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To sum things up, I am trying to use the "join as shapes" option, but for some reason the resulting shape key is really messed up. I made sure both meshes have the same number of vertices, and the toplogies seem to be similar enough, but am not sure why I am getting this result. Using transfer shape keys gets virtually the same result.

Here is the base mesh: enter image description here

The resulting shape key: enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ The meshes need to have the same topology. The same number of vertices does not mean they have the same topology. 'Similar enough' topologies don't cut it. Here, it appears that your meshes do not have the same topology-- likely, they have a different vertex order. $\endgroup$
    – Nathan
    Nov 9, 2022 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ I see, is there a way to fix that. I looked at the topologies and it looks like the area around the eyes is the only area that is different, which is what I want as a shape key. $\endgroup$
    – Ethan
    Nov 9, 2022 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ It's not about looking the same, it's about being the same. You could add a cube to your scene, then add a plane and edit it to make an exact replica of the cube, chances are you will not have the same topology just because the Vertex indices will be different. $\endgroup$
    – L0Lock
    Jun 1, 2023 at 22:09

2 Answers 2

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It's not about looking remotely the same, it's about being the same. You could add a cube to your scene, then add a plane and edit it to make an exact replica of the cube, chances are you will not have the same topology just because the Vertex indices will be different, and making a shapekey out of it will give strange results:

demo fake duplicate

The normal way to do shapekeys is to either do them directly on the original objects itself (add a Basis shape, which is your original shape that you should never change, then make a new shape and edit that one), or duplicate your original object, modify the duplicate, and join that as shapekey to the original. In either cases, you should never add or remove anything from your mesh.


There might be a way to somehow recover your shape, I haven't tested that method though.

If they are visually strictly identical in topology but not in indices, maybe you can try to reassign the vertex order on both your original and shape object using this method, though it might break other things like UVs and weights, and it might still not work. I'm not sure.

Put the two objects in the exact same place, put your 3D cursor away from them using ⇧ ShiftRMB RMB, select both and switch to object mode before using the menu Mesh > Sort Elements > Cursor Distance. Then redo the shape key.

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I had this issue and I applied my modifiers and this seemed to solve my issue. Hope this helps.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi, thanks for the post. This site is not a regular forum, answers should be substantial, stand on their own, and thoroughly explain the solution and required steps. One liners and short tips rarely make for a good answer. If you can edit your post and provide some more details about the procedure and how it works, perhaps add a few images illustrating some steps and final result. See How to write a good answer?, otherwise it may be converted to a comment. $\endgroup$ Jun 1, 2023 at 20:45

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