In-Between Target function for Shape Keys

It would greatly improve Blender’s character rigging (and animation) capabilities if the Shape Keys tool is updated with an In-Between Target function (see existing example from Maya below).

Currently our best option is to work-around the missing function using New Shape From Mix supported by carefully ordered driver keys.

Does anyone have any better solutions for this?

Best
Gary

It’s a shame indeed.

Actually, this feature already exists for Shape Keys… the main problem is that such “sequential” feature cannot be used simultaneously with the “combinational” feature. So, either your Mesh Object has got “Non-Linear”, organically morphing Shape Keys, either it has got the “Linear”, morph sets that can be mixed altogether on different ways whenever needed.

Shape Keys in Blender has two systems: Relative (“combinatorial”), by default, ¿you see that Checked Relative Option at the Shape Keys Panel?, that’s the one that is used for a set of mixing Facial Rig Shape Keys; and Absolute (“sequential”), this is what would allow curve and fluid interpolations like that eyelids example, because each Shape Key created there would be part of a sequenced list of Shape Keys in Time (an internal Time different from the Timeline, that you can also Key Frame), this would allow to morph a human figure into a horse then immediately after into a bird, not combining anything.

Currently, with this exclusive system, where you cannot simultaneously have both functions for the Shape Keys on the same Mesh Object, it is really limiting… of course one can think of some ingenious approaches from these, but it would still be very complicated and probably not optimal.

So, I’ve made a feature request that has received several likes so far, but more votes would probably be a good thing to highlight the fundamental importance of this feature in Blender.
If you post additional reflections for the feature request, that could be relevant, because I’m not familiar with Maya.

Here is the basis though:
https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/animation/shape_keys/introduction.html#relative-or-absolute-shape-keys

In spite of this Shape Keys limitation, besides the workaround you’ve mentioned on a Relative system, there are certainly other ways to control the flow of the Vertices even though they are being dragged by Shape Keys morphing (especially if constraint from the “Linearity” of the Relative system).
Currently, I know this setup of mine works for Eyelids Rig (for Relative Shape Keys), as it uses Shrinkwrap Modifier:

But I’m also willing to investigate a curious proposition using Curve Object(s) with Clamp To Constraint/Bone Constraint, as it is plausible that even Vertices or Vertex Groups might have their motion oriented in 3D space by Curve Objects. Hook Modifiers can also be part of the experiment.

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Thank you for your insights on this problem, Pxy-Ghomes. That was a very interesting read!

Asian3D made me aware of this Add On by NevilArt

It’s an extremely useful solution for my blinks and hopefully will inspire the Blender Gods into implementing something in their future releases.

I have upvoted your original post on Right Click Select - Thanks again for your support.

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