Master Shape Keys

1 rating

So, you’ve generated a shape key, but now you want to separate that shape key into 2 or 3 unique shape keys? Yea, the only way to do that is to manually re-create those desired results with time and effort, or you can just learn about this addon that solves this time-consuming issue.

Vertex Shape Keys solves the problem of grouping shape keys. Group shape keys lets you generate sets of Vertex Groups of your choosing. In other words if you have a 'smile' shape key, and a 'Left Face' and 'Right Face' vertex groups, you can automatically generate a 'smile for Left Face' and 'smile for Right Face' shape keys.

If you have to make changes to the Smile shape key, you only have to change the original and generate again.

Master Shape Keys includes all the mentioned above and everything else. With it you can combine shape keys which simplifies the process of utilizing more than 1 shape key to be activated at the same time.

With Additive Off each shape key is activated and closed consecutively, each next shape key activating when the prior shape key starts to close.

With Additive On the process is similar, but each prior shape key after reaching full extension remains open and doesn't revert to the original value, unlike with Additive Off.

The opportunity for more expression and control over a character’s face or a mesh’s form becomes a reality, not to mention the prospect of comedic over-expression that’s easier than ever!

Using Sync Object, you can select another object with shape keys and will have the option to sync to a specific Shape Key, which will make the targeted shape key affect the object you've chosen.

Bake Merged Keys for exporting to alternative engines (Unreal, Unity), or for use within Blender, without the MSK addon, while preserving animation data. Additionally, they can be utilized on render farms.

Organizing shape keys is a nightmare because you just cannot give them structure due to the lack of any such mechanism in native Blender.

This is where Shape Key Collections saves the day and allows for full control over your shape keys. Bring structure to the chaos, a folder structure, that is.

With this new management system you can rename and organize which shape keys go in which folder collection, including the benefit of subfolders for full detail of your many shape keys.


The .zip doesn’t install in Blender

  • Please un-zip the archive and install the .py script.

How do I activate an addon?

Is there another tool like this that can automate drivers?

  • Did you know you could set up shape keys to be driven by bones through an automated process via drivers on a 3D UI? It can work on any model or mesh, including facial shape keys of any character. This is all possible with the epic addon Driver-Rig –

My project is slowing down when I’m using multiple Vertex Group shape keys

Delete Vertex Keys when making changes and then generate them again. This will reduce the number of shape keys the engine has to deal with until you’re ready to use them again.

Can I remove the long names from grouped keys that get generated for use out of Blender?

keys =
for key in keys:
skend ='_SKM2')
skstar ='SKMvg_:')
if skend and skstar: =[7:-5]

With the object selected you want to fix the names of, paste this in to the Python console and run it, but know that it breaks the SKC addon, so before you run it, SAVE, use the script, export your model and then reload the save from before you ran the script. If you do not follow these instructions, doom will come your file.

Want to get Master Shape Keys with Driver-Rig as a bundle for a lower price?

I only want to get the folder structure addon (Shape Key Collections)

I’ve imported my shape keys from other software with another addon. Will my shape keys work with this addon?

  • Normally the shape keys should work, but a 100% guarantee cannot be provided. So far there have been no reports of such issues.

Will Shape Key Collections work on another computer?

  • So long as the computer has the addon and the same Blender version, the Collections will work.

What’s the difference between Vertex and Master Shape Keys?

  • Vertex Shape Keys can divide shape keys into unique ones and generate vertex group keys. Master Shape Keys has that included, plus everything else.




Object Data ‣ Shape Keys ‣ (Vertex Group Keys and Advanced Create)


Add/RemoveAdd a new shape key or remove the active shape key or folder. If you remove an open folder, its children will become a child of the folder the now-removed folder was a child of (they will step down in the hierarchy). If you remove a closed folder, the folder and anything inside of it will be removed

Up/DownRearrange the order of shape keys or folders. An item may not be moved outside of a folder it belongs to, or into a folder it doesn’t belong to

Add FolderCreates a ‘Folder’ object inside the list of shape keys, which can have shape keys or other folders put into them to create a structured hierarchy

Folder ToggleOpen and close the folder. Closing a folder hides everything inside of it, for a more tidy UI

Drop-down Menu

When a shape key is selected, this works exactly the same as New Shape Key from Mix. When a folder is selected, this will duplicate the folder and any folders or shape keys inside of it

Track Applied Keys
When Applying or Saving modifiers as shape keys, Track Applied Keys must first be enabled, or the new shape keys will not be added. First, enable tracking and the UI will be greyed out. Second, Save or Apply whatever modifiers you wish. Third, disable Tracking and the new shape keys will appear

Show Base Value
When using 2-way-split shape keys (created by vertex group shape keys) the ‘value’ of the ‘base’ shape key is hidden by default. If this is true they are shown (in red so they stand out)

Open/Close Folders
Opens or closes all folders in the object’s shape key list

Bake Merge Keys
For every NLA Strip in the active object, bakes the animation of Merge Keys to the object. This allows the object to be exported to other engines or for MSK to be disabled without losing the animation data. This will prevent the Merge Keys from driving the shape keys until ‘Generate Merge Keys’ is clicked again

Vertex Group Shape Keys

Generate Key Groups
Generates all vertex group shape keys required, from any shape key in the selected object that has vertex groups enabled for them. If there are exactly 2 ‘vertex groups’ selected, it will generate using a ‘2-way-split’ in the UI, showing two values instead of 1

Delete Vertex Keys
Deletes any vertex group shape keys in the selected object

Advanced Create

Generate Combine
Start the process of creating a Combine key, mixing together any existing shape keys to create a new one. Once this process has started, use Confirm to create and add the new shape key to the object or Cancel to… well, you’ll figure it out.

