I tested out other answers here and here to no avail. So, I'm stumped. In the image below, I'm trying to get my zipper to follow along the curvy, windy path of the leather cowl/collar. You can see the final result I'd like to get in the right image as well as this real world example. I got the center zipper in the file to follow a path with relative ease. But this curvy one is just too hard for me (I've tried different axis, fixing loc/rot/scale issues). I've attached my file here for anyone who wants to give it a go. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

enter image description here


1 Answer 1

  1. Locate and select an edge-loop in your jacket-mesh which follows the path of your zip.
  2. ShiftD duplicate it, and P separate it to a new object.
  3. Convert it to a curve.

I found I could set the spline-type to Bezier and decimate it to 0.1 without losing visible detail.

  1. Place the origin of your curve at its bottom control-point, and move the zip-array to the same location
  2. Assign the Curve modifier to the array, aimed at the new curve, along Z, in your case.
  3. CtrlT twist the curve so the zip is radially pointing the right way, or, rotate and perhaps shift the zip's mesh with respect to its origin, in Edit Mode, to align it.

enter image description here

I can't comment without knowing the exact intent of your model, but I suspect you could save quite a lot of trouble by working on a lower-poly mesh, and I'm assuming this detail is too small to be overly-concerned about very slight distortion of the zip's teeth.

  • $\begingroup$ I can do 1-3 well enough. At 4 I used the 3D cursor to set the origin of the curve to its bottom control point. I then physically dragged the zipper so it's base was right on top of the base/bottom control point of the curve. I then assigned the Curve modifier on my zipper array and aimed it at the new curve, selecting to use the Z-axis. And then....CTRL+T just brings up an "open file" window for me....I think it may be because of an add-on I have? Any idea how to work around this? $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2021 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ Update: when I hit CTRL+T, it opens a "Create Material" window. I think it's a Jama Jurabev add-on I have related to quick texture applications. $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2021 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ @majiinakuma The origin of your zipper was at nearly the right place with respect to its mesh, so 'Selected to Cursor' in Object Mode put it in the right place, after the origin-of-curve move. You can adjust the twist of selected curve control points in the N-panel, in Edit Mode. Probably better to get the overall alignment by rotating the zip around Z in Edit mode, and just use the twist to tweak parts of the curve, if necessary. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Sep 23, 2021 at 19:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ OK thanks that helped bunches. I actually went into my preferences and reset the hotkey for CTRL+T to be CTRL+ALT+T to avoid those hotkey mix-ups in the future, so I was able to transform enough to get the zipper to form as best I could. Again thanks so much! $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2021 at 20:05

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