I'm trying to understand to manage correctly vertex groups and shape keys. These are the steps I did:

1) I have created the vertex groups of the eyes of my character

2) I have created the shape keys of the eyes of my character, left (called eyeOpen.L) and right (eyeOpen.R). When the value is 0, they are closed, when the vaue is higher they are opening.

This is how appears my character at this point:

bird at the beginning

Now, after that I did the step 1 and 2, I realized that I have to modify the wings of the character. So, with the eyes closed, I have modified a little the wings, and here you can see how the character appears now:

bird on the middle of the changes

Now, when I have opened the left eye, you can see what happened:

bird model came back to the stage 1

In other words, the character has came back to be the original model. But I don't want to do it. I want that, even if I open the eyes, the last changes that I did to to mesh, remain unchanged. How can I do this? Thanks.

NB: In the pic #3 you can see that I cut the faces that connect the head with the rest of the body because I thought that, when I opened the eyes, the latest changes made to the mesh remained unchanged, but I was wrong. Now I imagine that I have to change the mesh of the wings also with the eyes opened, but in this case I have to work two times every time that I have to modify the mesh after that the shape keys have been applied?

I've attached the 3d model,here :

you will see a gap all around the eyes. I imagine that can be fixed putting a lot of bones all around the eyelids.

  • $\begingroup$ If you modify your geometry, the shape keys are no longer valid. Read: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/19296/… and: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/48092/… $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Apr 1, 2016 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ hello. thanks for the reply. I don't like shape keys. Do you know another tool that performs the same function but that allows also to modify the mesh after they have been applied ? $\endgroup$
    – Marietto
    Apr 1, 2016 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ what about to use the armature deformation instead of the shape keys ? How can this be done ? $\endgroup$
    – Marietto
    Apr 1, 2016 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ Upload your .blend using blend-exchange.giantcowfilms.com and edit the question with the link. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Luka ash
    Apr 2, 2016 at 1:02
  • $\begingroup$ the manual's armature section should be of help if you'r asking this question. If you were asking this specifically for the eyes in your case I guess you can use a Bone rotating from the center of the eyeball ? $\endgroup$
    – Yvain
    Apr 2, 2016 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


As long as you don't add or remove faces, you can always go back and select the base shape key and make modifications to your mesh. The important part is that you select the base shape key before you enter edit mode. But if you do major changes to your topology, then, as mentioned by cegaton in the comment, you'll have to redo your shape keys.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ this is very limiting,because at any time there could be the need to modify the mesh globally. I think that the deformation of mesh with the bones is a more flexible tecnique. $\endgroup$
    – Marietto
    Apr 3, 2016 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with you $\endgroup$
    – coCoKNIght
    Apr 3, 2016 at 10:27

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