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I'm trying to bend a object containing patterns at a specific locations. I need the bend to progressively skew the mesh and the patterns. I've tried different things like using a curve or a lattice, but it's not precise and does not provide what I need. I also tried directly editing the mesh, but still get the need to skew some part of it.

Here is the starting piece (it's hard to see but note that its height tapers from left to right and the pattern also get thinner): pattern bar

Here is what I'm trying to get at (on the left bend, quickly mocked up in Photoshop after manually cutting and rotating parts of the mesh) target

If I edit the mesh, I'm able to extend by extrusion the cut mesh to find out the place where the skewed point needs to be, so i know where to deform from/to, it's just there does not seem to be a tool to do it.

enter image description here

A lattice would seem the perfect tool, but since we can't exactly align the lattice with the mesh from object mode it doesn't work.

Some advice on how to get there would be much appreciated.

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I think that a lattice would be a great tool. As far as aligning it exactly, well, it's difficult (requires a bit of on-paper math) but it is possible.

However, an alternate, that's easier to set up, is to just use a mesh deform modifier:

enter image description here

In the bottom set of arches, the mesh deformer has been shapekeyed after the bind, creating (linearly interpolated) skew. Note that the mesh deformer is displayed only in wire, so that you can see the interior mesh.

Note the top set of arches, which shows the setup but with the mesh deformer in the basis shapekey. Notice that the loop cuts aren't placed evenly, as a lattice would, but are placed arbitrarily, wherever I want. If you want to using snapping to align these edges with some edge of your base mesh, that's perfectly doable.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I never used shape keys before so I'll explore that. I thought that shape keys and meshdeform were more made for deforming over time. $\endgroup$ – lost vertex Feb 26 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ They can be, but any tool that can be used for animation can be used for modelling. There are no rules regarding it; one can see animation as just modelling over time. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Feb 26 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Somehow I can't make it work. Does the mesh used to deform have to be larger ? I had my bounding mesh aligned perfectly with the mesh to be deformed, then added mesh deform to the mesh to be deformed and bound it to the bounding mesh, then added basic shape key, added a second shape key (relative a value=1) and moved vertices for second shape key. $\endgroup$ – lost vertex Feb 27 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the mesh deformer needs to completely enclose the deformed mesh. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Feb 27 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ Just tested with two default cubes and one can deform the other. I actually have an unknown issue where I can't seem to bind my mesh with the bounding box that I created. Clicking Bind does switch the button to unbind but seems to do nothing, as it's instantaneous. Whereas with the two default cubes, its takes up a few seconds. $\endgroup$ – lost vertex Mar 1 at 12:12

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