I have created a mesh and it has a basis and relative shape key.
I can animate the Value of the relative shape key.
Unfortunately if I create a second instance of the mesh using alt-d or python's
bpy.data.objects.new("second", bpy.data.meshes["space cow"]) the animation of the shape key affects both objects and they can not be separated.
It seems that
obj.data.shape_keys is actually its own datablock from
bpy.data.shape_keys and has its own animation_data separate from the object or the mesh.
Since I need to create and animate a herd of space cows using python I need code which can create independently animatable instances of this mesh.
My current instinct is that I'll have to duplicate the mesh data block and then duplicate the shape key. It makes me sad that I have to create so many copies of a mesh. I am hoping that someone else will know a better way.