View Full Version : Newbie Question I'm Sure, but...How do I make a ribbon follow a spline?

09-16-2004, 03:32 PM
Hi All,

The problem I am having is I have a project where I need a ribbon to flow around a person and follow a pre-defined path. I have tried CurveConstraint with the aid of Serpent, but I get mixed results. I can get the front of the ribbon (where the pivot is) to follow the path fine, but the end twists and turns all over the place with, it seems like, random results. I have also tried CurveConform in the deform panel but had no positive results. I tried using bones, and having them follow the path and then have the other bones follow the lead bone (via Follower) and that was way off. I feel like I'm on the right track, but the results are just so confusing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I'm using LW8 (build 690) stock package. No extra plugins.



09-16-2004, 05:34 PM
I added Curve Constraint and Serpent, both gave the result you want. Didn't seem to be any problem there.

Remember to give some lead in time as the ribbon lines up with the curve, that's all I can say.

09-16-2004, 05:48 PM
Thanks Dodgy, I appreciate the reply. I am sorry if this is an obvious question, but how do I add lead in time? Should I be using a null object? Do you have a sample of what you did? Thanks again for the help.

09-17-2004, 12:13 PM
Here is a sample of the results I am getting (please view the GIF file). This is a ribbon following a path via CurveConstrain and using Serpent on the Z axis. I have tried the other axis with similar results. Some are a little closer than others, but not by much. As you can see from the example, I need the ribbon to follow the path completely and surround the woman. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

09-17-2004, 01:52 PM
Hi All,

I figured out the problem and I thought I'd post the solution in case any other noobs like myself run across the same issue. I was missing one simple step: Parenting the object (ribbon) to the path. That's all. It's always so simple after you figure it out...

09-17-2004, 03:49 PM
I never did that but mine still worked. How odd...

All I meant was the ribbon has to go along the spline a bit before it starts to conform to the path, so you have to remember it may not look like it's working for the first few frames.

Is it a metanurbed object? Did you set sub-d to last? Serpent can be very slow with lots of points...

09-17-2004, 08:33 PM
Trailer from DStorm is a great plugin for doing this:

09-18-2004, 09:06 AM
I also found out another step that caused it to work (or not). I have to have "align" unchecked in CurveConstrain, or esle it wont follow the path. Doesn't that seem backwards?

I made it so it led in more like you suggested and that did work better. Its not a meta object, and I did set sub-d to last. It seems like I get unpredictable results...

Thanks for the plugin tip. I downloaded it and will try it out ASAP.

09-18-2004, 09:32 AM
You can also do some interesting things with two other spline deformers:
Shift Spline Transform and FIs Bezier Bend. :)

10-17-2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks spline god for that info, there was something I thought could not be done with lightwave, now it can, and free