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[Simple] Rigging a face in Spine 2D for 3D turn

Updated: May 1, 2023

Welcome to this step-by-step tutorial on how to rig a character's head in Spine 2D! In this tutorial, we'll cover how to create a pseudo 3D turn of the head by binding the mesh to a simple bone, which can be used as a controller in your animation workflow. This is my preferred method, only taking 20 minutes to rig and still can be believable if I also scale and rotate the controller. Follow along and learn how to bring your character to life with 3D facial movements!



Easy To build: 20 minutes

Flat result

Lightweight: No Constraints required

Only works well for human faces, which are flatter. Faces like horse get distorted very quickly

Fewer Vertices required

Assuming that you have already rigged the head features, such as the ears, eyes, and mouth, you can now add a controller that enables you to move the face in 3D.

  • Select the head bone and add a new bone in the center of the face

  • Name it face_controller by double clicking here

  • Give it a nice icon and color

  • Mesh every image on the head that should be affected by 3D transformation

  • Bind all the meshes to the head and face_controller bones

  • Time to go into animation mode and add simple left to right movement to face_controller bone

  • Give weight to vertices starting from center of the face.

  • If the head has some accessories such as hat, horns or bangs, give higher weight values to the vertices that are closer to the camera. Then start fading out the value while moving towards the earline where weights for face_controller bone should be almost 0

  • Finally when you are happy with the result remember to also animate scale of the face_controller to give more depth to the effect


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