View Full Version : Extrude to path in reverse???

08-17-2011, 04:15 PM
Is there anything like the extrude from path plugin that works in reverse?
I have a lot of "tubes" that are irregular shapes. I need to animate stuff moving/flowing thru these tubes. Is there any way to make a motion path from an extruded object? I hoping there is an semi-automatic way to collapse the tubes into a path...any ideas?

FYI, these tubes were not created from paths...paths do not already exist.


08-17-2011, 04:45 PM
Try this:

Select a loop of points along your tube.
Copy (or make) a cap from your tube.
Bevel your cap down to 0 and then do a merge so you have a point in the center of your cap.
Do a rail clone on that point. Your point should clone along the interior or your tube.
Select those points and then make your curve.

I just did this and it worked.

08-17-2011, 05:07 PM
Hey Nickdigtal...understand the part about making a cap to find the center of the tube, but what I don't understand is what I am selecting for the path to copy along. I can select a loop the length of the tube, but when cloning along that path I am getting extreme offsets (guess it's because my beginning of the tube is not at the origin)?

08-17-2011, 05:52 PM
I believe the step that I neglected to mention was that you need two curves that are based on your tube.

See the attached model. Each layer of the model is the step in the process. I named each layer to make it clear too.

08-17-2011, 06:06 PM
Ah, two curves to guide the center point. Thanks!
I was going to resort to setting the action center mode to "selection" and scale each cross section loop of my tube down to a point and do some merging, welding and make a curve out of those points. I think I'll get faster and better control out of your method.

Thanks again!