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I am currently making an internship in the field of chemical research, and as part of this internship I want to use Blender to make presentations. I recently started using Blender, I understood some basics but not everything .. For example, I would like to animate a "lasso" but I think to do it very badly because I spend a lot of time to have a very imperfect rendering and I am sure there is way to make much faster and much more effective.

Here is what it gives in frame 1: enter image description here http://i64.tinypic.com/2dj0yrl.jpg

Then in frame 94:

enter image description here

http://i67.tinypic.com/2r2y9uq.jpg

Well, here we are very far from a pro render (the axis in gray should be fixed on the torus, the curve is ugly ...) but the overall idea of what I would like to do is present.

For now I tinker (it's really the impression that it gives me) with a bezier curve and hooks. Can you tell me how to get to my goal?

I thank you for your response in advance, Rota.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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I propose to use curves, parenting and hooks to do that.

  • The red ring have to move along (say) X
  • The gray tube is like pushed and unbent to the horizontal
  • The blue tube is translated along the gray tube

enter image description here

We can use a curve modifier to constraint both tubes to follow a curve.

enter image description here

But we also want that it unbend along its own size.

So the circular part of the curve have to be pushed on right. We do that using a hook to the ring of the corresponding control points. The hook influence is set to 0.2 in order to avoid these points to be pushed right at the same speed as the other objects (an influence of 1 would have been the same speed).

enter image description here

From that, the blue tube is simply parented to the ring.

But the gray tube needs to move along from the ring but except its last part which needs to stay stuck on the black sphere.

So instead of parenting it, we use a hook again on all vertices except the last ones (the one near the black sphere which is simply placed near it). These vertices are set in a vertex group used in the hook modifier:

enter image description here

Though, this setup is very specific to this left/right movement.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's perfect, that's exactly what I wanted to do! Thank you very much. Now, I have to understand how to do it and get there by myself. I have a last question, is it possible to use the same procedure with a "lasso" with a more "real" shape, a loop more rounded and less in the form of "trombone"? $\endgroup$
    – rotavap
    Apr 30 '17 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @rotavap, yes, you can change the shape. The only constraints here is probably to keep the left part stuck to the sphere and maybe to adjust other objects positions so that they are placed at the starting point of the curve. For the other aspects, all may be the same, I think. If not, please comment here. $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Apr 30 '17 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ In complement. I've just seen the last image added by @cegaton: concerning the station/barrier you'll also have to make it follow the curve (I did not know that and this is not done in the answer) $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Apr 30 '17 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ I replied below, I do not know if you saw this answer. In doubt, I comment here as you had advocated. $\endgroup$
    – rotavap
    May 1 '17 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ @rotavap. I did not delete your answer but it has to be deleted as this is not an answer. Concerning the new issue you have, this is probably because of a scale/rotation or origin alignment problem: hard to say from just this image. $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    May 1 '17 at 14:00

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