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I'm trying to set up an animation where a rectangular plane is deformed on a curve but I haven't been able to get anywhere close to the results I am looking for. Basically I want to animate the 3 arrows that form the triangular shaped recycle pictogram. The main difficulty I'm having is on how to deform the arrow geometry so that it folds like the arrows fold on the recycle pictogram.

My attempts so far have been with using curves and the curve modifier under the deform modifiers group. I tried making the fold by using the crtl+T command to tilt and twist the arrow where the fold happens. The result I got so far is OK but I'm wondering if there is a better way to rig this folding or twisting part. Controlling the fold with this method I've set up is finicky and I haven't figured out how to make the fold be tight and sharp while still maintaining a nice curvature along the arrow's geometry.

Thanks for the help.

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Well, I forgot that the ribbon turns all the way over after I got this all set up so you can take it from here. Might take you 10, 15 minutes to align the spans. The hidden object "span.001" has all the segments layed out, you just have to rotate them into place using Normal orientation, with respect to Median. Once you have them how you like, bridge them together, make your arrowhead, and rotate the object 3 times about the origin.

enter image description here enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help! "you just have to rotate them into place using Normal orientation, with respect to Median or Active." I don't understand. If the spans are being generated with the array modifier how can I bridge them? I have to apply the array modifier? Or is there a generative way to do this? $\endgroup$ – Leo Aguiar Aug 16 '19 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ Apply the modifiers and rotate each segment, that's how I was doing it. You should also make a top (middle) segment that is rotated 90 degrees, you can duplicate it from one of the other meshes, detach it, move it, rotate it, and join it. Or just eyeball it. Also, I was just working on half of it and applied a mirror modifier, which didn't work because I forgot I needed to rotate through 180 degrees, not 90 degrees. So th middle segment (if you make one) should be straight-on to the front-view camera and the others gradually turn over. This is why I used the Normal orientation. $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Aug 17 '19 at 1:11
  • $\begingroup$ Keep this in mind: you have to rotate the edge in proper position in a single rotation operation about normal Z. Because if you finish a rotation and decide you want to turn it again, the normal will be different. Make sure you are turning the correct direction (+ or -) too. Orienting straight segments wont give the exact shape as in the 2d picture, so you can subdivide the strip after you bridge the spans and use proportional editing to push the outer edges down towards the triangle silhouette. $\endgroup$ – hatinacat2000 Aug 17 '19 at 1:18

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