inflating an object

Hello,

  I am working on a design for school and I need to produce an animation to present the idea clearly to my professors and possible manufacturers.  I do most of my design in SolidWorks, but I realize that its limited animation capabilities will not be adequate; so I found Blender.  It seems like a really fantastic program that I would like to learn more about.
  Without explaining exactly what I am doing I essentially need to animate an inflating tube that is unrolling.  Imagine one of those party favors that you blow into causing them to unroll and straighten out.  I have played around a little bit with blender, learning the interface and basic static modeling.  I don't have the faintest idea how to start this though so I was hoping you guys might have some ideas and places to begin.

Thanks,
Luke

Perhaps this blendercookie.com tutorial might give you some ideas to reflect upon, as the fingers can curl up: http://www.blendercookie.com/2010/05/13/rigging-easy-to-animate-fingers/

Look around they have many others that may be helpful.

and also this one of making a curve grow:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_igp7TyRGnU

edit, I just tried the 2nd tutorial and added a 2.5 blend file of it (press Alt+a to animate it).

Attachments

Extrude_along_curve.blend (82.7 KB)

awesome. Thanks, the second video looks really promising. I want to learn more about rigging also.