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View Full Version : I need to bend a tube into a spiral...



NigelH
09-20-2003, 03:48 PM
I need to bend a tube into a spiral shape. I thought the bend tool would be ideal for this, but it only bends things into a perfect circle. Why doesn't the bend tool (in Modeler) have a falloff control like all the other deformation tools?

Ideally, I'd like this spiral bend to be animateable in Layout, but the bend tool there is even more limited. What have I missed? I can't believe I've never come up against this before. It can't be that hard... can it?

Macet01
09-20-2003, 03:57 PM
Is the object starting as a tube and morphing into a spiral or is it starting as a spiral and staying that way?

NigelH
09-20-2003, 04:04 PM
Tube to spiral. It happens pretty quickly, so worst case scenario, I can do a quick morph blend from tube to spiral (assuming I can create the spiral from the tube in the first place). Ideally, though, I'd like to have a smooth twisting motion that I can vary the speed (nice to have the added control).

Macet01
09-20-2003, 04:17 PM
Have you given any thought to using bones? It may be easier in the end.

NigelH
09-20-2003, 04:31 PM
Well, if I was doing something complex and organic like a snake coiling itself, then yes, bones might be the best way, but I just want a simple and precise transformation from a staight tube to a coiled spring. Setting up bones and animating them is far more complex than, say, setting a bend axis, degrees of rotation and a falloff amount or offset. Does this mean that LightWave can't do such a simple task?

geoff3dnz
09-20-2003, 06:59 PM
Have you had a look at 'Shift Spline Transform'? (It's a free spline deformation plugin, you'll find it on flay.com - do a search for 'shift')... It won't give you "a bend axis, degrees of rotation and a falloff amount or offset", but it is quite powerful nonetheless, and could be of help. :)

Macet01
09-20-2003, 07:23 PM
If you look through the Lee Stranahan tutorial thread in the community section, there is a UV mapping tutorial where Lee does somewhat of what you are looking for.

NigelH
09-20-2003, 07:59 PM
I'll do that. Thanks for the help.

munky
09-21-2003, 07:32 AM
Is this the sort of thing?

this uses the deform twist thingy (object properties panel)


If it is I'll zip n post the scene


regards


paul

NigelH
09-21-2003, 08:46 PM
That's pretty much it exactly except that it appears to flatten the tube out - which isn't exactly a deal breaker, but it would be better if the tube maintains its' volume. Still, as I said before, the entire effect will be pretty fast and cartoony, so that leaves quite a bit of room for some 'sleight of hand'.

I had passed on the twist deformation before for just that reason, but now seeing your animation (and with deadline fast approaching), perhaps I should take another look.

Thanks again for the input. :-)

munky
09-22-2003, 02:33 AM
You could check out Fi's Bezier Bend. But it could be tricky.

regards

paul