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View Full Version : Rail Clone: trying to make a curved xylophone



jeric_synergy
03-27-2016, 05:11 PM
It's so close, but...
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It's fairly easy to get a radial Rail Clone (the secret=start with a Cone to get the Rails), but to get a nicely curved clone set that ALSO slowly scales up seems to be a bit of a chore. I don't want to use BEND because I want all the keys to be identical, and BEND will distort to some degree.

Anyone got some slick Modeler Knowledge to lay on me?


....hmmm, maybe this is one of those "using Instancing as a modeling tool" situations...

erikals
03-27-2016, 06:29 PM
C Bend maybe?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iCNOkWYncs

jeric_synergy
03-27-2016, 10:58 PM
OK, I'm back...

STATUS REPORT:
(thinking aloud mode: ON)
I thought, "I think I'll try that instancing trick!", since Rail Clone seemed a bit too tricky. So, started an "experimental object" to get the technique down-- put a spline in L1, and a xylophone key in L2. Just for grins, I put a morph on the spline so I could bend it in Layout.

Mistake ONE: The SPLINE that Instancer can use is the same as the spline Spline Motion Control can use, i.e, a virtual spline, not a real LWM Curve. So, while the morph exists, it cannot be used to bend the virtual spline, because the virtual spline, once generated by CurveToSpline, has no continuing relationship to the original Curve. :sigh:

Mistake TWO: which means I need another way to BEND the Joints that make up the virtual spline. I'm not sure the Layout deformers will do this, since they deform GEOMETRY. But, I'll find out. I hope so, because I hate working with IK, which would be my next attempt.

Mistake (?) THREE (or something): It seems that ShowCurve is not working on my system currently. Not really necessary, but it's nice to see if one is doing anything when using Morphs.


Soldiering on here...
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Erikals, I suspect that I wouldn't achieve my goal of 0% distortion with C Bend, because it essentially is bending things, although it certainly does some interesting tasks with nice alignment. I belive the Instancer thing has the best shot at actually working, although I'd prefer a solution inside of LWM.

3dbr
03-28-2016, 12:26 AM
Other path:
Make object and clone.
http://morgoth.ru/images/2016/03/28/60df9aafd2d4968763ffe15f83d146db.jpg
Spline Guide: Operation=Bend
http://morgoth.ru/images/2016/03/28/8bf28b1247e1040122101c86bb354757.jpg

For precise shape can use the curve in the background (Get Background Curve)

gerry_g
03-28-2016, 04:01 AM
one spline would have been better more accurate than using two and if that didn't work though I've no reason to suppose it would I would have figured out the diameter of the curve using a simple disk, centred it placed my rectangle in the required place on another layer and radial arrayed it. Below is is an example of rail clone with one spline

jeric_synergy
03-28-2016, 08:08 AM
Xylophone keys get BIGGER: a radial array is trivial. A radial array of non-distorted rectangles that slowly scales up not so much. --See #1.

erikals
03-28-2016, 08:16 AM
might be of partial use, creating a center path... >


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51SWYyX8SEs

jeric_synergy
03-28-2016, 09:15 AM
might be of partial use, creating a center path... >

That looks promising: normally I avoid >2 paths as it's just too problematic, but that might help keep the scaling keys more radial.

I'm just surprised this is such a freekin' hassle. There's always this thing of "fix it the stupid way, or find the quicker better way?" But FINDing may take more time than doing it, once. It's the 2nd time that the search pays off.

JoePoe
03-28-2016, 09:39 AM
They don't get wider, just longer right?
Perhaps a revisit to this thread (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?147887-modeling-a-chandelier&highlight=chandelier) (making a chandelier).
(edit: hmmm, not exactly the same thing....)

JoePoe
03-28-2016, 10:21 AM
Weight Clone (https://www.lightwave3d.com/assets/plugins/entry/weight-clone/) to the rescue :thumbsup:!

Well, at least for a simple curve.

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jeric_synergy
03-28-2016, 12:06 PM
Weight Clone (https://www.lightwave3d.com/assets/plugins/entry/weight-clone/) to the rescue :thumbsup:!
Well, at least for a simple curve.
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#aflw -I understand what Weight Clone does (I think), so is this Weight Clone followed by SIZE(W.MAP)?

This process (?) would work, although I'll probably make a full circle, and then cut out a chord of the circle for the subset I actually want. Are all the keys still rectangular at the end, or is there some slight distortion? (As a practical matter it probably doesn't....errrr... matter, but it's nice when everything is "perfect".)

erikals
03-28-2016, 02:08 PM
i wish it was easier, but it's kinda time consuming


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpWiLqk7tLw


i might give "C Bend" a go later on... (mentioned in post #2)

JoePoe
03-28-2016, 04:11 PM
Jeric: Yes all keys are rectangular at the ends.
No distortion with the weight clone method IF you do the height change first. So the total method breakdown would be...
Draw rectangle/box
Weight Clone
Select all "top" points > move with weight falloff
Deselect (or select all)
Rotate with weight falloff

C Bend looks good though. What's the distortion factor there? Will it work with poly islands, or a connected mesh only?

jeric_synergy
03-28-2016, 04:59 PM
Jeric: Yes all keys are rectangular at the ends.
No distortion with the weight clone method IF you do the height change first. So the total method breakdown would be...
• Draw rectangle/box
• Weight Clone
• Select all "top" points > move with weight falloff
• Deselect (or select all)
• Rotate with weight falloff

I'd just completed your technique when I read this post, LOL. Dang, Weight Clone is just SO handy! Really should be native.

EDIT: except I used Bend rather than Rotate:w.map. --How did you determine where the center of rotation should be to get it to curve around perfectly???

EDIT2: drat, using Bend distorted the keys (of course).... so now I want to know the secret to determining the center point even more.

jeric_synergy
03-28-2016, 09:33 PM
EDIT : NEVER MIND: I was right, the answer IS humiliating....... :foreheads

THANKS :bowdown: to JoePoe for schooling me on this thing your people call three-dee?......

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( Earlier.... )

Yeah/no...not getting the ROTATE:wmap thing. Pictured here is the prepped linear version, with a BENDt version in the bckg for reference, but I can't seem to figure out the principles involved in determining where the rotation center must be placed to have it all neat and tidy:
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I have a sneaking suspicion the answer is going to be humiliating. --I'm ready. :cry:

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FINAL: thickened for visibility:
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JoePoe
03-29-2016, 10:07 AM
Glad you got it :thumbsup:!

Truth be told you schooled yourself!! All I did was point you in the direction of a plug.
It's a good thing to, because in a world gone mad we are in desperate need of more curved xylophones!! :hat: :)

jeric_synergy
03-29-2016, 10:12 AM
I have luvved that plugin for long time, I just need to be reminded it exists now and then.