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Thursday, July 4, 2013

How to Add Blend Shapes inbetween blendshapes (Maya)

This process seems a little clumsy but once you understand how to do it it's very simple. NOTE that it's important what order you select these models in so pay attention.

First created your base object duplicate it and create your end goal blendshape version

Select your base model (in my case the open book) hold shift and select
your TARGET blendshape. (the closed book)

Go to the top "Window" menu then submenus Animation Editors>Blendshapes

The blendshape window appears. Go to "Edit" menu in the top of it then "create blendshape"

A new blendshape1 node appears in your Blend shape editor. With a slider from 0.000 - 1.00

Test it out and you will see your blendshape (open book) is working in your TARGET model (closed book). The closed book opens. However at the midpoint .5 in the slider the blend doesn't look very good. Let's fix that.

In your TARGET model (closed book) with the blendshape node take the slider to .5 (or whatever point at which you want to create the transition blendshape) Duplicate the TARGET model at this point.

Make your changes to the new model. Reset your TARGET model back to 0 on
the slider just to be safe. Then select your new inbetween blendshape model
hold shift and select original TARGET model as well. (closed book)

Now go to the Animation menu set top left>Edit deformers>Blendshape>add> press the little settings box next to add.

This brings up the Add blend shapes Target options screen.

At the top you can specify which blendshape slider you are adding this
inebtween to. In my case blendshape1. Change that if you need to. Check
mark "Add in between target" Set the inetbween weight to .5 (or whatever
spot you want the blendshape to effect the slider.

Now for the Target index. Here is an explanation of that value.
If the blend shape deformer blends target object shapes in parallel (the
In-Between creation option was off when you created the blend shape
deformer), you can add the new target object shapes so that they work in
series with one of the existing target object shapes. One quick way you can
identify the appropriate value for Target Index is by looking at the order
of the target sliders in the Blend Shape Editor (Window > Animation Editors
> Blend Shape). Note that in the editor, each target object shape has its
own target slider. In the editor, going from left to right, the Target
Index value for the left-most target slider would be 1, the next 2, and so

If the blend shape deformer blends target object shapes in series (the In-
Between creation option was on when you created the blend shape deformer),
Target Index can only be 1 because there is only one target slider. In this
case, you don’t have to specify Target Index, but you do need to specify
the In-Between Weight.

Based on this explaination you may or may not need a Target index number. In my case I
just needed an inbetween weight. Once your settings are in. Hit apply and

Now your Target (Closed book) will have a slider that goes from the base blendshape to the target blendshape and use the new blendshape in the middle.

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