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I want to create simple animation where cylinder gets deformed into figure eight. I can do this by proportional editing turned on and moving both edges to the center, but animation keyframes won't "capture" that. Moreover, it would be better if parts of the shape were more "circle-shaped" - imagine 2 invisible cylinders and our cylinder wrapping them around when deforming. Maybe I could really simulate that with some physics modifiers? Thanks in advance! enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ to animate mesh changes you might want to research Shape Keys (in the green iconed tab) $\endgroup$
    – wilks
    Sep 11 '20 at 23:38
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Shape keys do a reasonable job here? The morph doesn't really involve obvious rotations...

  • Make a model of the end-state shape as as simple edges, possibly from 2 circles with a few vertices deleted, and the ends of the arcs F bridged over. Take a note of the number of vertices in the result
  • Create a circle with the same number of vertices, for the start-state.
  • There's a gotcha: you have to reorder the vertex-indices so the two shapes correspond, vertex to vertex. This can be done by deleting corresponding edges in each loop to give a starts and ends, converting to Curves, and converting back again.

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  • Now, in whichever you decide is your master object, with the other selected, hit 'Join as Shape Keys' in the dropdown next to the Data tab > Shape-Keys panel
  • If you extrude the Basis, the shape-key will extrude, too.. and then whatever modifiers you need to complete, ( Here, Solidify, Bevel, Subdiv. )

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  • If the move is a bit dull, you can make a new key from a suitable mix, and edit it to give youself a new in-between.
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    $\begingroup$ ok you've just made it a bit more complicated ;) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Sep 12 '20 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots Er... Thanks! :D I suppose it does generalise a bit better.. but that wasn't the question. $\endgroup$ Sep 12 '20 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ yes it must be the solution for more complex cases $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Sep 12 '20 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Chris .. moonboots should have got a tick for this one. Much simpler for this case. Elon's advances in manufacturing thrilling. But. Henry Ford brought the price of the front-end of a pickup down to 4 months US annual wage. New car in UK: 18 months, up from 15, 3 years ago. Elon will get my real respect if he can maneuver out of the luxury toy business and into the volks - wagen business. And chuck some hard cash to change the lives of the poor b***rds who are digging up his cadmium. $\endgroup$ Dec 17 '21 at 8:06
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    $\begingroup$ Well ….Elon already has my full respect. Many people forgot what he is also doing: Boring Company, SpaceX, Tons of new satellites for better internet speed, and…I believe he is the biggest solarpanel producer in US, isn’t he? $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Dec 17 '21 at 8:21
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You can do it the other way around:

  • Create your 8 shape:

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  • Once you are good, in Object mode, create a basic shapekey and a second shapekey:

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  • Keep the second shapekey selected and in Edit mode, select all and right click > LoopTools > Circle:

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  • Back in Object mode, use the shapekey Value to morph from the circle to the 8 shape:

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  • $\begingroup$ Mine's hardly worth adding here, but I suppose it's different enough .. :) $\endgroup$ Sep 12 '20 at 12:13
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    $\begingroup$ Please show it! $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Sep 12 '20 at 12:16
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For the more circular look, set the fallof to spherical
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Then press this [+] twice to generate 2 shape keys.

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With Key 1 selected go into edit mode and model your 8. When you get out of edit mode, the 8 will change back to your cylinder and you can use the value slider to blend between them.

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You can do this using a "warp modifier".

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Basically, it behaves like the proportional editing between two empties that can be animated. And its falloff part is similar to prop editing (falloff type and radius).

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To deform several parts, use the vertex group option.

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