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All of these corns on this corn plant are separate objects (for now).

enter image description here

They're in a straight line for now, though I'd like to curve them out a bit, without changing their individual meshes. How could I do this?

Edit: Result with joining, then curve modifier, as suggested by @Alexandre Marcati

enter image description here

Unfortunately, the mesh of one grain was modified:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ you could use a simple deform modifier...or use a lattice...or shape keys...depends on what you wanna achieve. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Aug 22, 2023 at 18:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris a deform modifier for multiple separate objects? $\endgroup$
    – reign
    Aug 22, 2023 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ You could join all the grains in a single mesh and use the curve modifier. You could also create a geometry nodes setup that instances grains across a curve and also generates the stem from the curve - that option would be very good because it wouldn't deform the grains. You could also add some paramenters to be able to change the amount of grains, how much the scale of the grains should vary and stuff like that. $\endgroup$ Aug 22, 2023 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ Hello, what does "curve them out a bit, without changing their individual meshes" mean? $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Aug 22, 2023 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ @moonboots Hi, I edited the question $\endgroup$
    – reign
    Aug 22, 2023 at 18:45

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You can make a simple geometry nodes setup that instantiates an object along a curve without deforming the individual object instances. Here's the result:

enter image description here enter image description here

And here is the node setup:

enter image description here

Here's a breakdown of the nodes setup:

The idea is that you'll instantiate an object at regular intervals along the length of a curve, and they'll be rotated along the tangent of the curve, so their rotation follow the flow of the curve.

If we just instantiate objects on the points of the curve it won't work, because the points of the curve will most likely not be spread evenly along the curve. So first we need to resample the curve, making the points spread evenly along the curve.

So we use the Resample Curve node set to Count. We feed the Geometry input into the Curve input of the node. To get our "count", we get the curve length and multiply it by and integer parameter that I called "NumberOfObjectsPerLength", meaning the number of objects that will be instantiated per unit (per meter in this case) of length of the curve.

So this will give us a curve with the points evenly spread along it, and a parameter that we can easily edit in the modifiers panel to increase or decrease the number of grains on our wheat stem.

Next we use "Instance on Points" to instantiate our object (in this case a "GrainLump", which is a single object composed of three grains joined together. On the Rotation input of this node we plug an "Align Euler to Vector" node that gets the curve tangent vector and spits out an Euler Rotation aligned to that vector, so each grain lump will be instantiated with its rotation aligned to the curve flow.

So that could be everything, but I thought it would be nice to add a little bit of randomness so it doesn't look so tidy, so I added a "Rotate Instances" node and plugged a Random Value node (set to Vector) in the Rotation input, and used a Combine XYZ node to create the Max possible value of the Random Value node. I created another input parameter called "MaxRandomRotation" and plugged in the Z of the Combine XYZ, leaving the other axis set to zero. So the random value will always have X and Y be zero, but Z will be something between zero and whatever you set as the MaxRandomRotation parameter. That way you can add a little bit of randomness to the rotation of the grains by increasing this value.

You could also do basically the same thing to add some randomness to the scale of the grains.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you, I'll look into geometry nodes, never tried them before but looks great $\endgroup$
    – reign
    Aug 22, 2023 at 20:25

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