Surface Mesh Deform

Why was this removed?

For those that don’t know: in older versions of blender 2.5 you could tell the mesh deform modifier to use surface mode. This made it so that the deforming mesh did not have to enclose the mesh being deformed. The main use for this was to create a cloth sim and then tie it to a high res mesh that included things that wouldn’t have worked in the sim such as cuff links or buttons.

Also, does anyone know an easy way to replicate this functionality in current versions of blender?

Thank you,



sorry to dig up this thread, but after much research it looks like the exact functionality i’m looking for : beeing able to run the cloth sim on low resolution and transpose it on the high res mesh.

The goal is to do put an ear-ring in to the flappy ear of a toon dog. After a lot of tests (softbody, armature), the best setup i found is using a cloth sim on a flat ear, vetex-parenting the ring on it, and adding a solidify modifier. It’s light and realistic, but the solidify modifier is a “non-constructive” one, so the ring vertex parenting is lost when it is applied.

So i’m looking for a way to transpose the cloth sim to a copy of the mesh which could have thickness and an ring in it… the surface mesh deform would seem ideal for it. The current workaround i’m planning is hooking each verticies from each other, but… “i would prefer not to”… :eyebrowlift2:

So any news or workaround for this feature would be great !



Have you tried using hooks? when you create a hook, it links verts to an empty… from there you could parent the hook to the flapping ear… hooks are a modifier so it should all work fine.

Hi DoubleBishop, thanks for your quick reply !

yup i’m currently using hooks, it works well but is a bit tedious because numbers go up quickly when multiplied ! Hopefully, the ear is not very high def, and shift-D duplicating keeps all relations to the right objects so no need to re-do it for each ear/character.

I’m going to bump this thread again… I would really like to have access to this function for a character that I’m rigging.

If you add a solidify modifier to your cloth; mesh deform take this modifier into account.