I'm learning Blender so i can use it to do math animation videos, I've been trying to turn a circle into a line so i can measure the circumstance for a long time, and it didn't work sadly :(

  • $\begingroup$ Can you please be more specific on what you want to accomplish? $\endgroup$ – Ben Sep 1 '18 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ i think this addon will help you youtube.com/watch?v=XMimQfQR_ss $\endgroup$ – atek Sep 1 '18 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben I wanna do something similar to that youtube.com/watch?v=YokKp3pwVFc $\endgroup$ – Boud Math Sep 1 '18 at 18:01
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    $\begingroup$ @BoudMath please add some screenshots and/or short animation of what you want to achieve. This video is nearly 3 minutes long with different animation schemes going on there. We can't guess which one you want. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Sep 1 '18 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ In 1:52 he ripped the circle and turned it into a straight line $\endgroup$ – Boud Math Sep 2 '18 at 4:01

One way to do it is to animate the Bevel Factor of a bezier curve that consists of the circle and the flattened line extending at one end.

You start with a bezier circle and turn off Cyclic in the properties panel.

cyclic off

In edit mode, rotate the handles by 45 degrees so that the circle shape is restored. One end of the arc is extruded to the bottom (with its handles rotated horizontally), the other end gets extruded along a line with the length of the circle's circumfence.



Add another curve – either a NURBS or bezier – to act as a Bevel Object. In the example I used a NURBS path with 0.05 length. In the properties of the “circle” select the new curve as bevel object and set the bevel factor mapping to Spline

bevel settings

Add a driver to both Start and End of the bevel factor by right clicking on it and selecting Add Driver > Manually Create Later (Single)

In the F-Curve editor (Graph Editor panel > Drivers mode > Drivers tab) set the drivers variable to the X Location of the circle.

drivers panel

The scripted expression for the Start should be var / (2*pi) / 2 (as the driver should run from $0$ to $0.5$ as the circle moves from $0$ to $2\pi$. The End expression is var / (2*pi) / 2 + .5 (running from $0.5$ to $1$).

Finally, you can animate the X location of the circle.


Another approach could be to animate the control points individually. If you go that route, you might want to look into an addon called Animation Nodes. A similar animation using a 3D rope unwinding has been explained in this answer by Omar Ahmad.

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  • $\begingroup$ i have followed you literally, when i reached the last step everything just disappeared :( $\endgroup$ – Boud Math Sep 2 '18 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Could you please describe, what you mean by “everything”? Did the object disappear (in which case you maybe forgot to add the +0.5 to the End factor or assigned the expressions the other way around, i.e. end being smaller than start) or do you have problems accessing the 3D view again after switching to the Graph Editor? $\endgroup$ – binweg Sep 2 '18 at 15:12

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