Apply armature and shape keys

If I want to apply armature modifier that can not be done due to the presence of key shapes.
What to do? Can I somehow apply armature and leave the key shapes?

English is not native for me - sorry. Nobody not understand mine?

Why do you need to apply the armature modifier?

To edit the model in the sculpting mode when model’s pose was set.
If don’t apply the armature modifier then sculpt mode does work incorrect. Or maybe there is another way?

Applying the armature “freezes” the mesh in the pose in effect when the armature was applied. It basically makes further animation of the mesh a problem since the armature would have to be re-bound to the mesh with the applied pose as the rest pose, leading to possible issues with new animated deformations. Since further animation is unlikely after applying the Armature modifier, what is the need to retain the shape keys?

Yes, all true. I do not need animation, I need to set the model in different poses and then modifying the model in the mode of sculptural. But at the same time I would like to keep the keys shape that are responsible for facial animation because for one pose need a few different combinations of facial expressions.

OK, that suggests a different kind of approach.

For any frame or number of frames in an animation (consider a pose a “single-frame” animation), you can export the current mesh deformation (armature +shape keys) as an MDD file – Export>Vertex Keyframe Animation (.mdd).

This data can then be imported and applied to your posed mesh (or better yet, a duplicate of it) as a new shape key or set of shape keys – Import>MDD to Relative Vertex Keys. Relative Vertex Keys, or RVKs, is a “legacy” term for shape keys.

You can then disable the Armature modifier for both UI and rendering (it need not be removed), and create an IPO for the new “pose” shape key somewhere on the Timeline where the other shape keys are not active, or make a new Shape Action for just that pose and/or other “saved” poses as well. Once your new “pose” shape key is in place, you can sculpt on it like any other shape key, without the Armature being in effect.

Working on a duplicate of your original posing mesh is recommended since you may have to do some operations on the mesh after importing the MDD->RVKs that will complicate using the same mesh for other poses later on.

I used this process for all the cloth animations in Kata, and also for converting some of my Othello face rig poses to shape keys. It works very reliably.

Thank you very much, chipmasque!
I watched your video about Othello and Kata - this is very very cool! And thanks again for providing Othello’s face rig :slight_smile: