Set Shape Key after Envelope?


ok, this is a little bit tricky. I’ve enveloped my character but now I must see, that I will need more Shape Keys for facial animation. Ok, I can duplicate the model, freeze, move points around and select it as shape key. So far so good.

But now my problem is, that I not just want shape keys for smile, fear and so on (which I can easily model on the character as one), but shape keys for ‘muscles’ to mix them finally.
Now, here is the problem: How can I mirror shape keys?
I need this, because I want to control the facial expression for each side seperately.
've tried to scale it by -1, divided the mesh into two pieces and merged them together, but this leads to no result. It always killed the mesh.

Help me please!!

[GFS]snoopy :shrug:


Surely there’s a better method, but try to export your model (only the model for the new shape not all the scene) in Softimage 3d (using .xsi format) and use the effect >simmetry command…now reimport this softimage 3d scene in xsi.

I had the same problem an with this method all works well…



In XSI 2 you have the Duplicate Symmetry function (found with the other Duplicate/Instantiate). In XSI 1.5 you have a script called Effect_Symmetry (perhaps it is also on XSI Net).

There are two things you can do:
1- Take your half-face, create an instance and scale in -1. Now every change you make on the original face will be carried to the instance.

2- Apply a symmetry to the face, merge them, and apply a Symmetry Map (Property > Symmetry Map, make sure the center of the head is right on global 0 in X axis). This, again, will carry to the second part the changes made to the first.

Hope this helps
Salutations - Cheers
Bernard Lebel


If I understood you right, by this way I can create a symmetrical copy of my shape key model, ok. But if I assign it to my base mesh as shape key, translations are made on the original side (because of scaling by -1). If I freeze scaling and rotation, the mesh scales itself by -1 if I put the shape clip into the mixer (I think, because the index of verticies is still flipped after freezing). I know, that I could do it, before enveloping it.

BTW: I have no Soft3D here right now. But there must be a solution in XSI!

Thanks for help anyway


The tips I gave you were for XSI… were you asking for SI3D?



No, but Lepo had a solution with SI3D. Anyway, do you know, how I can assign a mirrored shape key after enveloping my character? (I want to seperate for example smile left and right, to free up my possibilities of facial expression, not only the same symmetrical smile or expression!).

Thanks a lot.


I’ve had the same problem but haven’t looked to deeply into finding a proper solution.
My model isn’t too heavy as i’m using geometry approx at render time so what i do is this.
>duplicate the face twice.
>make changes to the right side of the mouth on the first.
>duplicate and scale -1 on this face then position it directly over the second face. turn off selectability for this mirrored mesh.
>Then use point snapping to make the left side of the mouth.

Its not perfect by any means and sounds like alot of work. If you have a reasonably light meash like me it won’t take more than a couple of minutes.

Hope this helps ?

Please post a proper soluition if you find one :slight_smile:


it may be killing your mesh because you haven’t gone into center mode and scaled it back to 1. I think that’s why it’s screwing up on you. make sure after you do that to go back to object mode. And it wouldn’t hurt to freeze the operation stack after all that either. I hoe it works out.



ok, good idea, but now it scales down my model to YZ plane (see the picture). Perhaps it could work by exporting the shape key model to a new scene and modify it there? But there must be a solution!



OK, I’VE GOT IT, YES! :bounce:

What you need to create duplicating shape key models even after enveleping, is your starting half. Yes, the one, you firstly used to model and mirror for merging. Duplicate it twice, so that you always have your original half in the scene. Scale other duplicate by -1. Model on your first half and merge it with the duplicate (-1). Take care of the tolerance. It MUST BE the tolerance level of the origial mesh (the one, I’ve enveloped and so on). I’ve also noticed, that it can be important, in which order you select your halfes, so try different orders. So, now we got a merged mesh with modifications. Before assigning it as shape key, you MUST disable your envelope operator or it will be killed (RMB in operator stack --> disable from here). Then you can pick it as shape key, a shape source will be generated. Now back to your halfes. Mirror them by scaling them by -1. Now your changes should be on the other side, also your unmodified half. Make the same procedure again and assign it as shape key. So you get two working symmetrical shape key meshes. Finally you can copy your shape clusterkeys from the envelopeWeightCls to the Point_AUTO cluster, were other shape clusterkeys lie (see picture). Ok, that it! :buttrock:

But here’s another question: As I tried to put a shape source into the mixer (even before I generated more shape sources) with the envelopeOperator on active, it killed my envelopOperator. But why? As I muted the envelopeOperator, it worked. I raactivated it and I could combine envelope deformations with shape deformations. But why did I had to deactivate my envelopeOperator to put a shape source into the mixer??? :hmm:


a friend of mine had the same problem. if i remember right the problem was the order of operations. I believe, you have to have all your shape keys selected before you weight your character.


In this case I did it! But it kills the envelope operator anyway. Don’t know. But after activating / reactivating, I can combine both deforms.

Any other ideas?

[GFS]snoopy :suprised:


You lucky bastard, I’m glad to see youv’e solved your problem. Im still wrapping my mind around the sollution but still, kudos.

I’m not even there yet, I’ve been anticipating that problem and figured id just have to use the snap vertice sollution, anyway my big problem is getting just basic non mirrored shape keys to apply correctly. Sometimes the mesh shrinks into the rig, sorta like yours did in the image where he squeeze’s on zy only mine goes on all axis’. When that happens i know its busted and start over.
The best ive gotten is the shape clips weight works perfectly on the frame that it was applied (im doing all my shape stuff after the envelope, some after the animation if i can get away with it), but as soon as I import an action clip and play it witht he shape clip active, the area effected explodes only on certain frames. Its as if as the vertices deform that stray into othere bone territories and get pulled (such as an ear vertice being pulled by the bicep bone). But i dont think its doing that because of the random directions the vertices go.

Anyway, any help would be apreciated, and apoligies to the host for the thread for stealing his topic :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance, tui.


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