Need advice for modeling a cable

Hi all,

So i’m trying to recreate the cables that are the main part of a prosthetic arm (

and i was wondering what’s the best method to create it for animation. I was thinking using normal maps, but doing each of the individually sounds like a waste of time. Any ideas?

I would be inclined to agree with you… treat them as clumps with normal maps rather than individual cables.

as in converting all my curves to single mesh? But wouldn’t baking a bundle of cables as one mesh cause issues (normals, shadows,etc)? Thats what i usually get when baking down textures for a single mesh with parts close to each other.

So… you have curves at the moment? Can I see what you have? It would be helpfull to know the starting point. (And the endpoint for that matter: video animation of game graphic.)

here’s the .cables.blend (489.0 KB)
blend file

I am working on a video tutorial on how you could use your model to bake high to low poly and simplify it from like 150,000 verts to more like 9,000 if not less, while I’m working on the video you can have my blend (yes, it’s an updated file, be careful about overwriting yours since they’re the same name).

Edit: I just realized I recorded my tutorial without any audio… I’ll just explain it here. Create a cylinder around your mesh, subsurf it, then shrinkwrap to the mesh. Once you’ve made a good outline of your mesh, select first high poly, then low poly, if you’re in cycles you need an image texture connected to your shader’s normal input (at least that’s how I do it, I also have this blank let’s say 2k texture selected in the edit mode of the object), then I go to render tab, down to bake, select normals (not full bake), selected to active, bake, voila. You can easily have issues, tell me if you get stuck.

Here’s the blend file (

You’ll have to download the normal map here since I forgot to pack it into the original.blend :grimacing: