Mesh Interaction Question...

I’m not sure how to phrase this, so I’ll give an example at the end.

I’m wondering if there is (currently) any way to make one mesh treat another mesh as ‘solid’. What I mean is that one mesh might lean against another, or conform to the other mesh’s shape without intersecting or passing through it.

Example:
Let’s say that I’ve made a fantastic tree. Now I want a thick vine wrapping around the trunk a few times before climbing into the upper branches.

Through painstaking work I can maneuver the vine so that it conforms to the trunk of the tree perfectly, so that no part of it passes into or through the mesh of the tree.

I’m wondering if there is a function or script, or simply a better technique that will automate that so (like in the real world) the vine will treat the tree-trunk as a solid object, not a mesh that it can ‘pass through’. I guess this would be similar to Ivy Generator’s handling of imported mesh objects, but it would be useful to have it as a modeling tool within Blender, so’s it can be used for other stuff as well (not that Ivy Generator isn’t an amazing piece of work!).

Any thoughts?

(I’ve also thought of somehow using BGE for this, but I think it should be a proper modeling tool)

I was just reading in the gallery thread about how Jeepster made the steampunk nemean lion. He said something about modeling objects in another layer and then using retopo to “shrinkwrap” them onto the lion. (Not the actual shrinkwrap modifier mind you).

My thoughts about your vine…of course you are using curves are you not? Manipulating a curve around your tree should not be so hard. Another thought…why do you need the mesh to stay on the surface? In real life when you pull a vine off a tree, it is usually flattened out in the shape of the tree on the underside. So…your mesh will look the same if about 1/4 to 1/3 of your round vine sticks through the tree! I remember when I didn’t want any meshes to stick through another…and now I happily shove that big boulder through the ground and am glad:evilgrin:.

It’s not so much that I need the vine to stay above the surface of the tree-trunk; rather, it’s that the surface of the trunk needs to affect the position of the vine. I wouldn’t care if some of the vine sinks into the trunk, as long as, when I manipulate the vine, the trunk affects its placement somewhat.

Anyways, that was just an example. There are many times when something like this would be helpful.

I’ll have a look at the steampunk lion example. That might be just what I’m looking for.

Thanks,
Merc