BonyFace – Facial Animation For 3D Max

BonyFace – Facial Animation For 3D Max

Tutorial video :


Plugin Homepage here :

Professional rigger needs at least 2-3 days to perform the same task as BonyFace do in about half an hour. And that rigger will take 100 euro or more per day.
There are no ways to make rig and skin for 3d-head faster and cheaper, because autorig and autoskin in BonyFace are freeware. Riggers would make money by using Basic Tools or at least save time. You can’t manually make a rig for your character equals to BonyFace rig in acceptable time, because it’s impossible to dig a foundation pit with a children’s shovel.
And what you would do with many characters?
And what you would do if you haven’t knowledge in MAXScript?
And what if custom rig needs setup?
And what things custom rigs have to simplify animation?

1. Common

  1. BonyFace is a complex facial animation system, was written on MAXScript, works in 3ds max 2008 and above.
    It consists of tools for rigging, skinning and animating facial expressions on 3D-Faces with ease and flexibility
  2. Since it’s a script, the user can freely share the BonyFace rigged character with another professional NOT having BonyFace,
    anyone can load and render the scene with BonyFace-objects without having BonyFace installed like any common 3ds max scene
  3. BonyFace starts facial rig creation from scratch, it’s an easiest and fastest way to create facial rig,
    with BonyFace you can create full face rig in 10-20 minutes!
  4. Basic tools of BonyFace are freeware. You can use basic tools to create rig and skin, adjust parameters of the rig
    and animate control objects with standard tools of 3ds max without any limitations
  5. Extended tools of BonyFace are available only for authorized users of the script.
    You can use extended tools to create complex professional facial animation and simplify whole workflow

2. Rigging and Skinning (basic tools)

  1. Spline based system allows the user to properly “map” a 3D-face
  2. Stretchy bones drive the whole face for unlimited facial expressions and deformations
  3. Rig system for head is created automatically based on spline system
  4. Skin phase is performed automatically. It automaticly adds a Skin modifier to the head (or modifies an existing Skin modifier if present)
    and adds bones of BonyFace-rig to current skeleton. Cat, Biped and Bones are supported.
  5. Skin mechanics works with the internal skin modifier of 3dsmax and intelligentely auto-weights the points of a 3D-Face
    to provide you with a perfect base on muscle deformation
  6. Intelligent weighting automatically recognizes several regions of a face and applies proper weighting to the vertices
    according to where they are
  7. After skin phase the user can tweak the envelopes as they normally would, to get an even better deformation for their character,
    this however in most cases is not necessary
  8. BonyFace automaticly creates rig and skin for tongue and eyelashes

3. Control Mechanics (basic tools)

  1. Using a system of standard max circle shapes, the user gets UNLIMITED deformations on their 3D-face,
    this is one of the great features that sets BonyFace apart from other available plugins and scripts for 3dsmax
  2. The Direct Controls (blue colored) provide immediate deformation of skin regions
  3. The Soft Controls (yellow colored) have a weight system that globally changes the position of the direct controls
  4. Ability to rotate and stretch the lips is provided
  5. You can adjust any settings of the rig very fast and easy through a very comprehensive UI

4. Face Control Center and Selector (extended tools)

  1. You can select and/or move any control through a very handy UI, even if the control is hidden, actually you don’t need to select any control in the viewport in most cases
  2. There are many different ways to manipulate with selection, move opposite controls together or apart using Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys
  3. There are some comfortable and useful tools to manipulate with mouth controls

5. Drive (extended tools)

  1. You can save, load, browse and apply facial poses, phonemes and animations
  2. Two different modes: Mixer and Grimace are provided to interactively mix the poses
  3. Importer of poses and animations – you can use poses and animations were made for one character on another character
  4. You can create and manage with animation layers of four types: Normal (standard keyframe animation), AutoBlink (to create repeatedly animation), Mocap (to transfer animation from any mocap-cloud to bonyface controls) and LipSync (to create animation of a speaking character)
  5. It is possible to change the weights of layers and/or controls in the layers
  6. AutoBlink layer periodically applies the poses, so you can use it to make any repeatedly animation, such as blinking, breathing, laughing and etc.
  7. Mocap-layer can transfer mocap animation from BVH-model to 3D-Face. BVH-model is automatically created by BonyFace when user loads BVH-file,
    it is possible to interactively adjust controls movement at any frame
  8. BVH-files created by Zign Track are supported

Correct placement of splines (pictures by Nildo Essa)

Front View


Brows and eyes 1

Brows and eyes 2

Eyelids 1

Eyelids 2


Under nose

Upper lip

Lower lip

Neck and cheeks


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