Absolute Vertex Keys

Sep 3 2004

Today I wanted to do something I’ve already done, but realised I don’t remeber how to bloody do it again. That’s why this short video on absolute vertex keys that make simple mesh animations possible within blender. It’s supposed to work for latices and curves as well, but I found out the IPO doesn’t seem to show the keys at least for curves for some reason. Feel free to enlighten me. And yes, the IPO editor UI is slightly being raped here…

So what are vertex keys and why do you need them? Sometimes you need to animate more than just objects moving. You want facial expressions, you want object deformations. I’m guessing for even more complex animations, relative vertex keys will give me more freedom in reusing the various poses or states of the mesh (called vertex keys to confuse me). But I ain’t got that far yet (well I did, but forgot again).

Few notes before you play the mute animation.

  • You cannot name your vertex keys, so absolute vertex keys may not be too good for when you need a lot of them.

  • Adding the first mesh key will create the yellow base key Don’t edit this one, since it’s your initial state of the mesh and you probably want to keep it. You start on a next key by pressing the I key, which is used to insert all types of animation keys.

  • You can copy the state of the mesh from one key to another by entering edit mode with the key you want to copy, and selecting the destination key in the edit mode (right mouse button), blender will ask before overwriting the target key state.

  • At one point I change the type of the IPO curve, this menu is brought up with the T key.

  • The cool proportional editing is toggled with the O key. It is also in the mesh menu, but I guess it needs more screen estate, as you can see I was trying to show it, but failed to find it ;).

  • The speed IPO curve enables you to change the different poses in time.

Blender video - absolute vertex keys

Hopefully now I’ll remember ;)