Combining animation into a single mesh?

Hey guys,
Hopefully this is the right place to be asking this question. I’m fairly new to Blender so please go easy on me.
I have been doing some mocap work with Ni Mate and blender and I have a technical question about how I might go about
taking every frame of an animation and turning it all into a single solid object or mesh?
Here are some example images to give you a better idea of what I’m trying to achieve.
Any advice or pointers in the right direction would be really appreciated.
Many thanks.



I would go about it like this:

  1. Create a new copy of the animated mesh (including the armature)
  2. Apply the armature modifier of the copy and delete the armature of the copy afterwards.
  3. Hide the resulting deformed mesh to use it later.
  4. Advance a frame and repeat from 1. until no animation frames are left.

In the end, merge the deformed meshes one by one, using the boolean modifier.

I guess alot of this can be done by code, so you wouldn’t need to to all the steps by hand. It sounds like its gonna be some heavy calculations either way.

Another method which is easier but not at clean is to use the Duplication>Frames option in the object data page of the properties panel. It will turn each frame of the animation into an instance of the mesh on that frame. Now, you can either leave them as instances (doesn’t take up any additional memory) or you can convert them to object with Shift+Ctrl+A and do the boolean thing.

Dear Blender artists,

I wanted to revisit this question to see if there has been a development these past 5 years which makes the transformation from animation to single mesh easier to do.
Thank you for your time

Sure is, the Alembic format:
https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/files/import_export/alembic.html

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I dont think that the boolean modifier will be able to handle this in completeness very well. I’d say its better to simply join the meshes of each frame and make an openvdb remesh on it. That should be less prone to errors.

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