Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

See Pablo Dobarro’s cool new KeyMesh for Blender demo

Ace sculpting tools developer Pablo Dobarro has posted a lovely new demo video for KeyMesh, his experimental feature implementing a claymation-style animation system within Blender.

Proof-of-concept toolset creates virtual claymation within Blender
First demoed in 2019, KeyMesh enables users to take a base 3D model and create different versions of the mesh on a frame-by-frame basis, using Blender’s sculpting and deformation tools.

The resulting workflow is rather like traditional claymation or stop-motion animation, but in 3D.

The original demo was a proof of concept, showing a simple figure forming out of a ball of virtual clay.

The new video, animated by Daniel Martinez Lara, is far more sophisticated, and shows what can be achieved when KeyMesh is combined with a simple underlying rig and a bit of vertex painting.

The result is a much more detailed character, complete with sculpted hair and even a set of pre-modeled mouth shapes – much the same workflow that real stop-motion studios like Aardman use for lip sync.

Availability and system requirements
KeyMesh is an experimental feature, so it isn’t certain if it will be merged into the main Blender code branch.

However, you can try some of Dobarro’s other sculpting tools, including the new Cloth Brush, in Blender 2.83, the next major update to the software, currently available in beta for Windows, Linux and macOS.

Follow the development of KeyMesh for Blender in the feature’s Vimeo channel