Mutiple shape keys for one action?

I already know how to make shape keys but I’m having trouble figuring out how to use multiple shape keys for one action. What I want to do it make one shape key then continue from that edit to make another and then another~ (to make a more precise/less line-ear morph) When I start a new shape key though it puts it back to biases shape key.

Is there a way to continue editing from one shape key to another?


If I understand what you are trying to do you probably need to use absolute shape keys.

  1. With your object selected, add a shape key (basis) and then change to absolute keys (deselect relative). Mouse over evaluation time and press I to insert a curve and then go to frame 100 (or however long your animation will last - this can be changed later in the graph editor) and set evaluation time to 100 and add a keyframe.

  2. Go to frame 20, for example, and add another shape key (Key1) and change the shape of your object in edit mode. Return to object mode and add a keyframe for Evaluation time.

  3. Go to frame 40 and add another key (Key2) by clicking on the black arrow instead of the + sign and selecting New Shape from Mix, change the shape and add a keyframe for Evaluation time.

  4. Repeat step 4 for all subsequent shape keys.

Now if you run the animation (Alt-A) your object will change shape. The timing of changes is altered in the graph editor.

Ive been looking for a way to do this for years. It seams like it would be easy to develop but oh well.
I have 2 ways to workaround both have their problems.
One is attach a bone to each vertices or a empty then a bone to each vert. No shape keys here but does the same thing, will work on a subdivided mesh but not a high resolution mesh.
Second is make a new blend file for every new shape key deleting the old bias or key and having a new base shape.

Alan will not one shape morph off the bias and not the second shape. Or will not the 2 keys add together to make a new shape?

Kazinger, when you use new shape from mix with absolute shape keys it uses just the last shape as the base for the next shape so when you run the animation it morphs through each of the shapes. Here is a basic blend file. Press Alt-A to run it.

absoluteShapeKeys.blend (477 KB)

Thank you! Just what I needed.

What I was trying to do was reverse engineer a mesh of an armor, sword, shield I made for a character in a game I hope to make. The plates where easy enough to move around but the armor has a series of “plugs” on it and I wanted to make an animation for the equip process, so I want the plugs to move around dynamically (some what like liquid) before resting at default. The standard shape keys just moved them in a line-ear pattern and didn’t have quite the effect I was trying for.