Help me achieve this : deform an arbitrary object according to a thin, master object

Hello all -

I am trying to find a reliable, non-destructive way of achieving the following workflow. (by non-destructive I mean that everything needs to remain modifier-based and editable at all times through modifiers ; or at least, it has to be easy to iterate on without having to rely on undo or f6).

  • I have a “master” object (shown in wireframe in the video), which itself has a blend shape/morph target. This master object is paper thin (no thickness).

  • My target object is an arbitrary mesh (the perforated part). I can modify its center and change its transformations if required.

  • My goal is to deform the target object along with the blend shape of the master (shown as “wanted result” in the video).

There are solutions to achieve an end product similar to the bent plate example, but the problem is that they are one shot/destructive. The Projection Ops addon is one of them :
The issue is that this addon does not allow to edit the target object or on the projection properties after the fact.

The mesh deform modifier is of course very close to what I need, but it seems to require a thick master mesh encompassing the target which is something I cannot do in my case. I attempted to add a thickness modifier to my master, but if I am not mistaken the Mesh Deform modifier does not take it into consideration when binding.

Thank you for your help !

Use a curve and a curve modifier for following the contours of the master object and then add a shrinkwrap modifier for snapping the perforated object to the master object.

Hi Medium, thanks for dropping by.

Unfortunately a curve would not work, as the master object will not always be linear. The surfaces I am dealing with range from the simple case shown in the example, to completely arbitrary surfaces like these :

In other words : I am not just merely looking for a way to bend this perforated plate, as this was just a simple example. I am looking for a way to deform an arbitrary model based on the deformation of any other (paper thin) arbitrary model, similarly to the way the Mesh Deform modifier operates.

Thanks !

for first example
you could also use the simple modifier

there is the warp tool
and the cast I think

there is shrinkwrap
or try with retopo

you have different situations requiring different tools

happy bl

Seems to me like you’ll be using cage modifiers a lot.

Hello Ricky, thank you for being always willing to help. Unfortunately I am not facing different situations requiring different tools here. The different examples are here to show that the workflow I am looking for has to work with arbitrary models. Therefore retopo is not an option, and shrinkwrap wouldn’t work either since it would flatten the target models onto the reference surface and the Shrinkwrap projection options would be too limited for what I am looking for anyways.

Medium : Could you elaborate ? I am not aware of such a thing as a “cage” modifier.

Thanks !

For the sake of clarity here’s is something close to what I am looking to achieve :

However, this relies on strongly thickening the master surface with a Solidify modifier so that the Mesh Deform modifier can operate, and this is precisely what I am trying to avoid because it involves a lot of extra steps (applying Solidify to two copies of the original master surface, guesstimating the big enough thickness so that MeshDeform works, creating a new set of morph targets for these thick models, and so on), as well as a probably introducing a lack of precision/control in the result.

In short, I am looking for something like what is shown in this video, BUT, with control coming from a thin proxy model as opposed to a thick proxy model - allowing for easy sculpt-based deformation, blend shapes, and so on.

Thanks !

[EDIT] Ha, some progress ! It looks like it is actually possible to keep solidify as a modifier and have this non-destructive thickness be taken into consideration by Mesh Deform, so that’s great !

It seems like in some cases the thickness has to be much bigger than merely overlapping the deformed object though, which is what made me believe that it was not possible to keep Solidify as a modifier originally. Anyone knows why is that ? And of course, if anyone knows of a way to bypass Solidify/Mesh Deform to begin with I am still a taker.

interesting effect here can you elaborate a little

at beginning of video I see a plane with holes
with some cage around is this a lattice or deform modifier ?

then you use shapekey to modify the shape with lattice I guess

happy bl

No this is not a lattice, this is my “master” model, with a Solidify modifier on it so that Mesh Deform can bind to it.