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Export 3d data from null connected to end of rope

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Tim TetlowExport 3d data from null connected to end of rope
by on Nov 3, 2013 at 4:12:47 pm


I have an animation with a dynamic electrical cable that falls as if its been snapped in two. At the broken end of the cable I want to add some spark/electrical effects in After Effects. So, I have been trying to export 3d data from a null connected to the end of the cable to use in post. I have connected the null using the constrain (prs) tag and also tried it using a point selection and xpresso. This works to a certain extent but the null never follows the position of the end of the cable correctly, its as if its lagging behind. I have baked the dynamics (which seems to make it worse) but cant figure out how to accurately connect the null and export the 3d data. Is there a way to make this work or a better way to achieve the effect im after. I thought this would have been nice and handy!

Can anyone help?

Link to test file;


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Adam TrachtenbergRe: Export 3d data from null connected to end of rope
by on Nov 4, 2013 at 3:55:12 am

The problem with the clamp tag method is that your clamping to an object and not a particular point on the deformed object. In this setup I'd use a little bit of Xpresso instead -- feeding the position of a point at the end of the rope into the position port of the null:

Otherwise, I think it would be a lot simpler to use the Hair module's spline dynamics to create the cable as opposed to the softbody system you're using. Or maybe there's a reason for it that's not apparent in the stripped down scene?

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Tim TetlowRe: Export 3d data from null connected to end of rope
by on Nov 4, 2013 at 11:03:21 pm

Hi Adam

Thanks very much for looking at this. I initially tried using the spline dynamics but for some reason I wasn't able to make the cables then react to other collider objects like the wall. The set up you suggest using xpresso works really well though and might just do the trick. I will give this a try and export the null to after effects.

I'll have to have another look at using the spline dynamics. I'm sure there is a way to make the cables interact and as you say, it would be more simple.

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