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I have this cable swinging in the wind (cable = connected vertices with a Cloth modifier). I attached an object to it. Vertex Parent works just fine (2), and physics is beautiful (3). However, when I apply a Skin modifier to the cable the attached object is misplaced (4) (Skin modifier messes up the original vertices order or something I guess)

Is there any other way to make the cable solid other than using a Skin Modifie? (while maintaining the cloth physics) Or is there any other way to attach an object to the cable with a Skin modifier?

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Have you tried adjusting the order of your modifiers? The order they're in makes a big difference to the outcome. Maybe try them the other way round if you haven't. $\endgroup$
    – Onyx
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ The Cloth modifier cannot be under the Skin one because it would then compute the whole mesh physics instead of just one string of vertices :/ $\endgroup$
    – veru_z
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 16:02

2 Answers 2

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The problem here is that a vertex parent has to be a real vertex (or 3 verts.) But the skin modifier completely replaces your existing vertices. It really doesn't know which output vert is the input vert to which you parented. There's plenty of options, none of them right, because your original parent vert doesn't exist on the output mesh.

However, it does do one thing okay, which is generate interpolated vertex groups from input verts. So you can mark a vertex in your skin object with a vertex group, and then copy location from a vertex group:

enter image description here

Here, I've assigned a single vert of my skin mesh to the vertex group "y". Now, I can use a copy location constraint targeting that vertex group, and it's the same as parenting to a single vertex.

What if we wanted to parent with an offset? Copy location has an offset, but I'm not experienced enough with it to know if it does what I want. So instead, I'd give an empty that constraint, and then parent my object to the empty.

What if we want to do a vertex triangle parent? We'll need three different marked vertices. We'll copy location from one, damped track Y the next, and locked track X (lock Y) the third. For the full "vertex triangle parenting" treatment, we might parent the child to the object, as an object parent, to inherit its scale. (But I never do that, it's just a mess waiting to happen, regardless of how we get there.)

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I was able to come up with a simple but quite restrictive solution:

  1. Vertex parent the object to the cable (no skin modifier!)
  2. Bake all Cloth physics (aka cable simulation)
  3. Select the attached object and >> Bake action (object movement to keyframes)
  4. Alt+P object >> Clear Parent
  5. Now you can enable the Skin modifier on the cable
  6. If you're not satisfied with your cable cloth sim do it all again...
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