Is there a way to "mask" a shape key? (similar to Paint BlendShape weights in maya)

I have created a New Shape from Mix of a right squint of the eye, and then Mirror Shape Key(Topology) to make the Left eye, but since the mesh is not completely symmetric, is affecting vertices from the neck.
In Maya you can paint weights in the blendshapes, so you can paint some vertices of the shape in value 0, and when you apply the blendshape those vertices will not move.
Is there anything similar in Blender? Or there is any way of masking the vertices of a shape key?

Thanks so much.

You can assign a vertex group to the shapekey to prevent it from moving unwanted vertices.

Create a new Vertex Group with the “+” under Vertex Groups. Assign that Vertex Group to your shapekey. (the box labeled Blend.)

Good luck!

In addition to the good answer of DanPro,

If you permanently want to remove some vertices from a shape key, you can do it by selecting those vertices in edit mode, then from the menu Mesh/Vertices doing ‘Blend from shape’ with ‘Basis’ as blending shape, ‘Blend’ = 1.0, and ‘Add’ disabled.
This way those vertices will revert to their original position.


Thanks so much! Both solutions work perfectly.

Thanks so much! Both solutions work perfectly.

Hate reopening old threads, but I’m so glad I found this one. I was just about to delete and redo 45 shapekeys because I had unwanted mesh moving in the shape.

Thanks Sourvinos

Well I’m glad you did. Seriously, what? I don’t know if I should comment that this should be a more well-known feature or if I should slap myself for it being right in front of my eyes and never realizing this use for it.

I’ve been using Blender for 2-3 years, and I even went and programmed my own addon for this feature, and all along it was just… right… THERE. I’m so angry and disappointed with myself.

Either way, for anyone who models/makes shape keys this is such a useful feature that it should be covered in a tutorial on BlenderCookie or something. Without something like this it’s very difficult to, say, make a shape key that affects the entire face only affect half of it(smoothly), much less making smooth transitions for more complicated shape keys.

Actually, Shape keys would need a bit of love from developers, (the UI Team here could help), they are powerful but so difficult to manage!


Not to self advertise/thread derail but I’ve got a thread in the Beginning Blender Code and Development forum, and I’m pretty much constantly working on developing tools for shape keys for personal use, albeit many of them are just convenience-level functionalities or oddities that fit my personal workflow.

I am just a beginner as far as coding goes but if you’re interested and you haven’t seen it take a look, it’s a lot of text because I’m not good at knowing when to shut up but I recently posted a catalog which summarizes features I’ve made to date(but not released). If you’re interested in one/some of them I’d be happy to release them as an addon.

I had a glance at your thread, but it’s far beyond my capacity to read all that and to understand, even without a picture; if you could just explain in ten lines what it does I’m pretty sure there are interesting functionalities.


BlenderCookie is where I learned it. David Ward uses them in his advanced facial rig tuts to make left and right shapekeys using vertex groups to blend one side or the other on a symmetrical shapekey. For example, he would make a smile shape then split it into left and right versions. Also, there is a demonstration of this on youtube if you search for the Sintel model. (Blender Open Movie project from a few years ago.)

Good luck!

Well, that’s a little embarrassing. I admittedly never really bothered with the character animation/creation tuts since while I was learning I mostly used Blender to prepare models for use in other programs. Glad to hear it was covered in any case.

I understand. Unfortunately the last post I made there was about as simple as I can make it. A lot of the things I’ve made are probably things only I would see a need for.