Is it possible to use a rigged characters poses to create shape keys?

I am attempting to create 52 blend shapes, for my characters face…

  1. I create the first shape key (bases).

  2. I open pose mode and move a few bones to create the first blend shape (Eye Blink Left).

Then open object mode, and select character mesh, and open the modifier tab, and save shape key in the armature modifier.

Then I go to the vertex tab and change the value of the shape key (Eye Blink Left) from 0 to 1; to see if the shape key has been applied.

It has… However, when the value is at 1 the jaw gets bloated, and the arms of the character move slightly, as well.

Every following shape key I make, has the same result.

I’ve checked the weight painting and the rig is fine on that end… So what else can be the issue?


1 Answer 1


I should take a look at the file to be sure, but probably thoose unwanted vertices shift are due to bone constraints: when you switch the armature from edit mode to pose mode all bone constraints get activated: expecially IK chains, Stretch to, Dumped track and similar constraints can cause little (or even big) shift of parented vertices, that get recorded in the shape key when applying the modifier. This shift should be noticeable when you switch the armature from Pose Position to Rest Position (see image).

A couple of methods to solve:

  • turn off the bone constraints that cause the shift (copy IK pose to FK and use it during the shape key creation phase)

  • In edit mode select the shape key, select all vertices that should stay still, go to vertex menu > Blend from shape; press F9 to open the dialog black box and select basis shape key, 1.0 as blend and uncheck the Add option. In this way all selected vertices will be stored in the location of the basis shape key (and will not move when the shape key is activated).

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for you suggestion. I shall attempt this right now; before I lay down to rest. And I’ll comment back if you’ve given me a solution later today. Thanks again. $\endgroup$ Jun 23, 2022 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ I haven’t been able to follow your directions as I’m an amateur student of blender. I usually watch tutorials on different subjects. If you could point me in the direction of a video that would explain this, it would be helpful… I’m more of a visual and hands on learner. But I did do this… I apply the rest pose as the pose position… I had less of an issue this way with vertex movements. So I guess I’ll have to move on from this point as I’m under a deadline. How can I have you take a look at my file? I’m not sure of how to do that. Treat me like a baby lol. $\endgroup$ Jun 23, 2022 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ You can upload your file (or a simplified version, containing only what's useful) using this site: blend-exchange.com $\endgroup$ Jun 24, 2022 at 6:39

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