Morph tool

Is there a morph/warp tool that I am missing?

Talking about classic gridwarp/splinewarp tools, i did a job and between nuke and flame there are lots of bugs in both tools in doing those morphs/warps,

Nukes splinewarp just corrupts itself frequently, you want to delete a keyframe? good luck bro.

Flames distort tool is also hella tricky/buggy from what my flame guy tells me, so I wonder if I ever tackle this stuff next time… is there a better tool? For faces I will definetely go the 3D route with texture projected on 3D heads with blendshapes, maybe thats generally the way to go, as tedious as it is its something thats a known quantity, i know how long modelling and posing a head will take, i dont know how many hours one will loose due to bugs and jankyness.

any tips on other tools that just rule at this stuff?

Deform mesh is the best warping tool in Flame. I use it with UVs to do morphs.

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I found out several tips in the Distort node for this last project:

  • Do the facial features from inside out. Eyes, nose, eye brows, lips/mouth, then face outline.
  • Once you do the face outline don’t go back into the face to add more features. It will bug the hell out.
  • Adding open splines around the face is OK.
  • In the transparency channel go to 99.999 and not to 100. This will keep your render out of your UI.
  • Once you’re (almost) happy with your morph, feed a UV map to your distort node, render out distort for A and B plates and then use them as UV maps to distort your layers in Action.
  • Prepare clean bg plates for both and dissolve them, preferably with different layers with different timings.
  • You WILL have to paint a lot of stuff so have everything in layers.

Or get hold of Elastic Reality. :rofl:


Show N Tell please… I just can’t imagine grid based is easier than free form splines.

One thing to watch out for if you’re using UVs is the distort node only works in 16-bit so you might run into an issue of a steppy image. I’m using it heavily on a current project and wanted to use this trick but sadly ran into this exact issue.

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funny enough I do the same thing in nuke where I bake my morphs to UVs (STmaps) so I can do the fading from a to B with seperate nodes in “realtime”


I would also love to see the deform mesh perform. It is a node that seems to have passed me by.

I always say, when this topic comes up, that a bug in deform/morph forced me into extended bicubics and nothing else.

A rather excellent FXphd master class Flame Masters II expands on morphing between two extended bicubic meshes using an expression.


I avoided the distort node for so long, but as @ALan alluded to above, there came a point where I was like, dang, these grids are killing me, I just want some splines and I use distort fairly often now (with the caveat that I ALWAYS duplicate it before making substantial changes and save a lot while using it). Some (not all) tasks are just exponentially faster, more flexible, and more accurate to do with bespoke splines than subdivided grids. And in those cases, I just accept the bugs and try to cover myself as much as possible.


I want to learn more about the different deform tools.

Anyone interested in doing a demo?

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I can do a breakdown of a recent job with the distort node, if I can get approval from the producers. And maybe do it live with you answering questions on the point. Maybe it could be a hosted here @andy ?