Mesh Deformer

The Mesh Deformer.


The Mesh Deformer is a lot like the FFD Deformer in that you can use a low resolution object to deform a high resolution object. While the FFD Deformer is limited to a cube, The Mesh Deformer lets you use any polygonal object that you can create to deform with.
To get started you need two things – A high res object to deform, and a low res object to deform with.

Here is how the Mesh Deformer is set up:

Mesh Deformer - Set up

After that lets take a look at the attribute manager:

Mesh Deformer - Attribute Manager

In the attribute manager you need to drag and drop your low res object into “Cages.”  Click on “Initalize” and you should be good to go – go into point mode and start moving points on your low res object to get to deforming.

The really cool thing about the Mesh Deformer is since you are using a polygonal object to drive the deforming, you can do basically anything to that object. So for example, if you want to add soft body dynamics to a very high resolution object and don’t have the time or computer power to simulate it. You can put the soft body tag on a low resolution object and then use that object as a cage to deform your high res object.  So basically the computer is only calculating the dynamics for a really simple low res object and then you are using that low res object as a cage to deform your really high res object very quickly. Here is how you would set something like that up:

Mesh Deformer - Soft Body Set Up


If reading isn’t your style, you just want to see it visually, or, you know, you just want to hear my voice – here is a quick video tutorial of the Mesh Deformer overview with a couple of cool tips and tricks thrown in.


Initialize – Clicking this locks the Cage mesh to the High Res mesh to be deformed and assignes a weight value to each point of the cage.
Restore – 
Clicking this will reset the state of the low res cage to when you clicked Initialize
Auto Init – If clicked it allows the high res mesh to be changed.  So for example you could use the Mesh deformer with a pose morph tag.
Memory – This shows the memory that cinema is using to save the initial state.
Strength – The strength of the mesh deformer.
Cages – This is where you drag and drop your mesh to be used as a deformer.
Accuracy – Accuracy is how accurate the assigned weight value is when you click Initialize, this should be raised if your deformation is causing weird artifacts.  Note that you need to re-click on initialize after changing the accuracy.

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  • Marv

    Glen –
    Thanks for the short tutorial on the mesh deformer! This is very helpful. I just finished a project that would have been much easier using this deformer. Thanks!