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I've created a LEGO figure using a great number of ball joints for maximum flexibility. The pre-finalized version of this model, before I got the legs working the way I wanted them, is shown in this picture: enter image description here

For those of you who've been around a lot recently, this is the figure for which I posted the palm build challenge a while ago; still considering the answers I've gotten for that, by the way, because you all have such great ideas that I can't just choose one.

But I'm getting sidetracked. I'd like to see if I can use this figure as a custom rig for the new program FaceRig. In order to do that, I need a 3D model with specially labeled joints. My question is, is there a program somewhere out on the internet that can take a LEGO model, or LEGOCAD file, or some other form of LEGO input, and produce a 3D model articulated the way the real-life version would be? I know there are programs out there that can convert 3D models to LEGO replicas, for those who are into sculpture builds, but precisely because there are so many articles and questions about those programs, I can't find what I'm actually after, which is the inverse. Anyone know of anything like this?

  • Hmm - what you're after within the 3D app is typically called rigging, and uses bones which you can usually lock to constraints for their motion. It's a reasonably advanced topic, but the Character Animation Tools plugin within 3ds Max for example can automate the process of rigging a model - Rigify in blender may also help. – Zhaph - Ben Duguid May 23 '16 at 10:14
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    @Zhaph Well, part of the problem with a normal rigging method is that I want to keep the pieces from deforming the way a natural joint would, and if I started with a static 3D scan of my LEGO model I would have to pull the pieces apart at each joint first to make sure the rigging system won't twist them up. Due to the sheer complexity of the model in question, it would be much easier to simply use a program that does this automatically for an existing LEGO model. – Lepidolite Mica May 23 '16 at 20:17
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    Could you rebuild the model using LDD? If so, then there are a number of programs out there that will take that and convert it to a .obj or something (LeoCAD and LDraw are two), which can then be read using a 3D program of choice (Blender is a free one). I don't know exactly how FaceRig works, but you can create bones in Blender that move around the individual parts of your model by weight painting. – Gliderman May 24 '16 at 16:42

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