Driver-Rig: Shape Keys To Bones

by Inlet in Addons

Ever tried setting up shape keys to be driven by bones? If so, you know how long and tedious the process can be to such an extent, to even be seen as unrealistic.

DriverRig is a simple, a necessary tool that can tame this big problem and remove all the wasted time that usually takes for manually setting these shape keys to be driven by bones.

What this entails is a more automated process to the utilization of your 3D or 2D model's topology. It doesn't matter what form that model is. Facial control over a character is one of the most powerful usages you could get.

So what can you do

  • Make a list of Control Bones that activate shape keys
  • Generate drivers for all targeted shape keys so moving the bones in a specific way triggers them
  • Convert armature motion to keyframes, as well as shape keys, for exporting out of Blender
  • Create a 3D UI with headings and Custom Bone Shapes for visual clarity
  • Speeds up the process of adding bones and setting up drivers on shape key
  • Much easier to test, track, edit and delete than it is in default Blender
  • Use the generated shape keys in Unreal Engine 5, Unity and so on
  • A bone can trigger multiple shape keys
  • A shape key can be triggered by multiple bones

What are the versions

  • Custom Bone Shapes without the addon (157 shapes as a .blend file)
  • Full addon + the Custom Bone Shapes

The Custom Bone Shapes can be used even without the script for your own rigs. Each shape has been crafted with different uses in regards to all directions, resizing and rotation.

The process can work on any mesh, not just faces. First you target the armature you want to control, then you add control bones to the list. Under the control bone, select which shape keys you want that bone to trigger. And finally, just click Generate.

It's important to remember that if a shape key already has a driver it will be deleted!

Naturally you'd generate more and more shape keys and things could get disorganized, for which Shape Key Collections offers the solution with a folder management system -

But if you want to also be able to divide shape keys, group and merge them, including the Shape Key Collections addon, then Master Shape Keys is the greatest toolbox you can add in combination to DriverRig -

Want to get Driver-Rig with Master Shape Keys as a bundle for a lower price? Say no more -


Version 2.3

  • Added a driver exporter that turns the armature motion to keyframes, as well as shape keys that can be easily exported to Unreal Engine 5, Unity and so on. Limited to Control Bones made with DriverRig

Version 2.2

  • The 3D interface now generates with a root bone which can be moved, rotated and scaled, just like any other bone. This has completely replaced the 'UI-based' system doing this with Offset sliders

Version 2.1

  • Can now give each shape key a target value which the shape key will be given. '1' means the shape key will have a value of 1 when the bone is at max position

Version 2.0

  • Ability to use the duplicate key (CTRL+D), with the addon enabled, is now fixed
  • Rotation location and scale offset values are more intuitive and update in real time
  • Parenting capability now allows for specific bone parenting instead of just the root
  • Eye dropper can now properly select the armature
  • A bone can now trigger multiple shape keys
  • A shape key can now be triggered by multiple bones
  • There’s now an option to give each control bone a visible name in the UI
  • Generated text is now properly removed after creation for the rig
  • The text on the 3D UI is now cleaner and has options to be in all caps
  • Addon made compatible with Blender 2.83

Choose a product version:

Sales 30+
Customer Ratings 3
Average Rating
Dev Fund Contributor
Published over 1 year ago
Blender Version 4.0, 3.6, 3.5, 3.4, 3.3, 3.2, 3.1, 3.0, 2.93, 2.83
License GPL
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