Making a ribbon/tape take a shape..

Okay so what I want to do is have the tape come out of a VHS cassette, either as a loop which then takes the form of a path, of have it come out of one side, following the path. I have got the basics ie I have the cassette and the tape followng the path of the final shape but i don’t know how to either make the path change from a basic formless loop to the final shape (to achieve the first idea) or to have the profile of the tape gradually come out of the cassette to form the shape (which would achieve the second idea)

Any ideas?

As far as I know, curves are animated using RVKs (the old version of shape keys) but for the life of me I can’t work out how to get the key sliders to show up. I can add the key: IKey in Object mode > Choose “Curve” for basis shape > IKey again for Key1 > Tab into Edit and make a shape > Tab back to save it as Key1 > repeat for other shapes.

The workflow should, as shown above, be identical to the old RVK system or even the current Lattice system (there is an intro to Lattice in the noob to pro wiki). Key indicators (blue lines) are added to the IPO “Shapes” window but I’m not seeing sliders in the action window. You need the sliders to key the animation.

Or… I might be missing something “obvious”.

You might also be able to add an armature modifier to the path - I haven’t tried it but the option’s there.

I believe you can animate curves with hooks (select node in curve thing and hit Ctrl H, I believe)