How to animate tie a knot?


Hey there,

I have to animate a knot that is tied around two almost orthogonal cylinders. I found a lot of advice how to make a knot, but no tutorial how to animate a cord into a knot. The animation shall be exported as fbx-file to be used in a unity-project. Therefore I can’t just animate the extrusion along a path. So I thought about to use blendshape, to get the job done. To create the blendshapes I try to make an animated cylinder move along a path and duplicate the geometry every view frames.

That’s were the trouble starts. I attach the cylinder to the motion path and make him flow with “Flow path object”. Unfortunatly created lattice twist at least two times on the path. If I use the same path just to build an object it works fine without any twists.

Second problem is, that I have a maximum of 400 lattice divisions that I can use. Sounds a lot, but Maya distributes these even along the path, so that in areas with sharp turns the resolution becomes ugly.

Third problem is that, although I activated local influence, the part of the cylinder, that is not yet on the curve, starts to bend like crazy, as the cylinder moves in on the path.

Maybe there is a solution with a skeleton. Although I have no experience at all with this, I would give it a try, if I could found a good tutorial. Or is there any other solution to get this done, I don’t know yet?