Into the Vortex

I was playing around with bezier curves and proportional editing to make things twisty and bendy, and decided, for fun, I’d make a wormhole/vortex thing, like in Doctor Who or Farscape, and have a ship travel down it. One bezier curve is the path for the camera, and one is the path for the ship. They both bounce around very roughly following the inside of a long bendy twisty tube. Quite easy to do, and it works incredibly well. I knocked this together in about 20 minutes.

So here’s the question: I want the ship to spin. There are two ways to do this: one, the ship would spin on the same axis it travels along, so it travels in a sort of corkscrew motion through the vortex. This would look more like the Farscape module in a wormhole. Or, two, the ship could rotate approximately perpendicular to its axis of travel, which would look more like the TARDIS on Doctor Who. I figure I could use the NLA action editor or something, or just keyframe it, but I’m wondering, does anyone know of a way that is relatively simple, like telling it to follow the path of a bezier curve?

Check out the .blend. As you can tell, if you’re nerdy enough, I decided to do the Farscape style for this one. Ideas?


blendscape.blend (173 KB)

just parent the ship to the bezier curve, and choose the ‘follow path’ option. a bezier curve works just like a path. for the rotating motion, just set a keyframe for the ship, go ahead 10 frames, rotate it slightly using numerical input ( n key ) then set another keyframe. then, select your ipos in the ipo window, and hit ‘t’ , then select ‘linear’. then go to where is says ‘curve’, click on it, and go up to ‘extend mode’, and choose ‘extrapolation’. then it will rotate at a constant rate.

Yeah, I had already parented the ship to its own bezier curve. I was just wondering if there were some cool slick way like that to get it to follow a rotating path, short of keyframing. But I’ve taken your advice and keyframed the rotation now. I actually keyframed the entire path out, instead of extrapolating, so it bounces back and forth and looks more random. But if I want to try and get the Doctor Who effect, I’ll use your method for constant rotation. Thanks.

Now to get the textures on the wormhole to animate, and get the edges faded so it doesn’t have a single line where it starts up…


blendscape.blend (195 KB)