I have a ~15-20 minute presentation to give on topology for my math class, and I have to
get it done by Wednesday morning (6/8/11). So yeah, I’m an idiot for not thinking of asking for help sooner.
Long Post: You can skim it, you probably don’t need to see the whole thing. I don’t want anyone put off by the length - I need help ASAP!
I need to be able to morph one shape into another. For example, I need to turn a flat plane into a torus, and also another into a sphere. I would also like to perform something similar to the following:
(A homeomorphism from Wikipedia’s Topology article)
I’m not too keen on using other people’s work, even in a school presentation, especially when I have the tools to do things myself. So I would like to be able to perform basic transformations of shapes like that.
I don’t mind if my plane -> torus or plane -> sphere transformations end up with seams, as I’ll be intentionally outlining those seams. I should also note that I will be mapping images to the planes.
I know about shapekeys, but I don’t think I want to move each and every vertex individually or anything. I can’t even get a plane to turn into a sphere using proportional editing and To Sphere, at least not without horrible distortion and never actually connecting at the edges.
Is there some feature I should know of? Or something I’m missing about shapekeys?
If possible, I would also like to minimize distortion as much as possible (especially since images will be UV mapped to these meshes). And for the plane -> torus transformation, I’d like to make the plane first become a cylinder by rolling up, and then having the opposite edges of the cylinder meet to form the torus.
I should also mention, I want the animations to seem natural and intuitive, without vertexes passing through each other to get where they need to be.
What can I use to accomplish my goals? Modifiers? Curves? Armatures? Shapekeys? Any help accepted, but please be specific if it isn’t something obvious.