Looking for a script that runs through the animation frames and at each keyframe it exports just the mesh as a .fbx (no cameras, bones or helpers) at that specific frame, preferably with a filename that includes the frame number.

If nothing like this exists, I'll attempt to write it myself soon, but I've never written a blender script before and it's been years since I used Python at all, so I may need some instruction (library reference or similar).

Using this output as an input for morph targets in another application.

  • $\begingroup$ There is the Lightwave pointcache .mdd exporter (with blender - enable it). Could be a place to start as it exports mesh at each frame but all into one file. You can browse/search blenders api reference online $\endgroup$
    – sambler
    May 30, 2015 at 11:54
  • $\begingroup$ What about exporting obj's instead of fbx? $\endgroup$
    – p2or
    May 31, 2015 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


You may get away with

I.e. select your meshes and run

import bpy

PATH = "your_path.%03d.fbx"

for i in range(100):
        filepath=PATH % i,

The source code of export_scene.fbx resides in scripts/addons/io_scene_fbx.


This is my first draft at a solution. When I re-import one of the exported meshes it looks good. It is possible that someone else can find a better way to do it, and I welcome comments (and feel free to post a modified solution based on my code).


import bpy

def find_modifier_of_type(obj, type):
    for mod in obj.modifiers:
        if mod.type==type:
            return mod
    return None

def duplicate_and_apply_armature(scn, src):

    scn.objects.active = src
    for obj in scn.objects:
        obj.select = ( obj==src)


    dup_obj = bpy.context.active_object

    dup_obj.name = "duplicate for %d"%scn.frame_current

    mod = find_modifier_of_type(dup_obj, 'ARMATURE')


    return dup_obj

def find_pose_frames(obj):

    frames = set()

    mod = find_modifier_of_type(obj, 'ARMATURE')
    if mod is None:
        raise BaseException("active object does not have an ARMATURE modifier")
    arm = mod.object

    action = arm.animation_data.action
    for fc in action.fcurves:
        if fc.data_path[:10] != "pose.bones":
            # don't care about whatever this is
        for kp in fc.keyframe_points:

    return sorted(frames)

def mission1(scn, obj):

    export_pattern = "/tmp/cube-%d.fbx"
    for fr in find_pose_frames(obj):
        dup_obj = duplicate_and_apply_armature(scn, obj)

        # this function has a LOT of flags, and I don't know what they all do.
        bpy.ops.export_scene.fbx(filepath=(export_pattern %scn.frame_current),  use_selection=True)


    scn.objects.active = obj

scn = bpy.context.scene
mission1(scn, bpy.context.active_object)

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