Following a curve

I am trying to make a sphere follow a curve. I have had a lot of problems because the sphere wont perfectly follow the path, idk why but it does. I was able to get it to follow the path so that it is reasonable. But how do i make the sphere continuously follow the path forever?

When you parent the sphere to the path, there should be a dotted line drawn between the center of the sphere and the starting point of the path. Move the sphere, so that it matches the location of the path starting point.

To get the sphere to move around the path forever, select the path and open an IPO window. Set the IPO type to Path. There should already be a speed curve set. Select the speed curve, and click the Curve menu. On the Curve menu set Interpolation mode to Linear and set Extend mode to Cyclic.

When you parent the sphere to the path, there should be a dotted line drawn between the center of the sphere and the starting point of the path. Move the sphere, so that it matches the location of the path starting point.

… Or just use Ctrl-Shift-P to parent inverse … which will snap the object center to the path’s starting point …

It is also good practive to press ALT-G and ALT-O to clear the origin and location of the object before you assign it to a path. This might be why your sphere is not lined up on the path correctly.

Alright thanks guys i got everything to work besides the cycling. Is there suppose to be a curve in the IPO window? There is nothing that shows that there is animation but when i press alt a the sphere rotates. Also, i cant click the “speed” thing, this might correspond to the problem with the absent curve in the IPO.

At the bottom of the IPO window is a drop-down list with different IPO types. By default it show Object, click the drop-down and choose Path. Now, you should see your path speed IPO like I mentioned before.

Ya i did that but i do not see any curve. The grid is blank but in the top right corner there is a speed icon. Nothing happens when i click it though.

Is there suppose to be like a line graph sort of thing in the IPO window? All i see is a speed icon that is not click able and an empty grid.

AFAIK there should already be an IPO curve if you parented an object to the curve and it is moving along the curve. I personally don’t know of any other way to animate an object following a path then to use the speed IPO for the path.

Can you post your blend, so we can look at how you have this setup?

Alright here is the blend file. It will be on layer 2. It should be around the origin area. It should be selected too.

Attachments

humanbodylegstrialbonesweaponsweightpaintingfinishing.blend (925 KB)

Well apparently the SPEED IPO curve is only added automatically for actual Path objects, and not for other curves. To manually add a SPEED IPO just hold Ctrl and LMB click in the IPO window. Set it to be 0 at frame 1 and more than zero at frame 100. Now, you can extend the IPO.

Sorry for the confusion.

Ah i got it to work. Thanks so much, especially dichotomymatt.

here’s a related question - how can I change the start point of a curve without having to delete everything and start from scratch?

Dan