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Are relative shape key values inextricably linked to the mesh data? For example, if you had a face mesh with an "open mouth" shape key and an "open eyes" shape key, could you have two face objects linked to it with independent facial expressions? Say, Ob1 with 50% open mouth and 25% open eyes, and Ob2 with 100% both, both linked to Mesh1?

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  • $\begingroup$ This should be simple enough to test in blender, but I think it should work from what I remember of the shapekey code. $\endgroup$
    – Sazerac
    Nov 17, 2017 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ Cool that you're familiar with the code, I should dive into it sometime (I'm a C++/python programmer). I'm assuming shape keys always affect all instances of that mesh, since with animation, drivers, etc. the changes affect them all, and the properties appear in the "mesh properties" tab. But if you know a way to control them per-object let me know. $\endgroup$
    – QuadrupleA
    Nov 17, 2017 at 15:55

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Two objects that share the same mesh data will also use the same shapekey values. Shapekeys are part of the mesh data and as such, every instance uses the same key value for each shapekey.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. If anyone involved in development sees this, it would be great to support instancing with shape keys in the future, the way it works with armatures: multiple objects link to the same mesh data and animate its shape keys independently. Very useful for characters, limbs, plants, tentacles, etc. $\endgroup$
    – QuadrupleA
    Nov 20, 2017 at 17:55

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