View Full Version : how to: objects generating simple "ribbon" trails in layout

03 March 2006, 08:15 PM
any tips much appreciated...

check out these MOVS of some simple titles for a golf/travel TV show I work for...

there's a plane object that leaves a simple "ribbon" trail behind it. i've done that here with lightwave by modeling the trail, animating the plane to match its path then animating masks to reveal the trail in after effects.

i've got a few of these to do, and this process is a little irritating - especially if i want more elaborate paths that weave in and out of other objects like text. i'd like to be able to just animate the plane in layout and have it generate a path based on it's movement, following it around.

i know particles can do this, but to get that crisp ribbon-look i would need a lot of them - which would no doubt slow down the workflow on my powerbook G4...


03 March 2006, 11:04 PM
with plugin trailer (dstorm)
with dynamic strip that are attached to airplane
with strip animated with fertilizer (free plugins)
and many other way.
check on to find these plugins
happy work

03 March 2006, 01:33 AM
I find that I can get great results from the Cloth FX plugin in Object properties / dynamics.

You simply Model a ribbon. Tripple and subdivide so that it has several hundred poly's in all.

Select all the poly's and call it ribbon.

Make a poly that is hair thin at the leading edge of the ribbon. It should be a thin line so it won't show up in the final render. Call it "Clew," a sailing term for the place which a sail is attached.

Open the object in LW. Give it a basic action, have it circle around, or attach it to the airplane. Position it on the first frame so that it is flying correctly.

In object properties select Cloth FX in the dynamics tab.
Here are some good settings.

FIX -select Clew. This tells dynamics that the clew surface you made before is the leading edge and the part which you are holding on to. Otherwise the ribbin will simply fall or blow away.

Etc Preset Silk.

Hit Calculate and away you go. Insta-flappy ribbon.

You can use wind and gravity just like with particles.


03 March 2006, 12:11 PM
thanks guys, good advice.

i tried the trailer plugin - got the trail to follow the object, but it didn't deform itself along the motion path. instead, one end remains attached to the object, the other anchored to the starting point - strecthing as the object moves...

here's the test scene, see if you can figure it out...

fertilizer is a great plugin! been looking for one like it for a while. not quite perfect applied here, as i would still need to model the trail separately, add weight maps then match animation in layout...

going to try the cloth dynamics now.

thanks again,

03 March 2006, 02:49 PM

my trail object was only one poly... once i added more geometry, the trailer plugin was able to deform it along its parent's motion path. this'll work wonderfully.

thanks a bunch!


03 March 2006, 02:59 PM

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