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I'm making a YouTube video about a tornado in a campfire I videorecorded. I want to show my viewers the mechanics of the tornado.

Here's a screen shot of what I'm after:
spiral

I'm not looking to be a Blender expert (although it looks like a neat program to learn.) I just want to render a 2 turn spiral that I can rotate.

I tried making a spiral from the add curves. I made it taper as it got higher. I extruded the curve in the Z direction and hacked my way thru disconnecting a segment and connecting two, to complete a mesh. It's exactly what I want, but Blender doesn't see it as a solid. (No faces.)

When I made a "flat" spiral (that is, no taper in Z), I can extrude it in Properties and Blender sees that as a solid. But I can't figure out how to taper it in Z after the fact.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking for step by step instructions on how to achieve your goal? That isn't really the right type of thing for Blender Stack Exchange. (btw, you image didn't show up right) $\endgroup$ – TARDIS Maker Apr 19 '15 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ See blender.stackexchange.com/q/5755/599 and blender.stackexchange.com/a/19110/599 $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Apr 19 '15 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, you're right. I am asking for someone to take my hand. In lieu of that, is there an on point tutorial on how to do what I want? I found a tutorial about using a screw Modifier and an Empty to make a spiral staircase. (Instead of a "cube" for a step, I used a vertical plane for the surface of my spiral arrow graphic.) But there's something about a spiral that doesn't play right in Blender (the normals are ever changing) and the copies of the Object go off in bizarre directions. P.S. Image displays for me here.) Thx. $\endgroup$ – mike Apr 19 '15 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ Found the answer. It's in the section titled "Built-In Bevel" en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro/Bevelling_a_Curve $\endgroup$ – user13856 Apr 19 '15 at 9:51
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None of the suggestions already on StackExchange specifically addressed what I wanted to do. Here's what I finally came up with:

my weatherman-type rendered spiral http://s1.postimg.org/hewpl3ym5/rendered_spiral.jpg

I created a spiral; in Geometry, I used a custom bevel and taper. I assigned it a material. I used hemi light in Blender Render. (So no shadow where one part of the ribbon crosses the other.) I added a 3 point mesh triangle for the arrow and made that a child of the spiral so that it would rotate with the spiral during animation. I added a black border in BR post processing. (Whew! Took 3 days with lots of reading and watching youtube tutorials.)

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