View Full Version : How to use the bend deformer?

11 November 2008, 10:27 AM

When I am in max, and apply a Bend modifier, it's simple and it's speaks for itself. However, trying to use the Bend deformer/modifier in XSI 7 just completely doesn't make any sense.

Let's start at the basics. I have a straight pipe with X segments. And I want to bend it so it will have a U shape. Simple. Well, not really. I am adjusting all the parameters left and right but it doesn't resemble anything like in max. It's pretty much doing anything BUT bending the pipe.

Googled "xsi +bend +deformer" but doesn't turn up any simple subject on the matter.

So the question is, what am I missing here on this simple subject?


11 November 2008, 11:13 AM

Install this. It will make sense then. :)

11 November 2008, 11:36 AM
Thanks, I've actually seen that before during my searches and didn't install it thinking, here I am with a new program I'm trying to learn, and a first thing I have to do is install a script/extension (whatever) in order to get a functionalty working. I love things like that. I mean, I've heard so many great things about XSI, and now I don't even know how to render in the program - yet, but already installing a script, otherwise the bend don't work. That's great.

Don't worry vauric I am not flaming about your post/recommendation - I appreciate that - I am just little edgy about why would I need a script to do a simple thing that most 3d programs do anyway - without installing a script.

So my question is, then, how does the bend work without installing a script? Even in the help file it shows a hat being bent using the deformer. So apparently there is a way to decently use this thing. I just have no clue how.

11 November 2008, 11:50 AM
I agree with this actually. I've been using xsi for ages and the amount of times I've wanted to bend something is quite high. I often end up using other methods as it's such a fiddly deformer. The MAX one (I was used to it too) seems more intuitive. Maybe I should try putting one together in ICE when I get the time. In fact, if you have V7 already you might find there's a bend compound available somewhere on the net, perhaps on the softimage community forums.

11 November 2008, 12:34 PM
No worries, I completely agree the default bend deformer is annoying.

Thats why I use agbend. wasnt sure if you d found it. Im sure we ll see a good one working in the future with ICE.

XSI is not perfect, but it does a lot of things very well.

Im not sure, but maybe for the default bend to work properly, the mesh needs to be at the origin? I havnt used it much tho.

11 November 2008, 05:03 PM
A lot of the deformers need you to freeze parts of your SRT first to work correctly- at least in my experience. Make sure to also place the center of your object at the base from which you bend. You can do this in the deformer, but it can become even less intuitive to use once you've already SRT an object several times and it dose not have a nice neat point at 0,0,0 for the base of your bend (like if it's rotated 43.4,30,29 degrees and at 234,2,342).

The fact that radius and degree are so interdependent makes it even more complicated...

Also- the direction degree is placed first- which IMHO is wrong as a new user goes in and often messes with the first setting first- that should be LAST- infact I'd switch the over all order to Axis, Offset, Amplitude, Then the bend degrees if I were to re-organize the PPG.

The bend tool is WAY more complicated than need be for 99% of bend operations IMHO. Luckly there are a number of ways to "bend" something in XSI- like deform by curve etc., but nothing quite like other programs until you install some plugs or make an ICE tree for it.

On a side note: for those other 1% of times when you need all the functions animated it can produce some really interesting animations etc.

11 November 2008, 05:17 PM
So just to clarify I work with the bend tool in this order:

1 If you can (AKA it's not an animated object) put the center at the center base point of your object.

2 Make sure you've freezed out your scaling.

3 Apply the bend deformer - DO NOT TOUCH THE BEND DIRECTION. Change the Axis if needed (often this is NOT needed).

4 Adjust the radius setting until you can see your that most of your objects points are effected. THEN go and change the angle. Imagine these settings as if your object is getting wrapped around a sphere or circle and it will make more sense. Keep adjusting these in smaller degrees until you have your bend you want.

5 Now either rotate your object into place manually OR use the Bend direction setting to swing it around.

Not saying this is a perfect work flow etc. but it's how I use the bend tool.

11 November 2008, 07:59 AM
Hey thanks for the xplanation mocaw! That was really helpful. I had no clue that I am supposed to freeze the scaling before I do the bend. That was the culprit that threw me off.

11 November 2008, 12:23 AM
Yeah, many of these things exists for a reason in XSI, but I'm not going to pretend I know that reason! When in doubt...freeze scaling out! (which is different than freezing the stack...)

This, as you might have noticed, alters/corrects your polygons normals too...

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11 November 2008, 12:23 AM
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