Dupliframe and path blues

i’m having a bit of a problem with what would seem a simple animation along a path. i have a simple plane parented to a path. the plane has dupliframes turned on, but what i need to do is have the original plane (the one out of sync in the pictures) shoot down the path with the dupliframes following in tow (leader/followers). statically i can change the DupSta or DupEnd, but i can’t keyframe those settings. i’ve tried using a shape key on the plane and keyframing that, but i’m not getting that leader/followers effect. any suggestions? thanks!


Oh, I’m sure something has been made about this already.
Search for “ribbon animation” in the blenderartists forum, I think you’ll find something interesting. I do not remember very well, though, for I was not at the time closely interested by the subject…

May the Force be with you

This is it :

Hope this helps!

…but neither method works in this case. the curve deform method nullifies the duplframes, and the shape key method is too unpredictable. grazie lo stesso.


This would take some tweaking, but…

Make your curve a ‘curve guide’

Make a single face plane with normal pointing at the begining of the curve.

Make this plane a particle emitter, but set no starting speed.

Set this particle emitter to emit from face only.

Set the ‘duplivert’ button under ‘anim settings’ for this emitter.

Make a seperate plane that you wish to be your object following the path.

Make this plane the child of the particle emitter.

For the emitter, try settings: Amount 10, start 1, end 100, life 100, and press the ‘even’ button under ‘faces’ button ( you should have ‘verts’ button disabled)

From there you can change amount to the number of objects you want to travel down the path, and use ‘end’ value to control their spacing, then you may have to tweak your path to get the desired results.

If the planes are not even enough, you can delete 3 of the verts, place the one remaining vert at the center and change the particle emission settings to ‘verts’ instead of ‘faces’, then each plane should come out in exactly the same place.

…i’ve filed that one away for future usage! nevertheless, not exactly what i’m looking to do. i think i’m gonna have to approach the problem from another angle, being how there’s a deadline involved. instead of using dupliframes or dupliverts, i think i’m gonna have to actually parent 30+ planes in a train-type sequence. 30+PLANES! aiutatemi (help)!

if anybody else has a simpler way about it, PLEASE CHIME IN! :smiley:

Couldn’t you do this by dupliverting your plane along a line of vertices, then adding a curve modifier to the line of verts and animating it along the curve? Perhaps I am missing something in your problem.

If its exactly the same path that exactly the same object follows, and they don’t cast shadows on each other (although may be ways around that, I donno)… compositing might be faster than anything else.

Composite, say, 5 copies of an animation of your single instance (don’t forget to keep alpha), offset the timing as desired.
Save (still with alpha enabled)
Composite 6 more copies and offset the timing again.
Composite into scene.

…but i’m not quite sure what you mean. would you please explain further (being as i am a little dense :o)? do you mean an actual line of vertices (as in two or more points)? oh, if you mean what i think you mean, WE HAVE A WINNER!

Yes like a line you would get by deleting all but one edge of a plane, then subdividing until you have as many verts as you want planes. (If you start with a plane make sure to readjust the Object Center so it’s on the line). Then duplivert the plane on this multi-vertex line and make it follow / deform along a curve.

WE HAVE A WINNER! CD38, this is what i need to do! Last question before we send you your brand new 2006 maserati :D: which additional modifier would i use to control the rotation of the duplivert planes? as you can see from the attached screenshot, they don’t follow the rotation of the curve.

Thanks again, CD38, and many thanks to reywillow, hazard, dgebel.


they don’t follow the rotation of the curve.

Doh, that is the big problem with this method. The dupliverted objects just keep the rotation of the original object so they won’t rotate as they follow the curve. I’ll take another look.

Here is a blend file with 30 planes that follow down an exact path, probably closer to what you are looking for.


I use evenly increasing time offsets, you will see a short script in the text editor window, that was just my shortcut to quickly set the offsets on 30 selected objects at once, it will help you by allowing you to change the value quickly.

Make sure you have all your obj’s that will follow the path selected, and only those.
The line “timo = timo + 2”, you can experiment with this value, change the ‘2’, and <alt>+<p> to run the script and it will change the timeoffsets of all your objects, starting at 0 and incrementing(or - to decrement) the value you set, you could also change the starting value in the script if you wish, but I don’t know why you would.

did you just bang that out? wow, you can come work for me! :wink:

that’s exactly the effect i’m looking for. two things though: 1) what if i had to do 100 planes? or more? yr script does facilitate the time offset, but yr still parenting x frames to a curve (i used 30 as an example; there are QUITE a few more in the actual project). i’m a firm believer that the computer should do the “heavy lifting.” i’m sure you agree, being how you wrote that script, but i couldn’t script to save my life! 2) all the planes are stacked in the same position in the beginning and end points, and for what i’m doing, that’s no good. the camera sees the beginning and end positions.

nevertheless, yr method does allow absolute control of the rotation of the planes, as opposed to CD38’s method, which unfortunately doesn’t, but just by subdividing and/or resizing the line of verts, i can have x planes following a curve in a snap!

decisions, decisions! in any case, Hazard, thanks a heap!

you can make as many objects as you wish, the script set the time offset for ALL SELECTED objects.

To get them spread out you just need to adjust your animation or your curve path.

Example, if you have 100 objects moving down the path at a time offset of 2 each, it would take about 200 frames before they were all spread evenly down the path from the beginning, it also takes 200 frames to collect them all at the end, therefore you pad your animation with 200 frames on each end.

For your rendering, start rendering at 200, end accordingly. :slight_smile:

Hazard, yr script is fantastic!
1 - create object
2 - create path
3 - parent object to path
4 - copy-o-rama (shift-D until the fingers bleed)
5 - select all copies of the object
6 - apply script

BANG! x objects following the path in no time, with complete control over all of them!

thanks a bunch, Hazard! yr brand new 2006 ferrari should be arriving any day now. keep an eye on yr mailbox. :smiley:

now if you all will excuse me, i have blendering to do!

Glad I could help :slight_smile:

BTW does that come with a new pair of driving gloves?

Good job Haz!

One thing to note, GT, don’t forget you can s-D a couple, then select the “group” and s-D those to multiple your work faster.
The only problem might be the object # could be out of sequence, but in your case I don’t think it would matter at least.

Are we going to be able to see the end result? I’ve got an intro/logo animation image in my head of what could be done with this and its pretty good :wink:

The other way to do is with the lattice modifier. See the demo at
http://www.mke3.net/ to see what can be done. I think it does exactly what you wanted as well.
http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BlenderDev/ArrayModifier for the details.

saw the quicktime…impressive. dl’d the .blend file but i’ve have a look later, being how i’m the middle of this project and kinda on a roll…yeh.

thanks for the tips, dgebel. as for yr “no-prize” (<-- gosh, i’m old!), will a motorcycle do? only slightly used by a certain valentino rossi… :wink:

thanks to all who responded to my plea and to the readers of this thread. seriously, that’s what makes the blender community so great: if someone has an idea or solution, there’s no ifs, ands or buts, anyone who can contributes.

oh, well…back to it. :rolleyes: