Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating single-mesh blend shapes, part of Maya 2016 New Features.
- The traditional method of a 3D morph effect, or what Maya calls a blend shape, is to make multiple copies of an object and they all have exactly the same topology, but you can move points around on each one of those models to change the shape and then interpolate between those various shapes to produce, for example, a character expression. I can make a copy of this head and then make the character smile and then animate the transition between those two versions of the head.
Well with Maya 2016 we don't have to work as hard because we don't have to build multiple copies of the model. Additionally this reduces clutter in the scene. All we need is a single object. We just need to add the blend shape deformer. And it can be found in a couple of different places, in the animation menu set it's found under add and deform blend shape. In the rigging menu set it's found under deform blend shape.
We just need to select the model and then invoke that menu item in order to add the blend shape deformer. The deformer is now on the object. Next we can open up the blend shape window. Windows, animation editors, blend shape. And when we first add it, it's blank. There are no blend shape targets yet. Just click the add new target button and now we have an animation channel here and it's labeled head mesh one.
And it's so simple, all we have to do is enter edit mode here and move points around on the model and we've successfully edited that target. I'll right click on the model and choose vertex mode, select a point, and go into soft selection mode, tap the b key on the keyboard. And if you need to you can hold down the b key and drag left and right to set the radius of the brush for the soft select effect.
And then simply make your adjustment. Grab and move tool and maybe move this up and over a little bit. Okay, so I've just done that adjustment, and then turn the edit button off. And to see the animation, right click and go into object mode and then adjust the slider here. That's all there is to it. We've now created a blend shape target and we can continue that process and add as many targets as we wanted.
And there's only one object in this scene, currently. We can see that if we go into Windows outliner, head mesh exists but head mesh one over here is only a morph target or blend shape target and it's implicit within the blend shape deformer.
- Navigating menus and shelves
- Using the new transform tools
- Accelerating meshes and material loading
- Using the Game Exporter
- Adjusting color management settings
- Using Hypershade
- Working with the sculpting tools
- Editing UVs with the brush tools
- Animating with Bifröst and Nucleus