I have been experimenting with Morphing complex objects and have achieved partial success in the previous post. But I discovered the amazing (and free) Mesh Data Transfer addon by Maurizio Memoli. It’s incredible, and I have only used one part of it.
Then I learned how to use it for my purpose of morphing 2 entirely different objects:
- The Source Mesh, the one you want to transfer to the panther (or whatever object, I used 3D model of my head), must have a mesh that covers the square in the UV window.
- The Transferee Object, in my case the panther, must share the same UV texture. I also made sure it had Subdivision Modifier to 3, applied it, and then went to Edit Mode, Face menu on top, Tris to Quads.
- Go to Shader Editor and make the source texture the same as the panther using Image Texture node.
- Unwrap the panther using Spherical Unwrap. Turn your object to where you want the panther to appear from the source mesh before unwrapping. I used Orthographic mode to unwrap. I don’t think it matters.
Using Spherical Unwrap you should find that it fills up the UV square. This is what you want.
I used Scale (S + X or Y + 0 and then G to adjust those parts of the mesh outside the square). Mesh should be right on or slightly overlap. The panther should look weird at this point with the wrong texture.
- Shift click on Source head and then panther.
- Go to Mesh Data Transfer in Object Data Properties. Choose Active UV, Closest, choose Source with eye dropper. Press little square on right to create shape keys. Press Transfer Shape.
- It will take a moment to work but you should get a pretty accurate and complex mesh without too much distortion. It will be of the Source mesh (Head).
- Go to Shape keys, turn Relative off, and use the Evaluation Time to watch transformation.
- In Object Mode, add more Shape Keys by using larger arrow on side and press New Shape From Mix.
- Create your animation. Use Shader Editor to mix textures.