(HELP) Need to transfer armature animation into a few shape keys.

I used the sapling add-on to generate a tree, it has a neat feature where it adds an armature and lets you easily simulate wind.

I need to export this tree and the animation to SFM, but the bone limit is 235 and this tree has over 4000 bones.

I now need to find a way to find a few good points in the animation and get that pose somehow into a shape key, overall resulting in like 6 shape keys that when animated properly will result in more or less the same animation.

Can someone please help me do this? Is it even possible?

Apply the armature as a shapekey. It should be under your mesh modifiers.


I’m not familiar with the mod that you listed. It may require a few more steps, but as you did not supply a .blend, I can only guess.

Rename your shapekey to something appropriate. Rinse and repeat after adding a new armature modifier to your mesh. ( I use the copy button and disable the additional modifier, then I add the original as a shapekey. It’s quicker then adding a new armature modifier after every step.)

Good luck!

Edit: I should have added that you can pick your poses from your animation and create a new pose library. Use your poses from that library to make your shapekeys to save some time.

Remember that shapekeys are linear, so you may want to blend the values from multiple shapekeys in your new animation to avoid a stale linear move of your vertices.