View Full Version : Rigging tied ropes, Help Please

12 December 2010, 11:42 AM
Hello :)

I've been trying, for the last week or so, to rig up my sailboat for a project that needs to be done fairly soon. I've tried a bunch of different things but nothing seems to work 100%.

I have a sailboat and need to set up the rope so that animators can easily move them around. I need all of the ropes BUT ONE to just be able to sway fairly decently with whatever actions the animators do, but one of the ropes needs to be able to be animated so that a character can grab onto it and hang off the side of the boat (sort of).
The best thing I've found that works out so far is making a joint chain for each of the rope pieces from snapping to the original curve that the poly extrude rope was extruded from, then making an IK spline on the joint chains, then creating clusters on the necessary control vertexes of the newly created curve from the IK spline, then just attaching controllers to the clusters. The problem that I get from this is that the tops of the splines move freely and detach from the mast of the boat whenever you move the spline. I suppose this was to be expected, but I need the rope to stay attached at both ends when animating. I tried fixing it by adding another joint in the chain and then using paint weights to try and keep the end of the rope from being affected by the spline, but that didn't work. Any suggestions?

I originally planned to just leave the curves that the ropes where extruded on so that they could just animate the control vertexes of the curve (there weren't many), completely bypassing any rigging, but that just seemed like a ridiculous thing to do.

It seems like it should be a very easy thing to set up, but being very dumb when it comes to rigging, I just can't figure out how to do it nicely and EASILY. Again, I don't mean to be a bother, but the simplest solutions are the better ones for me. I'm sure you can see this by looking at my stupid rope rig in the picture and listening to how long the thing took me. Tho to be fair a lot of time was spent re-doing things different ways a bajillion times :)
I may not be very good with rigging lingo and practices, so be gentle, purty please...

Again, any help would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!
I've been trying to figure this stupid thing out for god knows how many hours when I have so many other things I need to work on!

Sorry for the large image! It's of the boat itself with the "rig" I've thrown together, and one without just for visual reference.
Not sure if people care about that sort of thing these days, especially on a site like this...

12 December 2010, 05:02 PM
looks like a good challenge! I suggest trying this MEL script, createDynChain.mel (

12 December 2010, 05:21 PM
In fact there is no wrong way to skin and rig a model. Even choosing the most difficult way is right if it would do the job. Very nice boat by the way...

12 December 2010, 06:48 PM
joel3d - Indeed! Thanks for the link. I was messing around with the script, but couldn't figure out how to move the chain? I tried parent constraining controls to the joints but those wouldn't work. I guess what I'm wondering is how I would attach the chain to the boat and how I would add a control to the chain so that I could pull parts of it around. Or were you thinking I should use this dynamic chain for the ropes that don't really need controls, then do a different set up for the one that does?
I'm no good at this :(
Thanks a bunch tho!

Liman3d - Very true. I would just prefer something more basic, as I'm new to rigging so any bumps I encounter tend to go right over my head. If this were something I was doing just for fun I really wouldn't mind just dinking around on my own more until I figured something out, but because I need to get this thing done soon so that I can hand it off to the animators next quarter (school project), I'd prefer something basic.
Thanks for the compliments :)

12 December 2010, 07:06 PM
In the hopes of making things more clear (not that you guys didn't already understand what I was trying to do), I made a quick picture of what is happening.

Thanks for any help :)

12 December 2010, 08:27 PM
You could try and parent the first bone to the top of the mast and the IK handle to a new locator or nurbs control object.

The new control object would be what the animators would use to more the rope???

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12 December 2010, 08:27 PM
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