Bake vertex position from modifier stack

31 votes
Date Updated: 

I was wondering on how I could achieve a footstep-like effect on a mesh without some fancy softbody/physics/plugin-action, and I came up with this script. It basically bakes the vertex position from the modifierstack on each frame to a keyframed editable_poly object. It keyframes only the modified part of the mesh, and does not change it back, hence the "track-effect". See the example image:



The first rectangle shows a standard editable_poly with volume select and  push modifiers applied to it. The volume select is connected to the sphere floating around. The next three rectangles are the result from applying the bake script, just with different modifiers applied to it after the baking.

Some quick info:

- It only applies to the object's vertex selection, so if you have no vertices selected, the script bakes the whole object.

- The object must be an editable_poly.

- It is kinda slow.


If anything is unclear or you have suggestions to the script, drop me a line!

You could produce some really cool effects using this script, hope you like it : )

Ps. If there is another easy way to produce footsteps, let me know ; )

Version Requirement: 
Tested on max2010


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mark pigott's picture

I'm afraid it doesn't work

I'm afraid it doesn't work with 3ds Max 6.

Budi G's picture

it's look like a great idea.

it's look like a great idea. thank you

the script remind me of Object Deform plugins from peter watje


haavards's picture

Hey, thanks for testing the

Hey, thanks for testing the script! I failed to clarify that the first example is the origin of the last three examples, meaning that the last three is copies of the first one AFTER i applied the script, with different modifiers attached after baking. The second example has noise modifier to it, the third is a shell modifier and a turbosmooth i think. The last one has a squeese modifier to it.


This image shows a quick way to set up the indentation effect:

Apply a volume select modifier with these settings:

Stack selection level: vertex

Selection method: choose what ever fits your need, in my example I used replace. If you have multiple objects that you want to apply to the mesh you must choose add so the selection gets passed on to the next modifier.

Select by volume: Mesh object : select the object that you want to  affect the mesh (the sphere in my example)

To get a more nicer selection effect for the push modifier I applied an edit mesh modifier. Go into vertex submode, select soft selection, adjust it to your needs.

Don't go out of vertex mode, just apply the push modifier and use whatever value you want.

Then apply the script, if you have done it right you should see the indentation effect (hopefully :P)

The important thing is to pass the current vertex selection to from one modifier to the next if you want the baking only to be applied to that selection. You will see the dots to the right of each modifier if the vertex selection has been passed on to the next modifier. See the picture

This was a quick and dirty explanation, so I apologize if it's still unclear.

Script_Butler's picture

Hello. This script is pretty

Hello. This script is pretty nifty! I've tried it out and managed to replicate the first image.

When you say the other three are achieved by placing different modifiers after the bake, can you name which they are for each image? It's a bit unclear and I've tried some different modifiers but nothing happens.

I'd like to recreate the second image where the push stays in place after the ball has moved along, therefore creating a lasting indentation but I cant figure it out.




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