When duplicating an object along a curve, how do you minimize or eliminate distortion?
the Curve modifier morphs the local coordinates of whatever object it is applied on to match the sweeping trihedron of the given curve. the modification is applied on a transform level. if you have a circle, the inside will get squeesed, and the outside will get stretched. it’s how the curvature works. it is the purpose of the curve modifier. don’t think of it in terms of the object going along the curve, think of it as distorting space to follow the curve.
the problem arises, of course when trying to pattern an object along a curve (by stacking the curve on top of an array modifier). if you’re making a pipe, this is, of course, exactly what you want. if you’re making a chain or something, then you may notice the elements themselves get distorted. this is normal. there is nothing you can do to prevent this, it’s how it’s supposed to work.
however, if you need to make an undistorted pattern, you want only the positions of your objects to be sampled, and discard all transform information. a clever way to do this is to have a single unsubdivided plane of unit size as your target object, add the array and curve on that, and now instance your desired object on the faces of your plane object. this will keep the position and orientation data (gathered from the normals) but will discard any spacial distortions. if you want to keep the position only, and not the orientation too, use a single vertex instead of a face and instance along vertices instead
Thanks, I eventually found out that information. Unfortunately I do not understand the quirks of moving things from one blender file to another. So I made many test necklaces in a test file and when I wanted to bring them into my actual scene it all went horribly wrong. I had to make them over again from scratch within the final scene. It was quite annoying.
Do you know of any tutorial videos that go DEEP into the quirky things noobs need to know about working with multiple .blend files?