Is there any way to make a seamlessly looping animation when using the fabric simulator? I’d like to use it to make a flag animation that can loop indefinitely, but there doesn’t seem to be a good way to do this.
I’ve tried using shape keys and harmonic force fields to bring it back to the start frame. Neither of these quite works right.
Shape keys is very clunky to set up and doesn’t look good. Since the shape keys don’t override the fabric, I have to make a second object and animate which one renders. It also doesn’t move right. The parts using the fabric sim flow, while the shape key gives a straight morph and is immediately noticeable as a different kind of motion.
Harmonics are also not an ideal setup and they don’t work quite well enough. I tried running the sim, then applying it once the fabric is moving enough. Then I duplicate this object and set one up with another fabric sim, and the other becomes a harmonic force field set to either “surface” or “every point.” I let the fabric sim run for a while and then turn the harmonic strength from zero up to a very high number. The goal was to pull the fabric back to its start position to allow a loop. What actually happens is that everything moves abruptly and strangely to sort of where it started. It’s not close enough to actually allow a loop, and it moves too unnaturally to look good.
Any thoughts for how to do something like this? The only thing I’ve been able to do so far is find a similar start and end point in the render and crossfade them. It’s really not a good way to do things, but I don’t know if there are any actual solutions.