Distortion-free Manipulation

hello hello

if this is the wrong section for this post, move it by all means!

im running into some problems with some meshes im creating:

  • im starting out with a perfect grid. all edges have equal length, yada yada yada.
    http://tomsvilans.com/1_perfectgrid.jpg

  • by grabbing the right-most vertex and, using linear proportional editing, i rotate the right half by a bunch to create a hypar surface:

http://tomsvilans.com/2_distortedgrid.jpg

thats where the problem comes in because now the edges are stretched and the quads arent even.

playing with softbodies has been tedious and i hate having to run a simulation and rig up hooks and empties and stuff to get it going.

so: is there a way to manipulate a mesh so that it doesnt stretch its edges? basically, it would be a very simple rigidbody simulator within the modeling workflow, not in the game engine or in animation. if there is a script that adjusts a mesh based on distortions or a script that could parametrically control these kinds of non-distorted transformations, they would be much appreciated!

if such a workflow is possible, it could be extended to what im actually doing which is manipulating folded structures such as origami and looking for a way to twist and push and pull them around after theyre folded. this grid thing is a workaround for a structure that im working on. ive got a hacked out version using softbodies and hooks to bend the thing but there are so many settings to do with softbodies that i simply do not need and the simulation is so slow and unpredictable that its definitely not working.

oh: an analog would be sort of like the combing feature for particle hairs. you see how you can poke and prod and bend them around and they keep their length and root? i need something like that except for faces and edges.

any help would be very much appreciated! or if anyone has links or suggestions for books on surface scripting or any papers on this sort of thing, that would be very helpful as well.

thanks!

tommyboy