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first time asking a question on here so I'm sorry if I leave anything out of my question.

Getting straight to the point, like the title says, how're you able to do that? In my case I have a Head Model that contains many shapekeys on it (like expressions). I just want to simply connect it to a body mesh/model without the shapekeys basically getting destroyed.

I've tried some common methods such as bisecting the body model around the neck and then bridge edge looping the head and body after joining - as well as going by each and every one of the vertices of the head and the neck and joining them that way. I mean, both methods end up looking nice after some smoothing but the shape keys I had on the head are practically destroyed and cause weird deformations (even around places that don't have anything to do with the original shape key).

Thanks for your time!

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  • $\begingroup$ Does your body mesh have shape keys? If not, the method I have used is make a copy for each shape and "apply" as that shape. Join all of these to the body. Then use the join as shapes operator. Have a script that does this, will post if / when I find it. $\endgroup$
    – batFINGER
    Nov 16, 2016 at 5:23

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There is no problem in joining two meshes with shape keys: you only have to be sure that - before entering edit mode - the "basis" shape key is selected in both the meshes. If some shape keys share the same name, change one of them or they will be merged. All Shape keys are retained as long as you don't modify the vertices moved by shape keys.

If a shape key moves some vertices that you want to stay still: select all vertices you want to stay in the "basis" position, Ctrl V "Blend from shape", in the left bottom corner of the "T" toolshelf panel select "basis" and uncheck the "add" option. This method works also for copying part of a shape key into another.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I have two identical meshes that share identical shape keys. When I press "CTRL + J" to join one mesh to the other, this method does not work! Instead, the shape keys of the last-selected mesh are copied to all other joined meshes, at the moment of the "CTRL + J" (or "Join") operation! (I have the "Basis" shape-key selected on all target meshes.) Recommendations? $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2022 at 21:50
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The above method did not quite work for me! I wanted to join two keyed meshes to create one mesh, removing shape keys, while retaining the resulting shapes of my combined shape keys. Here is what worked in the end:

A quick WARNING before proceeding. This method will NOT preserve shape key functionality. This is a destructive method which is purely visual, and is used for modeling purposes.

Select the first "Shape Keyed" object you would like to join.

Go to where your Shape Keys are stored, under "Object Data Properties."

enter image description here

After keying your object into the desired position, in the Shape Keys panel, click the options arrowhead (shown above) and select "New Shape from Mix."

This will create a new shape key using your current "mix" of shape keys and mesh data.

Another quick WARNING before proceeding. This method will NOT preserve shape key functionality. This is a destructive method which is purely visual, and is used for modeling purposes.

enter image description here

Finally, before finishing, delete or set all pre-existing shape key values to 0.

(Otherwise, your new shape key will double-up over any existing shape keys - this will create an undesirable stretched or distorted effect.)

enter image description here

take your 'New Shape from Mix' key (titled 'Key 9' in this example) and move this new key to the very top of your Shape Key list! (Make certain there are NO shape keys listed above this shape key, or this method will not work!)

Do this process on all keyed meshes you would like to join.

Finally, join your meshes together using CTRL+ J, and the process is complete!

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You can just join them together normally this do this below

If you click on shape key there is a vertex group option. Then you can use a vertex group the only effects the mesh that you want to move with the shape key. enter image description here

Also you will have to add a vertex group to all shape keys. Because if it has no vertex group it will effect all of the mesh.

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