inflating an object


  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.


Perhaps this tutorial might give you some ideas to reflect upon, as the fingers can curl up:

Look around they have many others that may be helpful.

and also this one of making a curve grow:

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


Extrude_along_curve.blend (82.7 KB)

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