Bezier Curve/Path Morph


I’m trying to find a way to set up morph targets (I guess called shape keys in Blender) on a bezier curve. I need to find a work flow to animate thread making various knots and such. Yes, I could use hooks but animating a knot is very difficult this way let alone many different ones. I am planning on constraining a cylinder to the path and moving along its path which would be a loose knot but want to morph the path into the tight knot. I know how to do this in 3D Studio Max, but it seems Blender only allows shape keys on a mesh. I’m trying to avoid using dynamics which might work as well but also much more difficult than the path morph. A morphed path would allow me to only have to model the different knots once and animate from flat to knot with shape control (adding proper morph targets to account for cross-over issues so the thread doesn’t look like it’s intersecting itself). Anyone have any ideas?


You can add shape keys to a curve in Blender. In Blender 2.49, select the curve, press the I key to set a keyframe and choose curve to set the base key. Tab into edit mode modify the curve press the I key and select curve again to set the 1st key; continue for the others. Go to the Action Editor, select ShapeKey in the Editor mode, expand the keys (little triangle), adjust the sliders to add keyframes. Hope that helps.

Thanks Alan, I appreciate the response. I will give it try!

I think this just might work! A bit of an odd way to think of it and not as easy to manage as I’d like but it may still get the job done just the same. Thanks!

The shape keys are set as relative keys by default; it might be easier to use absolute keys. Go to the editing panel (F9) and in the Curves and surface pane deselect Relative keys. Now go to the IPO window and select the Shape type. On the right hand side you will see your keys; click on Basis and then add a curve (Ctl left mouse click to add a keyframe) starting at 0,0 then add another keyframe, say at frame 50 and 0.4 on the y-axis. Now as you scrub through the timeline you go from one shape key to another. You can change the timing by changing the curve or by moving the Shape key curve (blue lines). Hope this is clear.

I am a bit confused with this…where in the Curve and Surface panel is there an option to turn off relative shape keys? I am in Blender 2.49…I am not seeing it. Just the usual Extrude, bevObj, etc.

What I have come up with, which is rather convoluted, is to add hooks to whatever curve nodes I want to animate, then vertex parent those to vertices in a mesh, which I then animate with a shape key.

You have to have added at least one shape key.