Throwing rope?


 I infrequently post here, because usually I'm able to find at least a starting point in the forums (thanks!), but I'm really stuck on a particular effect I am trying to achieve, and thought I'd solicit some suggestions.

 What I'm trying to animate here, is a zip-line, or whatever you might call it.  In a nutshell, the idea here is to toss a bundle of rope out of a helicopter, gravity pulls it down, straight, and our fearless commandos zip down and kill the bad guys.  I'm thinking maybe some soft body magic may be the answer here, but I'm not sure how it might be implemented.  I've seen a lot of rope tutorials, but most of them involve coiling rope around a winch, or something similar.  

I've got the tanks, humvees, helicopters, soldiers, and guns - and yet I'm really getting my arse kicked by this rope trick.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Well, you could try reversing the coil method. Have the coil drop down as it rolls off the rope. Or you could try the softbody method and let gravity pull the rope down. This will take some experimenting though. I used this method on my Ogre character to control some chains. I made a soft body strip, anchored on two ends, then parented nulls to vertices along the strip, I then baked a softbody simulation and used the nulls as IK targets for the chains.

Thanks, JetBoy.

I actually got it semi-working with a softbody, and some creative use of wind. If I refined my numbers a bit, I think I could get it working, but as I tweak the ‘concept sketch’ if you will, I’m liking it less and less. Originally, I didn’t like the winch idea, because the idea was ‘toss zip line out helicopter, zip down it’. It just doesn’t look right, though. So I think lowering the commandos down on winches is actually a better solution. I’ll give that a try.


Hey rev - would love to see some renders of what you have at present - then might pm if you don’t mind to discuss a project - see if it interests you

cant help on the rope thingy though - sorry

Here’s a stab at it, not sure if it’s the same thing you tried, but it’s pretty simple with a softbody curve.

I’d like to see what you came up with, rev.j.
Jusy my opinion here but, I think rappelling down the line would look better than a winch. I know if there was going to be someone shooting at me , I would choose rappelling over a winch :slight_smile:

This is a nice example !
I want asking :
How you activated “Use control point weight values” the “W” thing?
I tryed to use vertex group but it not the same … When i try to select the vertex grup the right buton Goal is the dezactivate with the name o vertex group.
I see in this example , you d’ont have vertex grup and not “Rigidity”
Thank you very much.Have a nice day !

Curves can’t use vertex groups. so instead you need to set the weight on the control points. This is a bit hidden. Go into edit mode on the curve, and in the 3D window press N to open the Transform Properties window. That’s where the control point weight is set. Set it to 1 for the topmost control point, and leave it at zero for all the rest, then select that W in the soft body tab.

I set weight with 1.000 the end of rope and this is result ! Thanks i undestended the ideea .
First frame !
And the result , last frame render .

I realize that this thread is old, but I have a question relating to it and am unable to start my own thread.

I have utilized the method described by bugman_2000 to create an extention cord of sorts and I was wondering if there is a way to have one end follow a moving object, one end remain stationary, and the rest behave like a soft body. I made the stationary end by setting the weight of an end vertex to 1 as was instructed, but I cannot figure out the moving end. I feel like if there were a way to make a single vertex a child to an empty that would do the trick but I can’t figure out how to do that.

If it helps you to visualize what I am going for here, I am trying to make a moving object seem like it is plugged into an electrical socket.


I feel like if there were a way to make a single vertex a child to an empty that would do the trick but I can’t figure out how to do that.


Thanks! I think hooks are the way to go. One more question though. I notice that when I hook the last verticie of the curve to an empty and then move the empty it stretches the last segment rather than moving the whole cord. I’m trying to make it look like the slack in the cord is being used. Do I need to use hooks at each verticie of the curve and if so what do I do with the empties they are assigned to?

Are you using softbodies like in the example in this thread? If so, you only need to control the ends of the cord. The soft bodies will handle the other points.

I am using softbodies just like your example. I even tried attaching a hook to the blend file that you posted earlier in the thread and it still doesn’t work correctly. However, I was able to mess with the camera angles to hide the problem so at this point I’m not really concerned with figuring out what needs to be done differently. Thank you so much for you help bugman!

For what it’s worth, here’s more or less what I had in mind. Not sure if it’s what you were after. It’s not perfect, of course, because the rope will extend forever, so something needs to be done to control the block’s fall, but this is just an example.

you could recreate that matrix scene…
this is awesome, but how do i limit the length?..