I've imported a Source model (smd and vta) which includes a skinned armature and Shape Keys data. I then want a curve to run along the face and follow the facial expressions from the Shape Keys. I learn of the Hook and Vertex Parenting, so I make the curve with so many points, make sure each point is in the same place as the key vertices I've selected, Hook each point to an Empty, as well as a few of the point's handles, and parent each Empty to the selected vertices. So far so good when going through some shape motions.

However, when I pose the armature the curve seems to get very large loops, as if the handles were pulled extremely far. When I go into Edit Mode again, the points seem to have stayed in their original place and size. I decide to try and parent the entire curve object to the armature's head bone, which offset things. Rebuilding that, I try again to pose the armature, but the curve still gets loops. I even placed the curve object at the center of the world, which pulled the loops even further.

It is as if the curve points do follow the hooks, but their handles don't want to follow anything, neither a hook or keep with the relative positions of their points. What am I missing here?

  • $\begingroup$ It looks like some of the curve vertices are not hooked or you were trying to hook them twice to another empty without deleting previous hook first. BTW you don't need to hook handles to anything. If you hook the curve vertices to empties in exactly the same position then it should follow it exactly. $\endgroup$ – Mzidare Sep 8 '18 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Mzidare I was hoping not to have to set so many hooks (over 30 verts). $\endgroup$ – Edward Sep 8 '18 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ Probably there is an easier way to achieve what you're need, maybe without using curves. What's your goal? Why do you need the curve to follow the facial expressions? $\endgroup$ – Mzidare Sep 8 '18 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Mzidare Believe it or not, big bubbling tears on a very expressive face. I first tried fluids but either too much to calculate or went right through the model. Then figured metaballs on a curve would work just as well, at least up to the drop-off point. $\endgroup$ – Edward Sep 8 '18 at 13:07
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    $\begingroup$ How about adding shape keys to the curve itself that would be driven by the same item as face shape keys. $\endgroup$ – Mzidare Sep 8 '18 at 14:07

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