View Full Version : Spiral Line Around a cylinder?

03-06-2015, 11:01 AM
Hi All, I need to have a spiral line go around a cylinder as an ID marking. Like you see below. Whats the easiest way to do this?

03-06-2015, 11:08 AM
Twist the cylinder. Or twist a spline.

03-06-2015, 11:32 AM
Good puzzle, because I imagine a straight piece of wire is not what you'll want at the end. (Otherwise, pretty trivial.)

If your wire bends around, it's a whole different puzzle than just a simple cylinder..... UV Crawler might make that case pretty simple, I'm not sure.

Just blue-skying here, but modeling such a convoluted wire might best be done by MOTION PATH EXTRUDE, because that would allow you to build a twist into the extrusion.-- Here's a case where some of LAYOUT's functions (specifically, paths) would be nice in Modeler, for a change. TMK there's no provision for a controllable rotation in extrusion directly in Modeler.

03-06-2015, 12:43 PM
As Bazsa73 says, use the Twist tool. Create a multi-segment cylinder down the Z-axes, select a couple of the radial segments to be "black line" surface, and the rest of the polys as "white wire" surface. Then in the "Back View" (looking down the cylinder), choose the Modify=>Twist tool, position the cursor in the center of the cylinder, and left-drag right or left to get the proper twist rotation. Triple and subpatch the cylinder (remove the ends) to get a smooth wire surface. Then use Modify=>Bend to bend it to shape (or use bones for dynamic bending in Layout). Note that with both Twist and Bend, as well as many other tools, you can right-click and drag a "region of influence" to, for example, bend the end of the wire tightly, while bending the rest of the wire slightly.


03-06-2015, 12:54 PM
Good puzzle, because I imagine a straight piece of wire is not what you'll want at the end.

I usually do the deforming in Layout with bones, etc. It makes updating the geo easier because it's not bent into the final shape.

03-06-2015, 01:10 PM
Get twisty with a cylinder. Then magnet to make the slight bends.

03-06-2015, 02:22 PM
I usually do the deforming in Layout with bones, etc. It makes updating the geo easier because it's not bent into the final shape.
Indeed. This is where a procedural spline extruder would be convenient.

IIRC, Denis has such a thing-- not DP Spline Deformer, but .... something that actually extrudes? :stumped:

If I'm remembering right, then a ring of 2pt polys w/appropriate surfaces could follow a spline etc etc.

03-06-2015, 04:21 PM
UV map.

03-06-2015, 07:14 PM
I agree with UV map (displacement or bump) on a mesh deformed in Layout with bones or other. Alternatively if you make the mesh in Modeler: In Layout you could deform it with a cage using metalink with softbody or cloth and no dynamic settings. I think there is even a cage deform plugin now.

03-07-2015, 12:19 AM
Use PX UV Creeper to create the UV map, and like they said, twist the cylinder a bit afterwards.

03-07-2015, 01:59 PM
many ways to do it. here is one:

03-07-2015, 06:31 PM
Question: I rarely use UV maps so please have mercy....

Is there a way (even if it's not the best way to do this) to :

model the wire "in place" (ie 'no bones'),
UV creep the mesh,
and (here's the bit that I'm fuzzy on) make a texture map that gets repeated N time along the length of the mesh.

That is, a normal UV texture map would be very long and skinny-- can one make one that's a little more convenient to draw on, but that gets repeated over and over?

03-07-2015, 07:23 PM
If you are not going to do baking you can just have overlapping UVs and get a tile effect. So you'd unwrap one UV square or strip I should say around the thing. Do that before you clone and then when you rail clone or whatever and you'll have repeating UVs on top of themselves.

03-07-2015, 10:27 PM
You can blow up the UV map so that you're just focused on a portion, and all the rest outside the UV window still gets the repeating image map, but that's why I suggest simply twisting the geometry a bit after creating the map, so that you can make a simple tile-able image map, a stripe that just repeats itself forever. It's too much effort to make a repeating tile that incorporates the angle of the stripe, just have it straight and twist the actual geometry. I used PX UV Creeper to make the map.


03-08-2015, 12:22 AM
Back in the day I saw several clever repeating image maps-- once somebody ELSE had made them it was obvious how they worked, but I was hopeless at thinking up how to do it in the first place.

"Repeating Spirals" is a theme that keeps recurring over and over in various guises: 3d texture maps, AE based pseudo-3d, etc. It's always the point at which it repeats smoothly that's the sticking point.

03-09-2015, 05:22 PM
The stripe image map can be a simple straight up and down line. So there's no worry about tiling, image wise.

Fill the U direction fully (V can go on and on and on) and all you need to do is skew the geometry in the UV window (U direction) for total, seamless, interactive revolution control.

Then you're free to bend the wire (in Modeler or Layout) into the actual shape you need and not worry about twisting for texture.

.... if you've already modeled the shape use UV Creeper as stated.... but fill the U direction.