid. i haven’t skinned the geometry to the joint but you’ll get the idea. throw an FFD on top of it to be able to deform the eye and lid. you can solve size through FFD as well


Thank you for your responses!

Boucha, I had seen that video and it only served to ask more questions instead of answering them. ^^ But I didn’t know about the proper order of layering the techniques, I had tried putting clusters on top of morphs but that didn’t work, I’ll try the other way around.

CosmicBear, my objects are closer to real world size instead of being the huge ~200cm C4D standard, does it matter for the match behind xpresso or something?
Thank you so much for the example, I had come up with the concept of fan joints on my own and the xpresso was similar to yours but every time I rotated them the mesh didn’t deform correctly in a “rotational” way. The result of this is very similar to morphs, why do you suggest using joints instead?


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