Here's a simple example to illustrate. I have a tile component object (selected) and a base mesh object (active). I click the Tessellate button and the operator options box appears. Near the bottom there are two options listed under Advanced Settings:

  • Map Vertex Group
  • Use Shape Keys

But they are grayed out.

The Tissue add-on's Tesselate feature with Advanced Settings grayed out

Here is the result when the [OK] button is clicked. The plus-shaped tile piece gets tessellated around the cube.

Tessellated cube result

The thing is, I have a shape key on the tile component object:

Animated GIF showing the effect of the shape key on the tile object

I would like this same kind of shape key animation to be possible on the resulting tessellated cube. I haven't been able to find any documentation on how to use these settings. Any help would be appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ Either your object needs a vertex group(target) or your object needs shape keys(tile shape) so maybe try generating a test of each to see if they enable those buttons? $\endgroup$ – Craig D Jones Jul 5 '17 at 3:34
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, I got it! The vertex groups must not be empty. Assigning all of the mesh's verts to the vertex group fixed it. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Jul 5 '17 at 4:14
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    $\begingroup$ @CraigDJones Okay, I think I've got it figured out. It seems that when doing Join As Shapes it will use the active shape key. The mix of the shapes will be ignored, but you can repeat this process for each shape, making different tessellation meshes, then after joining each as shapes readjust the sliders to the same values to get the same mix. Care to post an answer? Or shall I? $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Jul 5 '17 at 7:03
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    $\begingroup$ Post the answer, as you have the right perspective on how to frame it now - I just asked questions and got lucky they helped :) $\endgroup$ – Craig D Jones Jul 5 '17 at 12:22
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    $\begingroup$ @CraigDJones Will do. Thanks again for your help! It gave me an "a-ha!" and encouraged me to keep probing. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Jul 5 '17 at 13:55

The Tessellate Tool's Advanced Settings are grayed out unless the "base object" has a Vertex Group (with vertices assigned to it).

So that answers the original question. But let's see what these Advanced Settings might actually be used for in practice, and go through the steps.

A few more points that aren't obvious:

  • The Active Shape Key is the one that will be used.
  • Shape Key slider values will not be taken into account.
  • If "Map Vertex Group" is not enabled, the "Use Shape Keys" option will fail.
  • Shape Key data is not preserved as such. The tessellation result is just a mesh in that single shape.
  • To get the animation back we need to create multiple tessellations and use the Join As Shapes operation to recombine them as one mesh.

Here's an animated mini-tutorial:

How to create animated tesselations - animated GIF

And a sample result:

An example of an animated tessellation

Go nuts...

Blender's Suzanne tessellated with animated speakers

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In latest blender build 2.79 tissue interface doesnt have advanced features map vertex group and use shape keys

tessellate add button is also different from animated gif, what version of tissue has these extra features

This doesn't appear in blender tissue 2.79 i quote "I click the Tessellate button and the operator options box appears. Near the bottom there are two options listed under Advanced Settings:

Map Vertex Group Use Shape Keys"

Solved by deleted old version downloaded latest from prefs and reinstalled then option appeared in create menu

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  • $\begingroup$ It's not clear if this is a question or an answer. Are you seeing the options now? Please explain more clearly. $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Sep 28 '17 at 0:44

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