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Ok. I have a ball at the very top and a long curved tube leading down and I want to turn the ball's physics animation into a follow path animation. In order to do that I need to somehow make a path out of all location points in which the ball was during its fall down the tube. But I don't know how to do it...

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  • $\begingroup$ You are wrong. Locations points I'm speaking about are the ones in physics animation of the ball. $\endgroup$ – Rig Dec 23 '18 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you want to convert the physics animation though? Why not keep it? $\endgroup$ – Sava Dec 23 '18 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ In order to make my camera follow that path. And because knowing how to do such things could be useful in the future to my other projects. $\endgroup$ – Rig Dec 23 '18 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ As I said below, I don't think it is possible. But, why don't you make the ball as a camera, or make a camera follow the ball instead? $\endgroup$ – Sava Dec 23 '18 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ The ball is rotating a lot - I'm not sure how to handle camera's rotation so it would be inside the tube and point at the ball all the time. I want to avoid extra work in setting its angle right. Converting the animation to a curve would be fast. Also I could just save that curve for later, put it together with other curves and easily compare if I would need to in the future. It is much easier to store curves than entire animations. $\endgroup$ – Rig Dec 23 '18 at 23:48
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One method of converting a motion into a path is detailed in How to add trailing light effect to finger tips - by adding a particle system to drop particles as a vertex moves through space and then running a script to convert that particle system into a path. I also created an add-on as part of this answer to make the process easier.

The add-on can be downloaded from here : Particles To Path add-on

Once you've installed and enabled the add-on and you have your trail of particles (disable gravity and interactions from your particle system and have it emit a single particle for each frame of the animation) you simply execute the Particles to Path function (press Space (Blender 2.79) or F3 (Blender 2.8) and start typing the name) :

particles to path add-on

This should then generate the required path which you can use for your Follow Path constraint.

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You can easily create a path by using a curve, and set it in the centre of the tube. Then set the ball to follow that curve.

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  • $\begingroup$ It would be time consuming and really inaccurate since the tube is long and twisted and the ball is bouncing a lot. I want to take out part of physics animation of the ball and turn it into a curve. $\endgroup$ – Rig Dec 23 '18 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think that's possible. $\endgroup$ – Sava Dec 23 '18 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ It should be. All locations of the ball during the fall combined should be easy to convert into a curve. And getting them out of the animation shouldn't be hard. At least I see no problem in that unless it wasn't ever implemented. $\endgroup$ – Rig Dec 23 '18 at 23:42
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Using Btrace addon. (Which you can add in user preferences)

  1. In left sidebar in Create tab at the very bottom->In Btrace select "Mesh follow" option.
  2. Select "Verts" in there
  3. Select "Custom Select"
  4. Click on your object.
  5. Go to edit mode
  6. Select either a single verticle you want it to follow or add a new one inside the center of your object and leave it selected.
  7. Go back to object mode
  8. Click on OpenGl render animation button (it's somwhere above sync playback options at the bottom of the screen)
  9. After the animation is done press esc to go back to object mode.
  10. Select your object if it's not selected and press Run! button in Mesh Follow.
  11. You should have your curve there spawned.
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