Blendshapes & Smoothing Tutorial

I was recently asked what my method for creating blendshapes is and how to create a smoothing attribute. So I’ll address both in this tutorial:


For the blendshapes I use the Soft Modification Tool for moving vertices and I have the low poly character in subdivDisplaySmoothness -smoothness 3; (select your character & press #3 key on your keyboard).


I create my blendshapes in low poly and then add them to the rig. The main reason for this is that if I want the blends to follow the smoothing it must go from low to high same as the main geometry. You can’t add a high poly blend to a low poly main geometry. You’ll get the following error message: // Error: No deformable objects selected.


There are many MEL scripts available on that will allow you to mirror your blends from one side of the face/body to the other. There are many ways of setting up low/high poly blends,  from my experience this is the easiest, but it depends on your client (you don’t always have a choice in your method).


Setting up a smooth control is very easy, the first step is to create the attribute:

1. Create the Smooth attribute. I generally add the smooth attribute to the WorldCTRL ( or whatever your main Ctrl is called). Set the min to 0, max to 2, and default to 0. You can do either float or integer depending on whether or not you want decimals or whole numbers.


2.  If you haven’t done so yet, smooth your character. Then open up the connection editor: Widow > General Editors > Connection Editor.  Select your character’s WorldCTRL (or whatever ctrl you added the smooth attribute to) and click “Reload Left” within the Connection Editor.


3. Select your character’s geometry in the inputs you should see polySmoothFace#, select that and click “Reload Right” within the Connection Editor.

4. Connect the Smooth attribute of your Ctrl  to the divisions attribute of your character’s polySmoothFace# node.


5. Wallah! You’ve setup your character’s smooth control! :)

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