Looping Path Deform animation

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  09 September 2012
Looping Path Deform animation

Hi there.

I've got an object (arrow) animating over a (wobbly) spline using Path Deform (WSM) over 200 frames, from 0 to 100 percent. The spline is not closed, but lets the object move from point A to point B.

Now what I want to do is to let the animation continue its movement at the end of the spline for the entire time my animation runs. So when my object reaches point B (the end of the spline, the 100 percent) I just want the object to "ignore" this, and just continue.

I though I could accomplish this by using Out-of-Range Types >> Relative Repeat, but what this does is that the object will only continue to move forward, but loses the rest of the animation (the wobblyness from the spline). Linear doesn't work either.

I tried converting the animation to keyframes (Motion >> Trajectories) but this doesn't work properly. It creates the keyframes, but it trows the object off the spline (so its starting point is somewhere at -20%, so no wobblyness). I also tried collapsing the animation, but to be honest I am not sure what to do with the received keyframes because the object still seems to be bound to the path (and thus, I can not repeat the motion).

So, I think I need some baking animation solution here, but I can not get the desired results with what I have already tried. Any help would be appreciated.

Greets,
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3D In Your Hands | 3D Visualisatie Bureau
http://www.3dinyourhands.nl (Yes, its dutch)
 
  09 September 2012
Assuming your one loop takes 200 frames, just increase the percent value at the end frame to let's say 1000 (it makes for 5 loops) and move the last keyframe to frame 1000 .

You may also need allow upside down option enabled also, if it turns upside down at the end of each loop.
 
  09 September 2012
Thank you for your answer, but this results in the same problem. The object continues to move, but the moment it leaves the spline it looses its wobblyness.

Due to time pressure I have now copied the spline multiple times to create a longer path, and adjusted the keyframes to keep the timing right. For now this works but I am sure there must be an easier solution.
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3D In Your Hands | 3D Visualisatie Bureau
http://www.3dinyourhands.nl (Yes, its dutch)
 
  09 September 2012
I tested your scene with a simple circle before writing the answer and after your response I start to think your path spline is not closed? just weld the first and last vertex
 
  09 September 2012
Well, if you read my start post I already said my spline is not closed. It is not a circle, its a straight line so the object travels from point A to point B. (Its not completely straight, its more shaped like this:
(
)
(
)
(
etc.
But ofc as one object .

Anyway, my solution doesn't turn out the way I hoped to.
I need a flow of arrows, which I created using particle flow. The problem now, however, is that the particles inherit the motion along the path. Together with the Speed operator this causes problems.

I can turn the Speed operator off, but then I loose the randomness of the Birth of the particles. So still, some kind of baking solution would be best I think.
__________________
3D In Your Hands | 3D Visualisatie Bureau
http://www.3dinyourhands.nl (Yes, its dutch)
 
  09 September 2012
I haven't even seen you're actually doing it with path deform. Infact I tested the looping with path constraint in motion panel. Path deform wouldn't loop even if spline is closed I guess.
May be you can still use the first solution with path constraint?
 
  09 September 2012
Thank you for the tip, but I don't see the advantage of using a Path Constraint in this case because I need the object to deform into the shape of the path. A Path Constraint doesn't let me do that.

Besides that, my biggest problem at this point is not the looping animation (I am satisfied enough with copying the spline multiple times and attach those). But the problem now is to bake this motion into the mesh somehow to properly use it with pFlow. But I am running out of options for a way to do that.
__________________
3D In Your Hands | 3D Visualisatie Bureau
http://www.3dinyourhands.nl (Yes, its dutch)
 
  09 September 2012
Well. Finally found a way to do so using this script.

Somehow you cannot bake motion from a path deform (or constraint). At least I didn't succeed in it. This script allows you to create a point helper at the pivot of your object and bake the animation keys from your object to that.
__________________
3D In Your Hands | 3D Visualisatie Bureau
http://www.3dinyourhands.nl (Yes, its dutch)
 
  09 September 2012
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