I'm trying to use a Curve which is under the submenu Curve Profiles > Helix (3D). Is anyone familiar with how to use this? I can't find much about it.

I am trying to create a spiralling helix curve of climbing leaves, as you can see in this picture:

array modifier with curve

In my setup there is a base set of 8 leaves on the lower right. These are joined to make one base object. This object has an array modifier that uses Object Offset with an Empty to control the rotation of each iteration of the Array. As you can see there is also a curve modifier using the Helix object to create the helixical path of the array iterations.

With the Helix(3D) curve profile, I can't see a way to tell it to make more than one twist of the Helix. Only Height and Width dimensions.

Helix menu

How can I increase the twists in the Helix to 2 or 3 such that the leaf array will keep following the curve. When it reaches the top it stops following the curve and reiterates in a straight line, like this:

Iteration stops

The iterations stop curving at the end of the Helix curve. I have tried adding an Array modifer to the curve as well, but the next iterations don't join up. If I convert the curve to a mesh I cannot use the Curve Modifier with it, nor can I merge the two end vertices. This would also result in an imperfect helix most likely.

How do I generate more twists in the Helix(3d) Curve profile?

Or any other methods you might use to achieve the same result?

Thank you!

  • $\begingroup$ I can achieve a similar affect using Curve Spirals > Archimedian, when I create the curve. But the Helix has a nicer spiral, though quite similar. I can't quite tell the difference, or why the Helix curve profile only allows one turn, or how to reiterate that helix after creation... $\endgroup$ – Aubrey Jul 3 '20 at 13:15

It is indeed a bit strange that one can't enter a number of twists or revolutions in the Curve Profiles menu. There are workarounds:

Method 1:

Simply duplicate the curve in Edit Mode, move it along the z axis (where the distance is the height of the curve) and delete the bottom vertex of the top curve. Then select the vertices you want to bridge and press F.

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Method 2:

Turn your curve into a mesh (Alt + C by default, and choose Mesh from Curve/Meta/Surf/Text) so you can more easily make certain changes. Apply a Array modifier (with the Merge box checked) for instance.

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Then after the changes are made to the mesh, turn the object back into a curve. (Alt + C again, and choose Curve from Mesh/Text)

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But it might be a different kind of curve now. We can fix that by setting the spline type. You can do this by pressing the search hotkey (usually F3 or Spacebar) and search for the command "Set Spline Type", and choose for instance Bezier.

enter image description here

Lastly you could select all vertices and change the Handle Type, for instance to Aligned. Now you can have the same kind of curve you started out with, only (most probably) with more vertices than before.

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If the curve is a Bezier and you want to reduce the number of vertices in the curve, you can do Decimate Curve and enter a value between 0 and 1.

  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, thank you, super helpful. $\endgroup$ – Aubrey Jul 9 '20 at 13:25

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