Export a baked frame??

Is it possible to take a single frame from the middle of an animation and save just that frame as a mesh (aka . blend or better .stl) ?? Or anything else that achieves the same aim?


There’s a number of ways you might do that but which is best and most efficient depends to some degree on the nature of the animation. Can you provide a little more info on what you want to “freeze-frame,” so to speak? One object or an entire scene? Object transforms or armature deformations or a combination of these and possibly other transforms (like materials, shapekeys, etc.)?

Sorry for the lack of detail.
I am trying to export a mesh from a cloth simulation. For a test I have a single piece of cloth and a wind field. The simulation becomes stable at the ~200th frame, this is the one I want to take.

… The idea being to export as .STL and import to OpenFOAM.


Have you tried simply selecting the Cloth object and exporting? I did this with a cloth sim mesh I have on hand and it seemed to work fine. I’m not that familiar with the .stl format, but the export I made I could then be imported into a new .blend file with no issues other than the changes I assume the exporter had made:

  1. Import was a single object but entirely triangulated with unwelded vertices; using the Remove Doubles mesh edit tool fixed the welds and Convert Triangles to Quads did a fair but not perfect job of re-establishing the original mesh’s quad structure;

  2. A couple of mesh-level modifiers (Subsurf and Edge Split) had been ignored in the export but the Cloth sim shape was preserved;

  3. No materials were exported.

This may all be SOP for the STL exporter, though. I guess if you have modifiers that aren’t exported you’ll need to Apply them before exporting the .stl file.

I think i may have done something amazingly stupid when I tried last. The STL exporter is built in so welds on vertices are fine something I only just remembered is how one must select the object to be exported and then press the button.
Apologies for the nuisance.

Also, you can always choose to “Apply” a modifier like Cloth (and most others). This “bakes” the current state of the modifier into the mesh so there are no shenanigans on export.

Wups, my bad also, in my test the Edge Split and Subsurf modifiers weren’t enabled when I did the test (duh!), so they weren’t exported (double duh!). On re-testing all enabled modifier effects were exported to the STL, though triangulation and unwelded verts persisted.

@ harkyman – I’ve found that sometimes Applying the modifiers can create probs, in that the order in which they are applied can change the current state of the mesh in undesirable ways, but a lot depends on the particulars of any one model. A direct export seemed simplest if it fits the bill.