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How to attach splines to points of objects that are moving?

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Hey guys,

I'm working on a scene at the moment which is a cloner object producing a grid array of simple four point planes. The cloner object grows from very small to large quite quickly.

What I'd like to do is use splines to connect the left point of each of the planes to a null object just underneath the cloner. Effectively it would look like a huge bunch of balloons, but planes instead of balloons.

Any tips on how to connect the points of the splines to the corner of the planes? Baring in mind the planes move.

Thanks in advance, apologies for the rubbish explanation.


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Grundly, sbtread,


Thanks for getting back to me about this. Those are both amazingly helpful project files for me to be getting my brain wrapped round.


sbtread, that's almost exactly the effect I'm looking for, well done for gleaning that from my crap explanation! Now I'm just trying to get my head round your methods. How did you specify the point of the planes the splines would attach to? And is there a way of having the strong straight, rather than beziered? Here's a link to the file I'm working with, probably should have supplied it in my original post.




Thanks again guys, lifesavers.

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Hi StiffLips,


To specify the point of attachment I used the simplest possible hack. You have to make the plane object editable and then switch to axes modification mode and snap the axis to the desired point on the object. Then exit axis mod mode and zero the object's coordinates in the attributes manager. If you want the object's clones to be centered with the cloner instance positions, then best to offset by finding the objects width, height and depth using expresso and dividing each by 2 and plugging into a matrix that drives the cloner's offset position values. (I think I'm saying that correctly). That's just a quick hack. You can go even further if you don't wish to change the object axis and just snap a null to a particular corner and rig it the same way you'd pin cloth using that null's position as the endpoint connection of the splines (similar to the setup Grundy provided.


Also, notice that there is one actual spline for each of the cloned objects. If the number of cloned objects is to change over time then you can drive the iteration node's 'end' value from the cloner's count value and provide enough splines in that group to account for the highest number of clones needed at any time. --there may be another method using a single spline object as a string and dynamically creating instances of it but I'll explore that later when I have time.


As for making the splines straight, yes. All the splines are set to bezier mode. Select all of the splines, and in the attributes set the type to linear. The splines also currently have 3 vertices. You need to select the middle vertex/point on each of them and delete (select all splines, switch to points mode, switch to rectangle select tool, in the rectangle select attributes turn on 'tolerant selection' and turn off 'only select visible elements'). That should do it.


Here's an updated file:


Edited by sbtread

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