How to make a keyshape of an object perssing into other object

i want to make a keyshape of an indentation left from an object pressing into another object. think footprints in the snow, snow angels, sinking into a pillow, ect. what is the best way to go about doing this?

Shrink wrap modifier could be it, you will probably need to choose which vertices will be sink.
But using it for too many things may be hard make. You may want to consider doing it with simulations instead.

that presents its own issues though -simulations for softbody or cloth are incredibly touchy and its hard to make them do what you want without making your mesh shake or blow it up like a balloon

These are the types of challenges dynamic paint was designed to solve.

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wow i had never touched this option and this is really cool! thanks!