Another bleeping pipe problem!

If I am posting this question twice I do apologise, I’ve advanced searched the forum and can’t find it anywhere, it’s possible I didn’t hit the post button the first time round.

So I’ve learned a lot about moving curves with hooks recently while trying to make pipes jiggle, as you would expect from pipes and leads in an engine.

I really wanted a ribbed pipe look and I’ve finally worked out how to add a curve modifier to a mesh successfully. I’m not sure if I’m doing things quite right, but I’ve got the look I want in a static image.

But of course I want to animate the jiggle, which does work and gives a lovely effect. I have the curve set with the ends where I want them, I’ve added a hook to a midpoint vert and added noise, it works great.

But the “end” end of the pipe mesh moves away from the end of the curve. This makes perfect sense as I’m effectively lengthening the curve/mesh with the jiggle. Where the hook noise is only slight it’s hardly noticeable and I can live with it, but where the curve is being jiggled a lot it looks really strange when one end of the pipe moves in and out of its housing. If this were a smooth mesh you wouldn’t see it, but because it’s ribbed it’s very in your face!

So, my last pipe question for a while, I promise! How can I anchor both ends of the mesh attached to the curve?

I have thought of boning it, but that would be a huge amount of work, probably involving IK and there are some 60 pipes I need to animate. There has to be another way. Please!!

Thanks folks.

What you are doing is not quite physically correct, in that you are jiggling the centre of the pipe, but you are also changing its length in the process, which does not really happen (unless the pipe gets hot and expands because of that before some other smartarse points this out…). So that leaves us with finding a way to jiggle the middle without changing the length and without destroying all you have done to date. Difficult maybe, but consider how you jiggle the middle - I am guessing a Hook modifier with a Target - that target could be the middle of a set of bones - that way the overall length could be controlled - I would need to do some experimenting.

Other wise I would do it with a straight forward mesh, no curve mod and two bendy bones with a bone in the middle that is base for one and top for the other - that way you can jiggle the middle bone and it will distort the shape of the mesh without altering the length, particularly if the pipe was straight to start with and you then moved the outer control bones to where the pipe meets engine or other fitting. The ends of the pipe won’t move because you weight paint the end of the pipe to the bendy control bones at the extremities.

Let me know what you think to that idea.

Cheers, Clock.