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I want to use it to create programmatic deep fakes (everything is on the up and up, i swear). I've completed the First Steps With 2.8 and the Donut tutorials which lets me move around blender a bit but the idea of rigging an entire face and syncing the lips to phonemes (adding controls for emotions, eyebrow raises, etc) seems daunting.

Specifically what I want is the ability to control the model from code. Using code I say:

  • look in this direction
  • blink
  • animate saying "It seems likely to me that UFOs come from extra-dimensional beings" at speed x.
  • look happy

...and it does that. As a non-animator/sculptor creating a rig like this would be difficult and time consuming. But I don't see anything quite like what I'm looking that's premade. Perhaps I could start with one of the characters on blenders website. For example, snow looks good but he doesn't seem to have all the phonemes and he looks a tad cartoonish.

enter image description here

Can you advise on the quickest easiest way to get the type of puppet I am looking for. I will make it myself if I have to.

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  • $\begingroup$ There is no "quick and easy" way to do what you want. I'm afraid the last sentence in your question gives you your answer! $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ ...i'd think this would be a common enough use case that there would be something on an asset store or a blender add on like faceit that gets you 99% of the way there... $\endgroup$
    – user875234
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ This Q&A site is run by volunteers and can only try to help with problems using Blender and its built-in addons. If you want advice and suggestions about other addons I suggest you ask on Blenderartists.org. $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ I think you should change the title words from "face puppet" to "Animated Facial Expressions" so that more people find your question. $\endgroup$
    – james_t
    Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Did you find anything in the right direction other than the answers posted below? @user875234 $\endgroup$
    – FabricioG
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 21:39

2 Answers 2

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search for "[manuel-bastioni-lab]" in this site. MB-Lab is a free (included in base?) add-on. When you create the character, based on many parameters, it will create shape keys that you can animate for blinking, or as I've done, key "Mouth Open" to a frame and then use Graph Editor menu "Key :: Bake sound to F-Curve" to synchonize with a voice. There are no phonemes included in the Shape Keys, unfortunately.

enter image description here

You can "Create Face Rig" that will create create an additional armature to drive many of these values. I prefer not.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ It's unsupported in latest Blender versions it appears the latest one is 2.8 $\endgroup$
    – FabricioG
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 21:42
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I have used the DAZ Studio, where there is a DAZ-to-blender bridge that you install both in DAZ Studio (for export) and in blender (for import). Characters that you create in DAZ, once imported into blender, include Shape Keys for phenomes:

enter image description here

Even the free "Genesis 8" characters are good looking and very realistic.

enter image description here

There is even a feature where you can take a good face picture (think passport photo) and transpose it onto your character (yes: I've done videos featuring Donald Trump saying his stupid lies! It was good therapy in 2020).

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have to specifically tell it to import the phenomes? $\endgroup$
    – FabricioG
    Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 21:44

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