Are there shape keys for armatures?

I’m just getting back into Blender, so I’m out of date.

Is there a way to set up shape keys for Armatures? I know you can set up shape keys by directly modifying the mesh, but I would like to find a way to do the same thing with Armatures.

The reason I’m getting back into Blender is because I want to experiment with a new animation model file format and I need to be able to use shape keys on Armatures and use Blender’s Python module to export it.

If anyone can help out, I’d appreciate it. I’ve been looking all over for a technique to do shape keys for bones but can’t find any.

I’m not sure I understand the point of combining shape keys with armatures.

If you want to change the shape of an armature (ie: the rotation,scale or location of the bones) you simply pose the armature at two different frames on the timeline. Stepping from one frame to the next will move the armature from one pose to the next, in increments.

There is no point in putting a shape key on an inidvidual bone, all they have is two endpoints with a length between them. The endpoints can be moved by rotation or location, the length can be changed by scale. What’s left for a shape key to do?

I’m :confused:

I’m assuming he probably means, pose a start position and an end position with bones, and then have a slider to travel between the two. Instead of animateing it every single time you want that movement. I could definitly see that as being handy for certain things. But I have never come across anything like that though. If anyone does know any thing I would definitly like to hear about it.

Can’t you more or less do that by using actions? make every new action like a new shapekey or something?

No, armatures don’t have shap keys. You need to write the export script so that the program you are exporting to interprets actions in a way it can use them.