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Trail: BlenderAnimation


Works Sculpture DigitalSculpture Blender

Morph Targets

Morph targets in Blender are also known as relative vertex keys. On the boards most people abbreviate to RVK. Here’s a quick outline.

A. Create your mesh in all the detail you desire. Do your best to make it the final version. Otherwise, if you change the mesh (add, delete vertex points) your morphing will have to be done over.

B. Determine how many morph targets you will have. Pre-planning makes the next step easier.

split your edit screen so that you can see the mesh and the IPO curve window.

C. With the mesh selected press I (insert) and select Mesh. Choose ‘Relative Keys’ the first time. Then Do this again, once for each morph target. (So insert mesh one plus number of morph targets.)

D. In the IPO window, select the pull down and change it to view VERTEX.

E. Grab each blue line and move it below the zero line into its own space.
Leave the yellow/orange line at zero or move it up out of the way while you arrange the blue lines. Move it back to zero when you are done.

F. Each blue line you have moved is a morph target. Count them from the BOTTOM, UP. IE. The bottom most line is RVK 1,
G. Left click at zero to set the green vertical line (the edit marker that shows you what frame you are at, to zero.)

H. Right click each blue line, then edit your mesh. You can also start from an edit mode and click on another blue line to copy one mesh shape to another to begin at different starting points. (Enter and exit edit mode with TAB before clicking on another blue line to prevent copying meshes.) Each time you right-click on a blue line, you select a different morph target to edit.

I. In the IPO window, select each KEY word (on the right) and press CTRL-Left mouse at the zero line where Y=0 and somewhere where x is zero or lower. This inserts a curve that is used to determine how much each morph target contributes to the blended shape. If the curve rises to 1, at that moment in time, your mesh will look like your morph target. Curves can go above and below zero to make different morphs. If more than one curve is not zero then the morph shape will have both (or several) effects acting on it to change its shape.


Wikibook over the Armature system

Symmetrical Armature Editing

  1. click ‘X-Axis Mirror’ button
  2. use SHIFT-E to let it know you are extruding mirrored armature segments.



its in the modifier stack
The clean way to do so is to go in the Editbutton window (F9KEY) and press “Add modifier” in the Modifier panel, then select “armature” in the dropdown menu. Then you’ll get a new modifier “Armature” like the previous picture. There you can change the name by clicking on the name field, enable/disable the modifier when rendering, enable/disable when working to only move the armature (could get handy with massive character), and when editing (that’s very handy, you can edit the topology while it’s deformed).
select the object to be bound and put the name of the Armature into the moidfier box

There are also two toggles to tell Blender what it should use to deform: Vertex Groups and/or Envelopes. You may have noticed these options are repeated also in the Editbutton -→ Armature panel, but as the tooltip says: these two are used when you use virtual modifier (the old way) to keep compatibility with old files.
Parenting the mesh to the “armature” will create an old-way link, still visible in the modifier stack, but not very useful. The first entry with the “make real” button is what appends if you do a CTRL-PKEY to “armature”. You should not use that kind of connection when you see that. Press “make real” to get a working modifier.

Tip: Bake envelope to vertex groups

The workflow is very simple. When you are done with the envelope’s tweaking and you have gotten the best out of it, delete the Armature modifier and parent the mesh to the armature(CTRL-PKEY). Parent it to “armature” when asked and “Create From Closest Bones”. Do ALT-PKEY and redo the Armature modifier. Now all the envelope influence are converted to Vertex Groups. This way you can further tweak influence zone using Weight paint. More info in the following pages.

Pose Mode

reached while in CTRL-TAB mode, there you can pose the model

Vertex Groups


rotate bones, select bones, I-KEY (in 3d view), Rot-Loc

Using Motion Capture files