I have a new project i'm working on that involves a lot of character transformations, I was wondering the best way to go about this as a blender apprentice, I've gotten pretty good with armatures, mesh creating, shape keys, and some physics. Im wondering is there a way to make a rigged armature transform in to a similar rigged armature. Like a human arm transforming into a monster arm, on the same body. I feel like shape keys might be the way, but how does that incorporate armatures and color/ texture changes?


Nightmare's (from soul calibur) arms is what the end product will be similar to, and from a normal human arm.

  • An example. Lets pretend the monster is more muscular than the human.
  • In general any mesh shape change is fair game
  • Some 3D armature bones control organic bone rotations. Other 3D bones control more organic muscular mesh transformations. There are big muscles such as thighs and smaller muscles in the face.
  • Armature. Bones that are not moved on the bicep for a human can be moved for the monster to create a larger bicep. This bone would not be involved in arm rotation and perhaps not connected. Perhaps a child of the upper arm bone.
  • A lattice can be used to create a larger bicep for the monster.
  • Since facial features can be controlled by bones. Exaggerated positions may be useful. Please search facial feature rigs.
  • Displacement textures to create non smooth skin.
  • Use a [custom property] (value on the object) float number ... which varies from 0.0 to 0.5 to 1.0. This custom property can have a keyframe.
  • Using the custom property with a Blender Python driver to control values of colors and location. 0.0 might indicate human. 1.0 might indicate monster. 0.5 will be the mix of human and monster. Morph.
  • Using the custom property blend the skin from some human color to monster color such as green or purple. Or blend some monster skin texture.
  • Shape Keys. Keep in mind bones have a natural sense of rotation. Shape keys in their primitive state do not. The more shape keys, the smoother the transition, the more work to coordinate shape keys.
  • For extreme mesh changes such as monster horns keep in mind that extra mesh vertices can create smoothing problems for the human. Consider using two meshes and the convenient blinding light flash or image transparency blending. Such cheap slight of image. Two meshes can share an armature. Not trivial.
  • $\begingroup$ 1.Would you recommend starting with the distorted(monster) mesh then going to the normal or the opposite? 2. Also how well will sculpting translate from one to the other? 3. Just to make sure i understand you right, It would behove me make 1 normal mesh, then 1 separate mesh for each transformation type? (I.E- Don't make one mesh with all the transformations.)? $\endgroup$
    – Steven
    May 20 '15 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest you do a simple example with obvious to observe transformations. Two Meshes. Perhaps one disconnected monster Hand and one Human hand. If arm is covered by clothing, the hand morph is subject to less scrutiny. Create your morph/transformation. Blend the planning with Trial and Error. Repeat the Cycle. Put you monster/human hand morph here for progress. $\endgroup$ May 20 '15 at 17:02

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