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I have a Makehuman export in Blender (2.79) with skin mesh and cloth mesh bound to an armature. I edit the cloth mesh with Sculpt mode just fine. When I try to do the same for the skin, I enter the Sculpt mode successfully and pick tools to sculpt, but no changes are shown on the model and the model is not affected at all. However, when use ctrl + alt + z to see the history, I can see all the sculpting I've done. Why is that?

Update: when I move to Edit mode, I can see all the changes done; I can only see the changes I make in Sculpt mode, after going through edit mode. Otherwise, neither Sculpt mode or Edit mode updates the changes.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like a shape key going commando. They are quite often used to combat unnatural wrinkling of articulations when distorting a mesh with an armature. Most likely you are editing a different shape key from the one being shown in the object and sculpt modes. $\endgroup$ – Mörkö Apr 2 '18 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Mörkö you are so right! thanks for helping me solve this. why don't you answer this and I'll adopt your answer as the correct answer. many thanks. $\endgroup$ – practicemakesperfect Apr 2 '18 at 17:02
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What?

You seem to be editing a shape key (also known by some as a morph target) that has zero weight. You can find shape keys in Properties > Object Data > Shapekeys. A shape key - grossly simplifying - is a snapshot of the arrangement of vertices in a mesh. With shape keys it's possible to interpolate between different states of the mesh.

How to fix?

The active shape key is the one that is being modified by the sculpting, but it may have weight zero and thus not be reflected onto the mesh. To pick which key is being edited, simply select it from the list. While sculpting you may wish to activate the pin icon: it will mute all but the active key. Just remember to deactivate it when you start rigging if you want to avoid surprises.

Why is this a thing?

Deforming a character with bones alone often leads to unsightly wrinkles. To combat this, many character rigs (including those made by Makehuman) are designed with shape keys that make the folding of elbows and knees more natural and that are triggered automatically by bone motion. Another related use is driving creasing in clothing or bulging muscles. Shape keys (here the name morph target is somewhat more fitting) can also be used to drive radical but gradual transformations from one character to another.

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  • $\begingroup$ thanks again. hope this helps others. it was really difficult to sculpt without being able to see. $\endgroup$ – practicemakesperfect Apr 3 '18 at 11:44
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I had this problem while attempting to edit the Basis Shapekey of a Fuse character, where I couldn't see it update unless I toggled in and out of edit mode. I found that disabling the "Relative" option under the shapekeys window seems to solve this issue.

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