View Full Version : Eyeballs and Eye bones

02-26-2009, 03:01 PM
Alright, I am somewhat of a beginner, even though I have been "using" Lightwave for 3 years (off and on). I took some time off to have children, but now I'm back, and I want to finish my first project - albeit I am not working alone. There are a few shots that I am working on alone with no assistance from real experts.

So my problem is that I have a character whose eyes have bones that work just fine. I have them targeted to an eye null, and that works great. ONly problem is that as soon as I parent the eye bones to the head, the orientation changes and the eyeballs no longer follow the bones. I have checked weight maps, and other stuff. I just am at a loss for what to do, and I really don't want to have to start from scratch again. It would be nice to have my character looking other places than straight ahead. (It seems a little too robotic.) I hope this is not a redundant thread. I've looked for this topic before and tried the other suggestions, but to no avail. Now I'm personally asking for help.


02-26-2009, 04:04 PM
Aha! The problem is luckily easy to solve!

Take a look at what direction your heading and pitch are pointing before you target an item, that'll help a lot. I figured this one out the hard way myself. :)

Basically, just rotate your eyeballs 180 degrees on the heading and that will solve your issue.

What's going on is when you target an item to something, is it's doing just that, the only problem is that your object is facing the wrong way. the heading and pitch will determine what direction the item will face, hence if you target something and it's heading and pitch are facing the opposite direction, it'll flip and you'll have this problem.

Hope this helps. :)

02-26-2009, 04:37 PM
I usually have a bone in the head which points along the zaxis for this reason. I then parent anything I need to follow the head to this bone, as it doesn't muck up orientations or anything.

02-26-2009, 06:37 PM
I tried both suggestions so far, and was unable to get a good result. It seems that the problem is with the parenting, and not with the orientation. I do like the suggestion about the horizontal head bone going down the z-axis, though. Too bad it didn't solve the parenting issue. The bones move fine, but the eyeballs don't.

02-26-2009, 11:50 PM
Actually, it's still the same problem, the two are essentially related. Create two bones for your eye. Create a bone, then clone it. Now parent the second one to the first. Now parent the eye to the second bone.

This should solve your problem (all while using the other information in this thread too, of course).

EDIT: Pretty much what Dodgy said, that should fix your issue. Remember to rotate the eye too.

02-26-2009, 11:52 PM
Try parenting the eyes directly to the head bone. The eyes as separate objects can also have their own bone(s). Target the eye bones at the null.

02-27-2009, 05:30 AM
ACreate two bones for your eye. Create a bone, then clone it. Now parent the second one to the first. Now parent the eye to the second bone.

In other words, each eye gets two bones in the same location overlapping each other? I'll try it, then post an update.

02-27-2009, 05:28 PM

I tried what geothefaust suggested and I did what splinegod told me to do. I must be doing something wrong because it's still not working.

1) I cloned one of the eye bones, then parented the duplicate bone to the original eye bone. The original eye bone was not parented to the head bone, and the cloned bone would not maneuver the eye. The original bone did. When I start over, I alsways clear the bones, then convert the skelegons back again. The problem is that all the other bones in his body work fine and deform limbs, fingers, etc. Why is it that as soon as I parent the eye bone it no longer works?

2) Following Spline god, I decided to take the fellow's eyes out of his sockets and put them on another layer, then parent them to the head. I also moved the eye bones to the same layer as the eyes. The part that I wanted to avoid was having to put the eye bones in the right place, since the character was not at the origin. (Perhaps I should have simply put him there and started the scene from scratch.) Anyway, after all that work, I parented the eyes to the head bone, to no avail. Then I tested moving the eye bones, and they didn't move the eyes at all. I parented the bones to the head bone, and that also didn't work.

I don't think orientation is the problem - it's the parenting, but maybe I don't know enough about this kind of programming. Or maybe I am not following directions correctly. What can I do... or have I hit a wall?:bangwall:

02-27-2009, 10:18 PM
Put each eye into its own layer. Make sure each eyes pivot point is in the exact center. Parent each eye to the head bone. Make sure parent in place is on when you do. At that point you can either target the eyes directly or give each eye its own bone. Each bone would belong only to that eye and is not part of the bones for the rest of the body. Make sure to REST each bone so they can effect each eye. At that point each eye bone can be targetted.

Dont try and use the bones that were part of the body and put them in the eyes. This is a dead simple process and it sounds like youre overcomplicating things.

02-28-2009, 08:08 AM

Thank you SpineGod. You gave good advice, and I thank you for breaking it down into simple terms that even I could understand. It worked. I didn't use bones. I didn't like doing it your way because I already had the character in place not near the origin, and he was turned at a different angle, which made placing the eyes a little difficult,but once it was done, I was able to get the eyes to follow the target and move as I desired. So as you say, I was overcomplicating things.

Thank you for your brains and advice.

02-28-2009, 09:10 AM
Glad thats solved. You should have a rest pose for your character so that its easier to fix issues like this. Parent the character and rig to a null and use that to initially position the rig,

03-08-2009, 11:58 PM
Hey sorry. I missed all of the fun! :o

I'm having some rigging issues of my own that I was dealing with there.

Anyway, glad you got things working there. Larry is a magician when it comes to this stuff. :)

03-09-2009, 12:17 AM
Pain is the magician of invention :)

03-09-2009, 01:57 AM
Man isn't that the truth.

Hey Larry, what are you doing up so late? :D

PS- I'm having trouble with an arm rig right now. Think you could help a brother out? ;)

03-09-2009, 06:00 AM
Nevermind! I got it figured it out. :)