Editing Lock
Shows or hides the additional settings used to create Merge Keys

Generate Merge
Generate or update any Merge Keys set out in the Merge Key list


The name of the shape key (like in default Blender) or folder. You are safe to rename folders at any time, even if it has things inside it

The folder, or ‘parent’ of the active shape key or folder. Items that belong to a folder are bound to stay within that folder, and will move with the folder if the folder is moved around.

The value of the shape key (like in default Blender). If you see a shape key with 2 values, this means it has 2 ‘vertex group shape keys’ related to it

Sync Object
The object that contains the sync key, mentioned below

Sync Key
A target shape key which will be triggered, in a different or the same object, which will be triggered when this shape key is triggered

Vertex Group Shape Keys (every shape key has its own)

Active Vertex Groups
A list of all vertex groups in the active object with a name that starts “SKM_”. All items which are ticked will cause a copy of this shape key to be generated which is set to use each of the vertex groups enabled, one at a time

Advanced Create

Min/Max Limits
Before the Combine Key process is started, this overrides the minimum and maximum limits for a shape key. By default, a shape key is limited to a value of ‘1’, but putting this higher allows for more extreme combinations

New Name
When the Combine Key process is started, you can enter a custom name which the new key will be generated with

Merge Key Name
The name of the Merge Key similar to the name of a default shape key in Blender

Merge Key Value
The value of the Merge Key, similar to the value of a default shape key in Blender

Vertex Group
The vertex group the Merge Key will belong to, limiting which parts of the mesh it may alter

When this is false, all shape keys listed within a Merge Key are ‘sequential’. In other words, they activate one at a time, with each previously activated shape key becoming inactive as the following shape key activates. When Additive is enabled, the shape keys become ‘additive’, meaning each shape key in the sequence stays fully active, once it becomes active

Merge Key Items (each item has its own settings)

Shape Key
The target Shape Key which the Merge Key will trigger. The order the shape keys appear in is the order in which they will trigger as the Merge key becomes active

Sync Key/Object
Operates the same as explained earlier, except it is triggered within a Merge Key


Version 3.8

  • Adjusted the ‘min/max limits’ of combine keys from a min of 0 to a min of 1, since having it on 0 would result in shape keys that do nothing.
  • Added the ‘bake merge keys’ ability, which lets you bake the animation of shape keys driven by merge keys to preserve the animation data when exporting the model to other engines (such as Unreal) or when giving the project to people who do not have the MSK addon. Previously, this shape key animation data would be lost, as it is dependent on MSK

Version 3.7

  • Added code to FAQ that allows for removing long names created by grouping shape keys. Visit the addon's page FAQ and read the instructions
  • When you have 2 shape keys with the exact same name, selecting that shape key will bring up a warning (normally it would happen when making a new shape key with an existing name)
  • Other minor bugfixes

Version 3.6

  • The mysterious bugfixes

Version 3.5

  • Fixed folders not deleting in certain situations
  • Updated sorting algorithm for decreased latency and faster speeds

Version 3.4

  • Bugfixes related to SKC

Version 3.3

  • You can now duplicate a folder and its entire shape key contents with the 'Duplicate' button in the drop-down menu

Version 3.2

  • Fixed selecting a new shape key when removing a shape key
  • Added a feature to allow the UI to display 2 shape key 'values' side-by-side, when those two values are made by Vertex Group Keys

Version 3.11

  • Allowed user to add/apply Modifiers shape keys

Version 3.1

  • Major code overhaul fixing issues like stability, performance and usability
  • Refresh button removed, while fixing the problem of shape keys not showing up on 1-st time install
  • Targeting folders now can be directly done in the list, instead of under it
  • Working with the UI now feels smoother and accurate
  • Minor bugfixes

Version 3.0

  • Rewrote parts of the 'folder structure' management code to make it more stable and consistent
  • Enabled editing the name of shape keys and folders by double-clicking their entry in the list
  • Removed the ability to trigger an error by trying to remove a shape key when there are no shape keys
  • Added a 'Refresh' button to update the list and show any shape keys that were in the model before the script was loaded
  • On 'exporting' the model the shape keys' names no longer default to their auto-generated names
  • On 'exporting' the order of the shape keys is maintained, so long as the folders are open
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Blender versions
2.83, 2.93, 3.x, 4.x
This addon is based on the General Public License (GPL). A copy of it is provided after purchase. With this license, you have the right to use the software for any purpose; change the software to suit your needs; share the software with your friends and neighbors; share the changes you make
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Master Shape Keys

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