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I'm working on a model in Blender containing 281 shape keys that represent 21 vertex animations.

I want to convert those vertex animations into skeletal actions for compatibility's sake.

(3DSMax doesn't support 100+ shape keys on one object, most other programs don't recognise them.)

The default position of all vertices and bones is 0/0/0, and then they are positioned by shape keys and empties, respectively.


I assigned an empty to each vertex and constrained a bone to each empty, a total of 708 each.

I set each bone to have an envelope size of 0.00001 and a weight of 1 so as to only affect their assigned vertex.

(I had to use envelope weights when skinning, because using automatic weights shifted the object's position to the first vertex's position, defined by the current shape key).

Then I increased the influence of each shape key to 1, refreshed the scene to update the constraints, and created a key frame.

Before checking the key frames, I disabled the shape key/s and constraints.


The result is that the bones move, but the mesh remains static.

Any help would be appreciated. I can upload a copy of the .blend file if needed.

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  • $\begingroup$ can you upload the .blend file ? $\endgroup$ – Marietto May 24 '18 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ mediafire.com/file/7d6z11lmzm0awh2 I've unlinked the armature before uploading so the issues presented were more clear. I've since been considering a new work flow that involves assigning each vertex to a separate vertex group, creating an armature with a bone for each vertex, and assigning each bone to its related vertex group. But I'd love to hear another opinion on the best way to approach this. $\endgroup$ – Friedslick6 May 26 '18 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ The work-flow I mentioned can be read here. $\endgroup$ – Friedslick6 May 26 '18 at 16:42

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