[Bf-committers] Shapes / Shape Keys - confusing terminology

joe joeedh at gmail.com
Sun Nov 1 05:15:25 CET 2009

I think it's ok to leave the code as it is (that'd be a pain for me to
merge, heh).


On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 5:43 PM, Matt Ebb <matt at mke3.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> I've noticed some weird terminology creeping into Blender 2.5, which
> we'd better clear up. Thought I'd clarify things here so people can
> talk about this with understanding.
> In pre-blender-2.40, we had the weirdo name 'relative vertex keys',
> which in the 'new' animation system in 2.40 during Orange, we changed
> to shapes/shape keys. Part of this was improved in 2.4 but there's
> still some weirdness, in the code naming and in the UI.
> Right now in 2.5 we are calling 'instances of mesh vertex locations'
> as 'Shape Keys'. This is misleading and confusing terminology, since
> the word key usually refers to a keyframe, i.e. something that you set
> while animating, and makes it makes the process more difficult to
> understand. A mesh 'shape key', known in other apps as a Blend Shape
> or Morph Target really has little to do with the actual keyframing in
> time. So I propose this clarified naming convention:
> * Key (or keyframe)
> --> A stored state of some data at a single point in time, represented
> by the little gold diamond that shows up in the dope sheet.
> For example: "Add a location key at frame 10" or "Key the influence of
> the constraint".
> * Shape (mesh shape, curve shape, etc)
> --> A set of vertex locations, as part of a mesh. Known in other apps
> as a Blend Shape or Morph Target.
> For example "Make a new mesh shape for the character's smile" or
> "Delete that shape from the mesh shapes panel"
> * Shape Key
> --> A stored state of the influence of a shape, at a single point in
> time. The Shape key is the actual keyframe, when you've keyframed a
> mesh shape.
> For example: "Delete the shape key in the dopesheet at frame 15" or
> "Bring up the smile strength a bit more and key it"
> I'm happy to go and fix this in the UI but unfortunately the code
> still refers to keys I believe, which might be a bit of a pain to
> change... :/
> cheers,
> Matt
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