2023-02-23 Animation & Rigging meeting

The meeting will be on 2023-02-23T17:00:00Z. It is open for everybody interested to join on Google Meet (link below).

Present: Brad Clark, ‘cg tinker’ aka Dennis, Christoph Lendenfeld, Fani-Eleni Pandi, Jason Schleifer, Luciano Muñoz, Marc, MohammadHossein Jamshidi, Nate Rupsis, Nathan Vegdahl, Paul Thuriot, Pierrick Picaut, Sybren Stüvel, Pratyaksh Raj

People present are referred to by first name for brevity. Others are referred to by full name.


Announcements / Since the Last meeting

  • New face: Dennis, from Germany, wants to get involved, has developer experience. Already got source and built Blender.
  • Issues and pull requests on Gitea: we can mark them with a milestone as well, if they are meant for a specific release (instead of ‘when it is done’).
  • Most of March Nathan will be in Japan, so he’ll likely skip the Thursday meetings. He might make the Tuesday meeting. After that he’s moving to Amsterdam to work at Blender HQ.


Short-term goals / Ongoing Work

Patch Review & Decision Time

  • Recently Christoph and Sybren have been more vocal/noisy/explicit in the chat channel about patch reviews, fixes, etc. Do people like this, or is it too noisy?
    • Appreciated by the module.
  • Removal of the Weight Paint mode operator ‘Fix Weights’.
    • It is highly inefficient. For every vertex in the mesh, it would loop over every vertex group, and evaluate the mesh for every combination.
    • The code is very hard to read, and got in the way of other Blender improvements already.
    • Nobody seems to know what it does, but it does cause bugs:
    • #32406: Weights → Fix Deforms is broken (2012)
    • #69004: Weight Paint - Fix Deform crash (2019)
    • #104358: Regression: Blender crash in weight paint mode and vertex select checked and then weights → fix deforms (2023)
    • Brad: If it were a “Weight Relax” it could work.
    • Paul: This sounds like what the Maya “weight hammer” is doing. That smooths out the weights between connected points.
    • Brad: This looks like it tries to do this more interactively, which could be nice.
    • Sybren: like a blur brush.
    • Module agrees to remove it from Blender, and potentially later replace it with something better.
    • Christoph: if people miss it after it’s gone, they can also explain what it does and we can implement it in a better way.
    • Update: Sybren created #105237
  • Pablo Vazquez made some nice pull requests:
  • Christoph: removing collection hotkeys from pose mode?
    • #105120: Animation: Remove collection hotkeys from pose mode
    • Module is in favour. The people present either never used it, or got confused and disliked the numbers.
    • For bigger changes to the keymap we should involve the UI module. After the meeting Sybren checked with Pablo Vazquez and Julien Kaspar (on Blender Chat), and there are people who do use them for collection switching. For removing them from pose mode we have Pablo’s blessing. He did mention this could be a big change to people’s workflows, so might be good to hold on until Blender 4.0. Development of that version will start in 3 months anyway.

Demo of blend shapes add-on by Marc

Marc demostrates his ‘HD Shape Keys’ add-on. A limitation of Blender is that shape keys can only manipulate the base mesh. The ‘HD’ ones do work on more granular subdivisions via displacement maps. His add-on is not yet published, we are the first to see the add-on.

There is discussion about this on Right Click Select as well (Shape keys for multi-resolution modifier), with implementation discussions at 2022-11-15 Sculpt/Texture/Paint Module Meeting and 2022-12-15 Sculpt/Texture/Paint Module Meeting.

Marc’s solution was inspired by Blender Studio’s wrinkle tech, combining different displacement maps into one + masking.

Pierric shares P2design - TUTORIAL ADVANCED SKIN DEFORMATION IN BLENDER - YouTube as something similar he made a few years ago with normal maps and a shader driven by shapekeys.

Help Needed

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Thursday 2 March, 18:00-19 CET (Your local time: 2023-03-02T17:00:00Z). Again it will be open for everybody who’s interested. The provisionary meeting agenda will be linked in the #animation-module channel before the meeting.


If someone want’s to beta test, the HD Shape Keys addon, send me a PM.

It’s not an easy addon. You must be able to bake your own displacement maps and write a JSON config file.

Here is an example of the DAZ Genesis 9 figure in Blender using the HD FACS.

All 27 FACS HD shape keys are baked into six displacement maps.

Sadly, I can’t share for legal reasons the Genesis 9 displacement maps, after I just baked the original G9 HD FACS which are owned by DAZ. :frowning:
But I am currently working on self-made HD FACS for G8.1 :wink: