animated cube array along a curve path

I have watched lots of tutorials on arrays and it seems that it is only possible to extrude a bezier shape along a path.
I’m looking to extrude and be able to animate a rectangular shape along a curve.
I currently have my original cube with an array modifier and a curve modifier attached but i have no idea how to animate this.

I guess i could use a bezier shape and make it look more like a rectangular section (I’d like sharp edges) then extrude along the same curve but i still don’t know how I’d go about animating this.

I guess i’m looking to make something look a little like thick ribbons, with twists etc, and animate the length of it over time.

Again - Any help appreciated.

Found this helpful file on earlier posts:

You can run it in either 2.49 or 2.5x.

If you are newbie, and still have some difficulty with understanding what some of the .blend file shows, I can guide you on how to substitute your mesh into this file for a shortcut.

Thanks for the blends there chip4brains.
I don’t quite understand what it going on in the growing vines blend.
If i add a mesh cube and the scale on the Z axis only. Add a curve modifier the cube jumps away from the origin.
Neither does the cube follow the curve path.
I guess I’m missing something fairly simple.
If you’ve got time to explain I’d really appreciate it.

(I chose to use a bezier curve in my project for now until i understand this more.)

Sorry, myfriendmike gave you the wrong link

correct one is

this file is doing what you requested :

I’m looking to extrude and be able to animate a rectangular shape along a curve.

you will have to open a Graph Editor view window to see the animation curves when you open the file.

so the plane is parented to the curve (in this case) and moved along the x axis in time.
Is that pretty much it?

I asked another related question in another post regarding tapering an end.
Is it possible using this method to have one end tapered and to be able to control the length of the taper?

Yes. Remember to select curve deform from pop-up menu when you parent curve to plane.

Haven’t used taper objects, just toyed with it many blends ago, but here is a good reference from wiki at bottom of this page:

Here is blend file I was working on when I encountered your thread:

MychainLinkAnim.blend (596 KB)