New Mesh deform modifier

A test of the new mesh deform modifier using the Pixar developed

*//LINK EDIT// Now shows proper Pixar page with GREAT test animation//
Harmonic Coordinates for Character Articulation



In this test the high resolution (very quickly sculpted) leg is completely driven by the low res mesh which has a simple armature and an animated shape key.

This means that one could use a generic rigged proxy to drive a high res model!!

Thanks to the Blender devs. WOW! :smiley:




This is like the “cage” modifier that was once discussed on ages ago. A mesh that acts like a lattice.

This will be invaluable for softbody/cloth simulation etc. Do the simulation on the low res cage quickly and use it to deform the high res renderer mesh.

I am so excited! Where can I get it? Blender releases seem to get exponentially better each time - the next offical release is going to be absolutely stratospheric. The most amazing Blender release out all the most amazing Blender releases!


P.S> The generic rig to drive any model idea sounds like it could be an absolute lifesaver! If the deformations are clean, I cannot imagine how much time it will save me weight painting and rigging!

Awesome i was been waiting for it !!!
edit:keep us posted when will be the first test build of blender with it

Here it is!


EDIT: Takes a while to bake but otherwise this feature is totally awesome!

I have the very same opinion. So many exciting thing to come :D:spin::D:p

Wow, that looks like a really neat feature, good work devs.

wowow!! i want to try that soon! (…well as soon as i finish my character :D)

Is that on/in the SVN? I’ve been building the latest, but I can’t find any such modifier. I’ll poke around at cleaning my build, just in case, tomorrow, but this looks REALLY good!

Yes it’s in current SVN.

BTW I changed the link in the first post. There’s a great test shot of this in action from a Pixar test. (end of the video)

I’ve also added a test animation that uses another part to the distort mesh to keep the knees shape. This time there is no shape key involved at all, so it’s really easy to see how simple the distort mesh can be. I made this one by just extruding a cube!


I finally figured it out. The particle rewrite branch isn’t in sync(, yet again). When I built JUST the Blender trunk, it’s there. :slight_smile:

Oh!!! Wow!! Very nice addition to Blender.

Nice demonstration Pappy! If anyone wants a bit more
information on this new feature, read Joshua Leung’s description
on the wiki.

And this can be used in tandem with the normal Rigs and such? If that’s the case, then i can see this being invaluable for things like character collision and facial squash & stretch.

Not just in tandom, but in layers as well. A “rough” cage controls a “fine” cage which controls a “finer” cage which controls a “tweak” cage which controls the “pretty mesh”.

Each layer another level of control. :slight_smile: (For those perfectionists out there. :wink: )

I’ve just been playing with this in SVN - it works really nicely.

I noticed that the Pixar presentation, video and paper don’t mention armatures, so what would be the workflow to use these for a character? I’m guessing, make an armature, use it to rig a rough “cage” mesh, then use the cage mesh as a deform modifier on the final character mesh, with shape keys on the cage (for facial expressions etc) taking the place of shape keys on the character mesh? Or would it be better to use the armature directly on the character mesh as we do now, then use the mesh deform for small tweaks, or in place of shape keys?

Sorry, I just got back 'round to reading your post.

Yeah, that’s one way to manipulate, Armatured controlled “cage” to “pretty mesh”. But the truth is, you could do MANY different systems with it, including what I’ve heard Pixar does, which is cage upon cage upon cage…

As to the facial features and such… To a point, you wouldn’t need “shape keys”. Just make a simple poly cage in the shape of a mouth, bake it’s control into the “pretty mesh”, and then manipulate. Of course, you could shape key that cage for letters, for example, to aid lip sync. If you checked out the Pixar video, you saw them manipulating a character’s eye. Now, think about how hard it is to do GOOD 3D cartoon eyes that squash and stretch, without harming the pupil! This would give you a nice, easy solution!

It is a very nice and easy to animate a “pretty mesh” by controlling the cage by a armature.
BUT I got problems to use a “fine cage (parent to the same amature)” inside the cage, it multiplies the deform. I have tried to controll it with vgroups, but it is not posible to use it, if the “pretty mesh” has at first a Subsurf-modifier.
How could I controll the Eyes when they got out of the body?
Is there a solution? HELP
Sorry of the bad english, i am german.

another test build came out on the 12th

Live is short, maybe I am dead tomorrow ,
so I always use the freshest build, to see Blender growing.
The problem is still the same.
Take a mesh in one cage, put another cage around the other and move both cages,
you see what happens, how can that be solved?

locke – don’t make your “fine cage” a separate object from the gross cage. Make it all one, and you won’t see that multiplier effect.

Likewise, you can mix direct armature manipulation of the beauty mesh with cage deform if you weight your vertices carefully. Keep in mind, though, that you’re going to have to Unbind and re-Bind the cage mesh if you want to move things on the object level. Not doing so generates wacky results.

BTW, I totally love the cage deformer. It gives such better results with less screwing around. Just rig cage to armature, and bind the beauty mesh to the cage. Sweet.

Attached, you’ll see a dog model (without fur) with the armature and cage deformer in the screenshot and a render.