Shape Keys : Hints and tips??

Sorry bout another question for help but,

I really need help on my shape keys. I know what oens i got to set up for facial expressions etc. like " smiles r" for right hand smile and “smile l” for left hand smile.

I am asking for any hints tips or tricks of the trade to get these the same, because when i set mine up one is always different to the other so when i use the drivers one side is always different leading to dodgey animations and expressions.



OK here is how I do it.

A) First off, before you add shapekeys, you need to apply the transformations to the object.

  • Click on Mesh.
  • Ctrl+a (Apply Scale/Rotation)

Note: Blender will not allow you to change the center or apply any transformation if you already have any shapekeys. Delete them all, including the basis.

B) Next, the objects origin point/center point needs to be exactly in the middle.

  • Click on Mesh.
  • Under Mesh Menu, click “Centre New”

C) Next, Make sure when you click numpad1 (Z,X veiw) your face is facing forward.

  • If NOT you need to rotate the object and reapply the transformation -> Ctrl+A (Apply Scale/Rotation)

Now, Go into edit mode.

  • Under Mesh Tools 1, find the “X-axis mirror” button, enable it.

Now when you move the vertices on the left side of your face, the ones on the right will mirror the movement.

If this does not happen, that means that the left side of your face is not the same as your right.

D) Select the left/right side of your face and Delete it!

  • Go into object mode, click on the mesh.
  • Snap your cursor on the mesh. (Shift+S, Cursor to Selection) - Your Cursor needs to be at the center/origin point of your mesh.
  • Go into edit mode, Select the whole face (a)
  • In the Pivot options select the 3d cursor. (Or click . )
  • Duplicate (shift+D), click Esc to stop current operation.
  • Mirror over the X Axis. (M, X Global)

E) Now we need to Join the two parts.

  • If the two sides over lap, or there seems to be a big gap, you need to manuelly click each vertex on left and right and merge in the center. (Alt+M)

  • But before you do, select the points in the middle that are to be one and try the Remove Double(Rem Dou) button in the Mesh Tools Menu.

  • Recalculate the normals. (Ctrl+N)

The Left and Right side are now a perfect mirror and they should be good to go.


  • The X-Axis Mirror button does not mirror effect buttons such as “Smooth.” If you need to smooth both sides you need to select both sides of the face and smooth together!
  • IF you smooth one side and not the other, or applied some effect on one side and not the other, you RUINED EVERYTHING… “Crl+Z” try to undo your mistake.
  • If you want to edit the center vertices, only edit from the side perspective. (numpad3, ZY view)

In blender you can define which vertices a shapekey deforms in the VGroup Field…
So duplicate the shapekey, and tell which part you want deformed

And now you have a shapekey deforming the Right and Left side… And they are the SAME!

You can take a look at this tutorial: