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I am trying to create skirt out of leafes but it is actually a pain to position them. Is it possible to create this procedurally?

So that I just create a circle and say spawn 20 textured rectangles around it, would this be possible?

It would look like this, where the red lines are the planes from the top view enter image description here

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Clamp To

Another very easy to use and easy to edit method is to use the Clamp To object constraint modifier, as shown here:

enter image description here

A few points to note:

  1. The object to clamp the leaves to MUST be a Curve, not a mesh
  2. The origin point of the leaf is where it will attach to the belt curve
  3. Make sure "Cyclic" is enabled on the Clamp To modifier or you may have problems moving the leaves around the belt easily

One of the benefits of this method is that you can easily change the position of the leaves on the belt and you can also change the shape of the belt very easily later on.

Another benefit of using the Clamp To modifier is that if you are animating, the shape of belt can change and the leaves will still stay attached to it.

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Since you want to create this procedurally you can use modifiers. For this method you will need a curve.

  1. Add a curve, I will use a circle, Shift A -> Curve -> Circle

  2. Modify the curve to your liking

    enter image description here

  3. Select the leaf object and add an array modifier

    • Fit Type: Curve

    • Curve: the curve we just created

  4. Add Curve modifier to the same leaf object

    • Object: the curve we just created

    • Deformation Axis: sometime based on the orientation of the curve and leaf object you need to chose another one

Note that if for some reason steps 3 or 4 do not work you might have to apply the scale for the leaf and curve object. Ctrl L

enter image description here

example file

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This looks interesting, how is the number of instances of the leafs controlled? I couldn't reproduce step 4. to which object is this array modifier added? – stacker Mar 23 '14 at 18:54
They are not instances, they are copies. They are controlled by the length of the curve as done in the step 3 – Vader Mar 23 '14 at 19:01
@ThomBlairIII updated question – Vader Mar 24 '14 at 1:54
@ThomBlairIII maybe you need to apply the scale of the curve? it works fine for me – Vader Mar 24 '14 at 12:32
@stacker Stacker, did you see Vader's comment about applying the scale etc to the curve & leaf? That enabled me to get step 4 to work. :) – Thom Blair III Mar 24 '14 at 12:47

You could use the Spin Tool Alt-R in Edit Mode. Make sure that the 3D-cursor is located in the center (pivot point).

enter image description here

Alternatively you could use an Array Modifier with an Empty to control the offset. Set the rectangle and the empty to the origin and add the array modifier as in the image to set the rotation you rotate the empty around its z-axis. Make sure that all transformations on your rectangle are applied (Ctrl-A) before adding the modifier.

enter image description here

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Dupliverts is another easy way to duplicate an object at defined locations.

Starting with a leaf and and a mesh circle, make the circle the parent of the leaf and object properties of the circle enable verts and rotation under duplication.

enter image description here

A duplicated of the leaf will then be located at each vertex.

enter image description here

These duplicates can then be turned into real objects with CtrlShiftA

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Can you please clarify the steps? I cannot duplicate this, but it looks very interesting. Thanks! – Thom Blair III Mar 24 '14 at 15:18
Not sure what to clarify, the leaf is child the circle is parent, the parent has duplicate enabled. It helps if the two objects are aligned before duplication and the leaf object centre is best located at the top point where you want it to join the circle vert. Maybe the manual on dupliverts can help – sambler Mar 25 '14 at 4:27
Thanks sambler, I was using a curve circle, not a mesh. :) – Thom Blair III Mar 25 '14 at 10:51

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