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I am using a lattice to animate an object with shape keys.

Ideally, I would like to have the lattice be visible in the render. I am aware that this is impossible.

However, how can I achieve the same/a similar effect? I.e. have a visible grid of vertices that follows the movement of my object.

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    $\begingroup$ You can hook lattice vertices and also hook a mesh equivalent (which is renderable). So you replace your lattice shape keys by hook objects (empties) movements. $\endgroup$ – lemon Mar 28 '18 at 18:54
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As the lattice can not be rendered, you can use a mesh object with the same geometry and hook both with empties.

enter image description here

In the example above, the lattice is the default cubic lattice which is associated via hooks to a simple cube. The cube itself has a wireframe modifier.

The recipe:

  • Create the lattice and the cube so that they have the same initial geometry
  • Add a wireframe modifier to the cube
  • Now create the hooks for the cube :
  • Enter edit mode, select a vertex
  • Use CtrlH to make the hook menu appear and choose "hook to new object"
  • Do that for all the vertices of the cube
  • Once done come back to object mode
  • Now the lattice part:
  • Select the lattice and enter to edit mode
  • Select a vertex
  • Use CtrlH and choose "assign to hook" and choose the corresponding previously created empty
  • Do that for all the vertices of the lattice

Note: if you have many (say more than 8) vertices to manipulate, it can be difficult to remember which empty correspond to which vertex. So you can also do the following:

  • In object mode, select the empty the shift select the lattice
  • Enter edit mode
  • Select the corresponding vertex
  • Use CtrlH but now choose "hook to selected object"
  • Come back in object mode and do the same for the other empties/vertices

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If you can see it in the OpenGL view, you can render it via OpenGL.

Make sure you have a valid camera and render settings as usual, then go to the Render menu item in the Info Editor.. (usually on the top left of the Blender screen).

You can then use OpenGL render image or animation. This will render the OpenGL view including the cursor and any highlighted selected objects.

If you MUST have the lattice as part of a Cycles render, this can be done by combining the passes of OpenGL and Cycles render. This can be tricky if the lattice is in front or behind the object. But I think a depth mask will allow you to combine them.

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