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branching tapering splines

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Ed Russ
branching tapering splines
on Dec 22, 2013 at 7:06:07 pm


i'm hoping you might be able to help with a project :smileyhappy:

i am new to max and 3d in general. what i am trying to do is create a network of vasculature, blood vessels, from big vessels, branching and branching into smaller and smaller vessels. it will be a fairly simplified representation and i don't need views of it up close nor inside. the end result is too complex to model each branch point and vessel by hand. my thoughts on how to do this are to have a vector tracing of the vessels, as lines. import it as a spline, and then somehow extrude a shape along it whilst specifying a taper so that vessels towards the end are smaller than those at the other end. it sounds quite simple but i've found there a few limitations.

i import an illustrator file of the lines (attached) as one object

i know that an edit poly has the option to extrude along a spline and options to taper the extrusion, however i can't get it to recognise the branching spline just one single component of it.

likewise i know you use loft to do something similar but i cant get it to recognise the imported spline in the manner intended, it only uses it in a lathe kind of way.

branch points are going to be a bit weird, they can be kind of joint together fairly successfully if i use the sweep modifier.... but as far as i can tell that has no ability to taper?

could you tell me if i'm going about this the right way? what would you do? any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

simplified illustrator file: http://snk.to/f-ch3yv0e5

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: branching tapering splines
on Dec 30, 2013 at 5:00:50 pm

Ed -

You might want to give this free plugin a try:


Although it's made for modeling trees, it could work out.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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