I have downloaded a female model https://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/26755 from net and it is made with mirror. so when I try to rig it the left side will only follow the right side. How can i make the left mirror side its own mesh - and not follow the right side.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ apply the mirror modifier? $\endgroup$
    – m.ardito
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ I have tried turning off the mirror modifier and it removes the left side. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Try this : Go to modifier tab setting you will see 'apply' button on the mirror modifier setting. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ WhenI try to click apply it says "modifier can not be applied to mesh with shape keys." $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


After using shape keys, your mirror modifier can't be applied, unfortunately. There's a way to recover from this situation, maybe, I'll try to describe it with a simple "cube" example.

Here is a simple half-cube with X mirror modifier, and a shape key setup.

enter image description here

The shape keys affect only the "real" part of the mesh, and the mirror cannot be applied. So, I'll

  • remove the mirror modifier
  • duplicate the half-cube (SHIFTD)
  • scale it over X with -1 factor (mirrors over X the duplicate half-cube) using SX-1
  • note that each half-cube retains its shape keys, mirrored

enter image description here

Finally, I:

  • join the two half-cubes (CTRLJ)
  • they became a single object (you could remove duplicate vertices at X = 0)
  • fix, in edit mode the normals, recalculating them outside (CTRLN)

enter image description here

And now you have a single object, symmetric over X, with shape keys acting as if they were mirrored...

Of course, if you wish your model to behave differently on the left and right side (which was the primary reason to apply the mirror modifier), you could not need the shape keys of one side to be "duplicated mirrored" on the other side... in this case, before joining the two half-cubes, remove the shape keys from the duplicated half-cube...

I hope that this can be easily applied to your half-model too!

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you m.ardito this fixed the problem i was having. :) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 12, 2018 at 0:42

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