View Full Version : HELP: Rigging rope?

04 April 2010, 06:58 PM
Hi guys...

Rigging rope for a tug-a-war between two characters? Keeping in mind it wouldn't always be rigid, so when it slacks off it would adopt the properties of a typical rope! However, IK would perhaps work but if you mix in the fact it is zero-G what happens then?! The rope needs to curl as if suspended when not tight.

What sort of solutions have people done on their travels? Curious to see the different techniques.

Many thanks.


04 April 2010, 07:11 AM
Hi , i think it could benifit u if u do a spline ik driven. By maya dynamic hair and have it clamped to the base and tip which i believe is the default setting anyway. U should get all ur tension etc automatically. If youre looking for how to set this up zeth willie has a great tutorial on vimeo that i think should be helpful. I dnt have the link at hand as im on my mobile, sorry. U can set gravity etc in the force settings which should give u zero g no problem. Hope this helps.

01 January 2011, 07:25 PM
This is an old thread but I just want to post a general response on this so that the idea is out there.

I saw a great director's technical commentary on the Pigeon Impossible DVD that suggested using baked animation simulations to drive the motion of rope.

Rope has three properties. It can be like cloth and wave around when loose, pull taut when tugged, and even stretch/thin up slightly when pulled really hard.

To address this, you should run three different simulations.

1. nCloth with joints simulation. Run some joints through your rope ( A LOT OF JOINTS) and run an nCloth simulation. From here, bake your joint animation out and save it. For added realism, bake out the nCloth simulation as well and you can apply it as a blendshape to your rope later on.

2. Now, with the same joints from before and with nCloth not applied yet, do as martinf430 said and use maya hair and constrain the rope at two ends. Run that simulation out and bake out the rotation values of your joints.

3. Finally, run one last simulation. A simple IK with stretch will do. Make sure that you apply a blendshape to this so that the rope squeezes when it gets really stretched.

Using these three baked animations, you can now use the blendColor node and hook up your xyz rotations to the RGB color inputs of the blendShape and use the blend slider to move between simulations. Do the same thing for joint scale for the stretch and for your blendshapes. Now you can have the rope cloth-like when loose, change the slider when it pulls taut to the taut mode and when it gets stretched move from taut to the stretched animation. A little time put in with some good timing and you have a final animation that looks awesome.

As far as zero G is concerned, Maya hair has properties for this or you can adapt a particle system instead of a hair system (or add a FOURTH simulation for THAT :P). Go wild.

01 January 2011, 08:52 PM
Hey guys... really appreciate the replies here! Korinkite awesome pipeline and one I'm definitely going to play with on my next project (which so happens to require similar attributes to the last job) ...martinf430, thanks for the input - this is exactly what I did and worked pretty well :)

Thanks again for resurrecting a stale thread back to life with some great suggestions! Much appreciated


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01 January 2011, 08:52 PM
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