(FREE) Version 2 of Blender Add-on to Import Shape Keys (2.8 and 2.79b)

𝄞 Music 𝄞 Hello everyone A new version of shapekey import add-on is available and it contains a few new enhancements They are designed to help save time and improve results so here’s a brief overview of them The download location remains the same, it is given in the video description If you are not aware of the basics of the add-on yet, I recommend watching the introuductory video The first one is related to the ability to set the subdivision resolution of the imported paths You will find the corresponding option on the left hand side of the import dialog The higher resolution value results in greater number of subdivisions and smoother transition from target to shapekey This can be seen with the help of this example Here are the target and shapekey paths in the source SVG I have imported these same paths into bender twice – once with the resolution value of 50 (that’s on the left hand side) and once with 0 on the right hand side We can see the subdivisions in the edit mode of the path …low resolution and high resolution And here is the transition from target to shapekey for the two imported paths As you can see the morphing is significantly smoother with the higher resolution value This is, of course, at the cost of more complex geometry The default value of the resolution count is set to 50 The next one is about importing paths comprising multiple parts Let’s say we want to morph the font of a text string Here’s the SVG for that The two strings have the same text but different font and the requirement is to transition the upper text with one font to the lower, which has a different font If you combine the entire text string into one path and import it – without matching the individual characters, i.e. parts, the result is not very pleasant In the earlier version there was just one way to overcome this problem and that was: to have a group for each letter pair in the string… to import all the groups and synchronize the keyframes of the shapekey values This is rather tedius, especially if the number of characters increases The new version of the add-on has the ability to map the individual parts of the multi part target and its shape keys The option to do that is ‘Match Parts By’ drop down in the import dialog There are a number of options available for matching the parts Many of these are based on the bounding box of the part Bounding box is basically the minimum rectangular area that can enclose the entire part Since we want the characters in the string to be matched from left to right, let’s choose the option ‘BBox Left’ for matching parts And now with just one path each for target and shapekey we are able to morph the entire string To clarify this a bit further: in this SVG the target is a single path comprising three parts, which are these chess figures and there are corresponding three parts, which are another set of chess figueres, in a single shapekey If we take the parts by their bounding box left extreme then in the target there comes first the rook, then the king and then the Queen The corresponding parts in shape key are knight, pawn and bishop If we pick them by their bounding box area then in the target, king is the biggest part then comes queen and then the rook and so on Now let’s see the trnasition with a couple of different ‘Match Parts By’ option First by Bounding Box Area… then bounding box Left Top… and finally bounding box top-left If the parts count in the target and shape key dont match, then the extra parts are mapped to the last part of the path that has fewer parts So with a large difference between the part count of the paths, it might be better to go with the None value for Match Parts By option In this another example – an anagram morphing – I have set the match parts by option to Node count So even with a single path for target and shape key I am able to achieve the right transition from a character from target to the same one in the shape key Now the last one: There are many situations where we might want to match nodes, which are not on the same side of the target and shape key In this svg let’s say I want the tip of the airplane to match the left edge of the ship If I select align order TOP then the plane will have the correct starting point for morphing but not the ship Similarly, if I select the align order left then it’s the plane that’s not morphing right In such situations, the tool now provides a functionality to manually define the starting point This is done by simply opening the path in the SVG editor at the desired node e.g. using this button in Inkscape The tool is now designed to use align order for getting the starting point for closed paths and the manually set nodes for open paths This is also useful in cases where the node distribution around all the corners is very different for target and shape key, leading to uneven transition In such cases, you can just open the path at the most symmetrical point And if such node does not exist, you can create it by selecting two extreme nodes and clicking this button If needed this can be done for target as well as shape key This will make the transition more symmetrical and much smoother I hope you enjoy using the improved add-on If you find defects, do share them on github or here in the comments section Also your suggestions, feedback and queries are most welcome 🙂 Thank you and see you again!

4 thoughts on “(FREE) Version 2 of Blender Add-on to Import Shape Keys (2.8 and 2.79b)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *