View Full Version : Animating a drain snake or speedometer cable

10-26-2010, 07:02 PM
I am trying to figure out how I should go about animating an object similar to a drain snake or speedometer cable. It is basically a bent spring object that, if it were a straight spring, would rotate along the Z-axis.

If the object didn't have to flex and bend, then I could just rotate a series of bones that were all parented directly to the spring. But the bend of the object changes during the animation.

Bones that are parented to each other don't deform the mesh properly when rotated on the Z.

Any ideas would be appreciated.


10-26-2010, 07:29 PM
Can this help at all?


10-26-2010, 10:48 PM
Thx Jeffry,

That might help...I'll have to do some experiments in the morning. My object won't be sliding along a path. The main thing is that it will have to spin on the Z-axis...my spring object won't be sliding along, like the snake in the video.


10-26-2010, 11:02 PM
You could create a series of morphs to make the object rotate and then loop the morph mixer sequence.

10-26-2010, 11:09 PM
I think I tried that ND. The morphs won't make the object rotate. The morphed spring (rotated on the Z 360 degrees) just collapses on itself and then expands back out as the morph goes from 0 to 100%.


10-26-2010, 11:52 PM
You need more than the one morph. Morphs are linear and you want a non-linear morph. You could make a morph every 10 degrees and animate through that sequence. It'll give the appearance of it rotating.

You could see if this helps:

10-27-2010, 07:26 AM
OK I see what you mean. I'll give it a test run. I'll also check out that script.
Thanks, ND.


10-27-2010, 03:07 PM
Cool that worked! Unfortunately the plugin doesn't seem to work with bones. But it shouldn't be a big deal to manually do it.

Thx again,