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phone leash

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LestDoggy
phone leash
on Oct 16, 2006 at 6:41:26 pm

Hey guys, I need a little help with this one..

So I'm making an Ipod-like deal with a phone cord... this
is an image i created to show you what I'm trying to accomplish.
the girl is basically tugging and pulling each end of the cord
and dancing with it.

Angry


So I made a cable following a tutorial then at the end of the
tutorial the guy gave a script that built it faster...

It's a pretty basic dynamic set that has two locators at each end that
can be animated. The clusters on each end are constrained to the locators
the spheres are constrained to the midle clusters and then there is
are nail constraints spread between the spheres..

it works good... not great.. but as far as the cable goes it should get me there.


Angry


Then I extruded a circle over the curve and offset the circle, then used the construction history in the extrude to wrap it around
the curve by increasing the rotation to 1600+


Angry


now the problem is, I can't animate the left locator without messing up the construction history on the
phone cord... I need the phone cord to animate as if two hands are on each end you are streaching it
all over the place.. I included a link to my maya 7 souce file.. and the plugin for the cable
but you shouldn't need the plug in.. i don't think...

anyway thanks for looking at this...!!

link to source
http://alohafilms.com/cab/cable.zip




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Jason Brummett
Re: phone leash
on Oct 16, 2006 at 8:58:47 pm

You should be able to keep construction history and still animate your locators? I don't have time to look at your file right now but If you don't solve this soon, I'll look at it tonight.

But yeah just as reaffirmation; you should be able to move your locators, sounds like the upstream,downstream connections are right but I would double check this by possible extruding a simple circle along your nurbs curve and see if you can do this first. Is your geometry breaking? or are the locators translation channels locked or some part of your rig upstream from the locators?

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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LestDoggy
Re: phone leash
on Oct 16, 2006 at 10:55:03 pm

Thanks for your reply Jason
I think the problem is that the base of the curve is where the construction history
starts calculating.. what essentially is happening is that moving the circle which
is the start of the extrude, offets how the extrude is built.. I hope this makes sence..

I posted the wrong maya file.. here is the correct one...
http://alohafilms.com/cab/cable2.zip

Thanks again





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Jason Brummett
Re: phone leash
on Oct 17, 2006 at 1:33:18 am

Well I just pulled up your file and duplicated as an instance the nurbs curve you used for the original loft. then duplicated the extrude circle shape and hid the original curves. I froze transforms on the Circle curve (extrusion shape) and set it's pivot to be the same as the First CV of the extrusion path.
When I loft this I get the same 'constrained' result you did until in the loft parameters I turn off "fixed path" then you have to switch the Extrude nodes from option to "Closest Endpoint of the Path" and like you did crank up the amount of turns.

It now works.

http://stzgraphics.com/creativecow/

It's the Phone_Cord2_Fix.ma

It's not pretty but it works 'Grin'

The concept behind this tutorial is great! Except that I would approach it from a different angle than "they" did because you are now at the mercy of the Extrude node which can always be Fussy. I might for instance create an FFD to surround my extruded phone cord. Have the FFD knots tied to the Dynamics of the Curve and the locators and do it this way. It helps to isolate 1 functin from another. Let dynamics work here but with a whole level of seperation let there end result drive the FFD box thereby the geometry I wish to deform.

I would make an example but I'm on a deadline :(

Good luck! and Aloha

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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Jason Brummett
Re: phone leash
on Oct 17, 2006 at 1:38:19 am

Didn't write the main point here, LOL.

What I wrote above about the other way, is kinda misleading. What I ment was that after you have the chord extruded on frame 0 or 1 the way you like it. You can delete it's history then attach it to the FFD box which is being dynically driven. This way your not futzing with the history of the Extrude which is in a round about way causing that original condition you had due to Double Transforms.

Hope this is clear :/

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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Jason Brummett
Re: phone leash
on Oct 17, 2006 at 1:42:50 am

Really really wish you could just edit a post. Sorry for all the spam folks.

Aloha, is there a place I could look at the tutorial your going through? Just curious if I've missed something important. I kinda hate giving advice on psuedo complex 'rigs' like this as I could be way off and making things worse for others!

Thanks,

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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LestDoggy
Re: phone leash
on Oct 17, 2006 at 3:48:12 pm

Aloha Jason.. thanks so much for figuring this out.. I'm still trying to reverse engineer what
you did... mind if I shoot you more questions if I'm stuck?

I'm really behind on your FFD concept.... is that the Freeform Deformation Attributes? I know nothing about this
and I think I need to do some reading. =)


here are the tutorials that I used to get me started. unfortunatly I failed to take it to the next level as you did..

http://67.15.36.49/team/tutorials/christer_spiral/christer_spiral_01.asp
http://67.15.36.49/team/Tutorials/phonecord/phonecord_01.asp






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Jason Brummett
Re: phone leash
on Oct 17, 2006 at 3:58:10 pm

Yeah no problem :)

Thx for the tutorial links, I'll look at them when I get a chance. Your correct about FFD terminology. Sorry in Maya it's a Lattice not an FFD, but they are the same thing.

Actually your file stumped me a bit so I sent your query later on to see if someone on another Maya list might have a better solution. I got a reply from Steve Mann, whom is a great Maya guy and his solution was simple.

Instead of extruding the circle shape along the same nurbs extrusion path, you could instead simply create a Helix Nurbs shape to extrude the circle down and then have that Helix shape 'bound' to the straight nurbs extrusion path the same way, e.g. bones, clusters, etc.

This way your shape isn't starting off, offset from the path which will give you the results your after exactly.

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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Steve Sayer
Re: phone leash
on Oct 17, 2006 at 5:13:45 pm

Hi, guys, I've only been skimming this, since it seems like you have the matter well in hand, but I thought I'd flag one possible issue.

One advantage to keeping construction history for an extrusion along a curve has to do with the way that a phone cord stretches. It seems to me that if you extrude the surface, delete history, then deform it with a lattice, then when the cord stretches the wire itself will actually get slightly thicker (since the lattice is deforming the points of each isoparm). This may or may not be visible, depending on the amount of stretch and the cross-section of the cord. But by deforming only the path and extruding along it afterwards, you will preserve the thickness of the cord itself, and only the gaps between coils will expand as the cord stretches.

If you want to get really fancy, you could link the circle's offset to the length of the path, so that when the path is stretched the circle moves in slightly, resulting in the coils not just being stretched apart from each other but actually shrinking in radius as well--as a real phone cord does. But of course that might be more trouble than it's worth; it would be a pretty darn subtle effect, I think.

Anyway, just thought I'd chime in. Good luck!

-Steve


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Jason Brummett
Re: phone leash
on Oct 17, 2006 at 10:29:10 pm

Thanks Steve for your comments.

I just recieved an e-mail which is cool regarding a tutorial by Duncan Brinsmead whom created a telephone chord in his tut using Maya Hair.

Check it out.

>>There is a nifty trick for creating a dynamic phone cord using Maya hair. I just posted a tutorial along with example file and avi to my
>>Blog:

>>http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/blog/7/

>>This method handles stretching and bouncing of the coil as well as avoiding various twist problems.

>> Duncan

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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Steve Sayer
Re: phone leash
on Oct 18, 2006 at 3:05:21 am

Alas, I have the misleadingly-named Maya Complete--no hair for me! :(

Thanks though.

-Steve


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LestDoggy
Re: phone leash
on Oct 18, 2006 at 3:27:43 am

hey thanks to both of you.. this is why I love the cow!! you guys are awesome!



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