Path Deformer is a Plugin that allows you to get a unique deformer with great possibilities. Simply choose a spline your object will be distorted upon that spline without loosing proportions. Path Deformer twist the object upon a curve and lets you to roll the objects upon the spline and to control the position along the path. You can also place a reference object under the deformator to have an accurate reference for position and rotation along the path. Path Deformer is the best way to deform objects over a spline.
The Path Deformer object contains a number of parameters organized in tabs. In the following, all these parameters will be explained in detail.
Drag & drop a spline object here to use it as deformation path.
Since PathDeformer aligns the object along its Z-Axis, the heading (Y-Axis) must also be defined for a proper deformation. This can be done with the Up Vector. If you experience torsion or flipping in the deformed object, you should change this.
Alternatively to setting the Up Vector, you can use a rail path to align the deformation correctly. To do this, simple create an appropriate spline and drag & drop it here. This may not only be used to prevent flipping but also for creating an exact alignment at every position of the deformation path, e.g. for the wagons of a roller coaster or a racing track with banked curves.
This is the most important parameter for animation. Use it to move the deformed object along the path. A value of 100% represents the whole length of the path. Setting it to 50% will place the object in the exact middle of the path.
Use this parameter to roll the object around it’s Z-Axis.
Here you can always see the exact length of the deformation path. This is especially useful when you want to use PathDeformer for deforming infinite objects, e.g. crawlers, ribbed belts or conveyor chains.
While PathDeformer normally keeps the original length of the deformed object, you can active this to unlock the proportions and set a length yourself.
Use this to set the length ob the deformed object, if Unlock Proportions is activated. Animate this parameter to let an object “grow” along the deformation path.
If you are using PathDeformer also to align a null object to the path, you can set it’s relative offset from the deformed object.
TWIST & FACTOR
The twist effect enables you to change the banking for each position of the deformation path. Edit the curve to create any twists you want and use the factor parameter to determine the twist effects’ strength. Setting the factor to 360 will cause a complete twist where the twist curve reaches the maximum.
SCALE & FACTOR
This effect works almost like the twist effect. Here you control the size of the object at each position of the deformation path.
The functions found in this tab work exactly like the “Optimize” function of CINEMA 4D. The only difference is, that the optimize feature of PathDeformer is done in realtime for each frame. It is extremely useful for creating crawlers, chains and all kind of looped geometry.
Activate this to melt points within the tolerance range.
This is the tolerance range. If points are located closer to each other than the tolerance allows, they are melted during optimization. When you set the tolerance to a very high value, you can also use it for simple polygon reduction.
Activate this to delete double polygons, that would create dual planes.
REMOVE UNUSED POINTS
This function surprisingly removes unused points that aren’t connected to any polygons.