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I'm about to make an animated short using Blender for the first time and I'm contemplating if I should rig all my characters using a mesh deform modifier instead of the traditional direct bone rigging.

For the advantages I read about how you can have one character have many wardrobe changes or have many parts and you can make toony distortions.

Is there any disadvantages to using this system?
Is there something that I should be concerned about?
Does it slow down rendering in cycles?
Does it limit bend accuracy like the precise fold of the forearm?
Will the cage prevent a character's arm to press against their torso?
Or something else?

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  • $\begingroup$ Armatures are still necessary without question. Armatures can control a Mesh Deform Modifier. $\endgroup$ Oct 9, 2017 at 8:04

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  1. I don't think you can export it to other Software
  2. It will take a little longer to calculate the mesh's deform so it might slow down the render a little but not more than some milliseconds
  3. I do even think you can make better bends with that technique, at least that's in my experience
  4. also if the cage starts intersecting when it's deformed it will still work
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  • $\begingroup$ So it's a good way to go it seems. I'll convert my rigs to this method. I still need to figure out how to do the squash and stretch of the character. Nothing found on how to do that yet. $\endgroup$ Oct 9, 2017 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I just figured it out I would just make shape keys for the deformer. Silly me. $\endgroup$ Oct 9, 2017 at 8:50

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