Morph between a character and an inanimate object

Hi all.

I’m not sure if this is the right sub-forum, so feel free to move it if it fits better somewhere else.

What I’d like to do is make an animation where an inanimate object (say a coin) smoothly morphs into a coin with a face and eyes, and then starts talking. What I want to communicate is an inanimate object coming alive, not just a crappy morphing effect. How would you go about achieving this effect? Here’s my current plan:

  • Create my coin character mesh (with eyes, mouth etc) and set a base shape key
  • Create a suitably sized coin mesh and texture it
  • Use the retopo snap-to feature to manually move each vertex of my character mesh to sit on the coin mesh (the tedious bit) and set up a shape key
  • UV map my character mesh in the deformed-to-coin position (so that the texture will smoothly morph from the coin mesh as the character morphs)
  • Use the coin texture for the deformed characters UV mapped texture.It might not be the best way, but I’m confident that will allow me to morph the geometry. What I’m not sure about is will it be possible to create the UV map for the geometry in the morphed shape key position. Do you think that will work? Is there a better way to do this?

Cheers all.

Why use the retopo tool ? It will be a lot easier to align the coin face to one of the global axes and select all the vertices that form the character mesh hit S then which ever axis the face is tangent to (e.g. X,Y, or Z) then hit 0 (in Edit Mode) . This will scale all the vertices so that they line up on a single plane . And all you might have to do transform this surface back to the desired level .

As fo UV maps … Why do you need them ? If you are making a coin which is made up of a single metal material in real life anyway, I would think a good procedural material and proper lighting should suffice …

I used the coin example because I thought it would be a little easier to explain. My actual plan is to morph between a piece of fruit (so a smooth organic surface) and a character based around the piece of fruit. I thought I’d need a UV map because I want more control then is possible using procedural textures (I want specific parts of the mesh to be textured in certain ways, and instead of playing around with clouds and noise it seems it would be easier to just paint the texture I want directly).

Oh, OK that makes more sense .

And well as for the UV maps … most likely (or this would be the best solution in my opinion) you’ll have to make an animated 2D file going from shape 1 to shape 2 which doesn’t loop … if you can get your hands on a 2D image morphing software (I remember playing around with something I think was called “WinMorph” - freeware - that would work) and unwrapped from shape 1 and then unwrapped shape 2, you could map the changes in a 2D animated format and use that as the UV map with the same number of frames … And this would be very easy with a UV map as most of these morphing software simply plots a set of user defined control points from one image to another based on the number of frames you define …

Or I’m not sure if using animated alpha values for two different maps would work …

And to be honest rendering/texturing isn’t an area I have been too focused on … I only recently “discovered” that you could set an ambient world lighting value in Blender :o … You might have better luck posting the morphing UV mapping question in the Texturing & Lighting or Composition, Visual Effects & Rendering parts of the forum …

Though you could still use vertex groups and procedural materials to get some local control in your animation without using UV maps … though I do agree that UV maps are better …

Thanks for the reply mate, and my apologies for introducing the coin redherring in the first place.

I quite like the idea of using an animated texture to solve the texture morphing problem, however my gut feeling is it would create an affect where the skin of the character looked like it was beeing pulled and stretched, and so wouldn’t be moving appropriately in relation to the deformation of the mesh itself. Still if the transition between the character and the object was fast enough it wold probably work quite well.

I used shape keys and scuplting to do this http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=106844&highlight=water+man

As well as texture animation

I came across that thread in a search a while ago, but thanks for pointing it out. My main problem now is how to handle the texture, and since you were using a procedural texture I guess it’s a slightly different problem. Cheers.

Well not really it isnt a procedural any more. I used the marble texture to genarate a animated texture. That then animated between to different materials and textures in the Mnodes. I need to post a .blend… will see what I can do I am on a trip right now.