The right approach to sticking a surface to a table?


I am looking to animate a roll/laminate/film sticking/resting progressively on to a table.

The animation starts with end edge of the roll already “pinned” to the table (Cyan). Then the roll moves in the specified direction (yellow) and the pink surface should start gradually lay on the table. The pink surface should cover the table as the roll moves, meaning that it needs to be extended in one direction.

I did it as a separate surface from the roll cause in this case it is not noticeable the shrinking of the roll and the film is really thin. I guess it is easier to animate it as two separate things instead of making the surface unroll from the roll.

I was wondering if you could give me some kind of tip of how to approach this taking in count I am not experienced enough in Blender and animation. I am getting better in Blender so I am confident I can follow instructions regarding animating, but I am still not that experienced in the sense of knowing how to approach certain types of movements.

I am thinking if this is a task for the new “cloth” physics or maybe I am over complicating things and this could be easily solved with another approach.
I also tried to use the shrinkwrap modifier. I remember Its possible to use vertex groups and thought that I could fake this gradual sticking effect by assigning some kind of proportional editing…but then I checked and it is not possible to do that (keyframe) shrinkwrap modifier.

Sorry for the long topic, but I believe this is a common motion in many fields so maybe other people get benefited from more experienced users too.

The easiest would be to use an extruded spline.

  1. Make a spline the shape of the “graduall sticking part”.
  2. extrude it in the spline Properties panel -> Geometry -> Extrude
  3. in edit mode select the front spline vertices and use “Hook to new Object”
  4. Use the newly created Hook object to animate the spline.
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Thanks ! I will try now that.
So far I got a really promising approach with the cloth physics.

As you can see the mesh behaves like fabric, but I think it can be corrected. I made a vertex group of both edges (starting and roll one) and added in “pin group” parameter inside the cloth physics tab.

The problem now Its that I do not know how to move the second edge along the roll transition.

I tried your method. Not sure what is the outcome you are suggesting, but what I get doing that its an empty parented to a vertex. How you would imagine that extrusion gradually laying on the table?

Taper_Roll_01.blend (794.6 KB)

gonna explain.

Oh, the extrusion is only there as the width of the cloth.

Here is a blend file.

roll.blend (572.1 KB)

1.Create a spiral with extra curve object addon included in blender.
2. create a plane and subdivide it.
3. add array modifier to the plane set on curve distance(the spiral)
4.add curve modifier to bend the plane around the spiral.
5.try moving the plane on x you will see unrolling effect.
6. create your surface to be projected on.
7.create a brush object to scale on x for “dynamic paint”
8.add “dynamic paint on it and set it to brush”
9.add “dynamic paint canneva to plane” set to vertex weight".
10. add shrinkwrap modifier on top of plane’s dynamicpaint modifier. pointing to your weight group created with dynamic paint.
animate scale.
Et Voilà!

Edit1: Before doing dynamic paint stuffs you have to apply your array modifier to make it real geometry.


Nice approach with the dynamic paint and shrink wrap. :+1:

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i had to do like your approach before dynamic paint exists.
i can guess you are an old blender user like me. :wink:

Edit1: with the hooked curve method , you cannot use "uvs ",but “object” texture coordinate to map something on it. Helas, it’s projected mapping not following the surface…
for textured wallpaper, better use dynamic paint.

you were intuitively close to the answer with vertex groups with proportional editing.
what was just missing to you was dynamic paint.
and perhaps “arrays” and “curve” modifiers.

Exactly, that was the reason why I got confused. I think this method is good to move the end of the cloth, but not much to unroll it.

Well, you said that the unrolling wasn’t necessary because one wouldnt notice.

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Excellent! Thank you for the insights. I will go step by step to understand this method.
I never use the dynamic paint, looks great.

I found an approach (before your answer) that helped me to do it with the cloth modifier and some hooks, plus the “Vertex Weight Mix” modifier. Honestly I do not have a clue of what that modifier does, but worked really well.
If you are curious here is the video

Thanks so much for so many insights,

The problem with clothes object , in my opinion, is that it’s heavy and unpredictable. I prefer “Artifices” more tweakable and in a really short time. But perhaps for your needs the clothe’s solution matchs in a better way.

I think you are totally right. I was lucky and with minor tweaks it looks kind of good, although your method/file…behaves closer to a sticker than a cloth, and that is more suitable. I probably switch to your method. I am not sure why there is a bump in the surface before the roll, I am guessing has to do with the shrink wrap modifier influence?

to avoid that, you have to rotate the curve’s vertices in edit mode and play with the Dynamic paint brush distance.

and if you need to make something like clothes, you can also add a displace modifier using the same weight group to deform the plane.


This is so so useful, I really appreciate

play with the x last keyframe for the plane in curve editor to make it stays at the same place during animation.
and if you want to smooth the bending you can also add a smooth modifier at the end of modifier list, but it will shrink a little bit your mesh.
or tweeking the geometry of the brush object to make his top polygon higher
here is an updated version:
Taper_Roll_01.blend (815.2 KB)

of course if it’s for textile, normally, humans putt the roll upside down, it’s more easy to unroll it. :wink:

No needs of weight paint.
the more elegant style is only with a curve and modifiers.
working perfectly with UV also.
it was so simple…every time. i’m complicating stuffs. lol
Taper_Roll_02.blend (2.6 MB)

Ok I am definitively give a try to your method. I will adapt it to my geometry and see how it goes.
I might comeback to ask you something, hope its ok.

The cloth physics drove my nuts, now started to fail completely, I just changed the location of my empty in order to unroll it for longer periods and the mesh gets crazy. I downloaded 2,82 and behaves different, worst. I think you were right, the cloth physics are really unpredictable and buggy.