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Animating a rope into an helix shape

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Boris Wilmot
Animating a rope into an helix shape
on Oct 6, 2011 at 8:43:24 am


I'm getting started with C4D.

I'd like to animate a rope, that is fixed on the ground on one end, and linked to a moving point on the other end.
In between, I want the rope to move pretty much as if it was in some liquid, without any gravity.

I used a Sweep Nurbs, with a circle and a spline as children, to make the rope. Then I put a Spline Dynamics tag (from the hair tags) on the spline, and two constrain tags (from the hair tags) at the ends of the rope, to link one to the ground and the other to the moving point.

I tried to make a lot of constrain tags in the middle of the rope, and build some kind of a helix manually, but if I want to animate it, it's really awful.
I tried to use a spline warp and match it to an helix, but then it is the entire rope that tries to shape like one, not juste the middle of it (the ends must stay at there places)
I tried to put a twist deformer on my rope, but it screws up everything.
I can take an helix, make it editable and do the entire animation by moving bezier points, but again it won't be nice and organic....

I guess the best way would be to create many constrain tags, link them to null objects that would be linked, themselves, to an helix shape (so when I animate the helix, the points move accordingly, staying in a right place, keeping the right shape)


ps: I hope everything is understandable :-)

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Adam Trachtenberg
Re: Animating a rope into an helix shape
on Oct 6, 2011 at 2:06:19 pm

This sounds a bit complicated, but it's not difficult (file at end). Here's how I'd do it:

* animate the dynamic spline;
* use mograph to clone a null along the spline;
* clone a matrix object along the helix spline (same count as cloner);
* apply an inheritance effector in direct mode, with morph motion object checked, to the cloner, referencing the matrix object;
* animate the strength of the inheritance effector to move the clones from the dynamic spline to the helix;
* apply a tracer object to the cloner, using "connect all objects" mode;
* use the tracer as a sweep path and hide everything else.

You can add some other effectors if you want to make it look more organic.


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Boris Wilmot
Re: Animating a rope into an helix shape
on Oct 7, 2011 at 9:21:43 am

Many thanks, that exactly what I wanted!
I'll post the video here when it's done (In a few weeks...)

It's a music video with wool strings coming out of the ground, flying in the air and catching the band singer, to make him dance like a puppet.
What a strange world...

Anyway, thanks again!

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ronaldo montalvo
Re: Animating a rope into an helix shape
on Oct 11, 2011 at 7:55:33 pm

hey adam, in that file you posted the dynamic spline, which i can see moving, doesn't seem to work with the sweep nurb. the sweep nurb sits static in the original position until the inheritance effector kicks in and then it morphs the sweep to the helix. the way you set it up shouldn't the sweep be moving dynamically along with the spline before the inheritance kicks in. i'm looking at it in C4d 12.

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Boris Wilmot
Re: Animating a rope into an helix shape
on Apr 24, 2012 at 7:04:20 am


it was a long process but my music video is done!
You can watch it here :


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