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I'm entirely new to Blender and am learning as I go, so I need a bit of step-by-step guidance please.

I'm working on some voxel based graphics, creating them in MagicaVoxel, exporting as .obj files and then importing into Blender. Most of the graphics are easy enough, however I have a railway line which looks like this:

Rail object

In this case I want to 'bend' the railway line to become a curve, I need to make a number of curved sections in this way. I want to use these as 'tiles' within a game design environment (Unity) and so the rail needs to stay flat to the 'ground' of course and I want the straight and the curves to fit together, like pieces from a model railway would.

I've looked at some online videos and so on and ended up playing with the Simple Deform - Bend modifier, but I can't get to grips with it at all, the results I'm getting are nothing like my expectation!

Can anyone please provide me with some advice to help me understand how to approach this? Any guidance would be gratefully received. Thanks.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'd recommend using an array modifier and a curve modifier. See my answer here: blender.stackexchange.com/a/2867/599 $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 8 '15 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ a lattice could also do the trick. $\endgroup$ – Bithur Feb 8 '15 at 10:52
  • $\begingroup$ Bithur - Can you provide any pointers on that? $\endgroup$ – Barry Neville Feb 8 '15 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ basic (but good) tutorial on lattice from blenderDiplom : youtube.com/watch?v=x_kcXMzASds $\endgroup$ – Bithur Feb 8 '15 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 Using a curve modifier has the disadvantage that in general the railroad ties will not be square anymore after bending the object along a curve. $\endgroup$ – maddin45 Feb 8 '15 at 11:44
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First apply an array modifier to the train tracks. With a distance set to one, this will make the rail segments touch, and iterate. Then, add a bezier curve. Select it, press tab to switch into edit mode, and then manipulate it to get a good shape. Apply a curve modifier to the rail, and set the object to be the bezier curve you created. The rail will curve to match your bezier curve. An invaluable resource in blender is the modifier encyclopedia on Andrew Price's website. Great tool for reference. Hope this helps!

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  • $\begingroup$ I didn't manage to follow these steps completely; when I get to the point where you say 'Apply a curve modifier to the rail, and set the object to be the bezier curve you created' Blender says 'Modifiers cannot be applied in Edit mode' - what does this mean? $\endgroup$ – Barry Neville Feb 11 '15 at 9:09

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