Maya> modeling>Connecting A Chain To A Curve

Connecting A Chain To A Curve

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This tutorial'll teach you how to make a chain, or a similar object, follow a curve.


Step one - Download the scene Set.mb.

Step two - Go to the Create Joint Tool (on the Animation menu set, Skeleton>joint tool). Create joints for every chain link. Look at the image below. Joints are in yellow.

click to enlarge

Notes On Connecting Something To A Curve

First thing, you've got to make sure its long enough. Always make it a little bit longer; you can always cut it off later. If you're using the sample file in this tutorial, I've cut the chain so it's exactly the right length. Another thing to consider is what type of binding are you going to be using to bind the joints to the chain. There's smooth bind andrigid bind. In this tutorial we'll be using rigid bind. If you're making something like a garden hose, you would use smooth bind.

Connecting The Chain To The Joints

I have connected all the chain links together to be one polygon object so it'll be easier to do this.

Step one - Select you joints, then hold Shift and select your chain, then go to Skin>bind skin>rigid bind.

Setting Up The IK Spline

Yes, normally we'd use this for rigging, but it's also helpful for this situation.

Step one - Go to Skeleton>IK spline handle tool.

Step two - Open the tool settings and uncheck Auto Create Curve.

click to enlarge

Step three - Select the first joint you created, then select the last joint you created, and last, select the curve. The joints should now wrap around the curve, and the chain goes with it.

click to enlarge

Removing The Rig

Unless you want to animate this, most likely you'll want to remove your joints and the IK rig and just leave the positioned chains.

Step one
- Go to Edit>delete all by type>history.

Step two - Select your joints and hit delete. This will delete the IK spline as well. It should leave your chain in the same position.

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