In 95% of cases, people animate and deform meshes using armatures and bones. In rarer cases things like ‘deform meshes’ could be preferred. I’m looking for another way however, which from what I know hasn’t been used and confirmed much yet:
I’m trying to make objects act like armature bones on other objects, based on the position / rotation / scale of the modifying object. The influence object should act upon a weight group on the target object, just like an armature bone would. The influence object could be anything, even a lamp or an empty… so its mesh data or options shouldn’t matter.
I’d mostly like this to simplify some animation techniques or experiments. For example, not have to attach objects to a character’s hand bone but have the object automatically move and flex the hand (without any armature interfering). Another main reason is simplifying ragdolls in the Game Engine, though I doubt meshes can be deformed in BGE without armatures. Still curious if this is possible with any modifiers though.