One of the more interesting patches to be added to the tracker recently is the "Cast" patch, submitted by Willian Padovani Germano (also known as "ianwill"). Willian explains that the patch adds a "Cast" mesh modifier, which casts a mesh into certain pre-determined shapes (such as spheres).
The tracker includes the following explanation of features:
- Deforms its mesh like the "to sphere" button or the "push / pull" transform
The advantages, if enough to justify it, are that this is a modifier, the effect can be finely tweaked and animated.
- The effect can be restricted per axis
There are X/Y/Z axes toggles in the interface.
- The factor can go beyond [0.0, 1.0]
Right now it's codes in [-10.0, 10.0]. The "To Sphere" button only does [0.0, 1.0] and the push/pull transform inflates the object, so this works a little differently.
Values out of the 0-1 interval give "interesting" results.
- Accepts an object whose location is used as "center of the sphere"
The realtime equivalents can use the 3d cursor for that. Using an object makes it easy to animate, of course.
- Accepts a vertex group to restrict the effect to parts of the mesh
Painting weights, then, gives further control over the final deformation, in real time.
Sounds like a fun modifier! Currently, it allows for shape-shifting into spheres, cylinders, and cubes.
Originally the modifier was named "Spherify," but with the added ability to cast into other shapes, Willian felt that "Cast" was more appropriate. He does not seem entirely sold on the current name, and says that he welcomes suggestions for other names. So, if you have a better name for it, this may be your opportunity to leave your mark upon the Blender forever!