Your online Softimage Educational Resource

The blog has been online for more than 4 years and there’s still not a single post even remotely related to the delicious brew called coffee… Perhaps it will someday, but in the meantime you can read the articles about Softimage. Most of the material are tutorials and Q&As I’ve written for 3D World Magazine sometime between today and 2003. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate sending me an email.

Thanks to Letterbox Animation Studios for hosting all the scene files.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Modeling a Phone Cord

Using separate objects for our deformations ensures that each will be evaluated in the order and

While the phone cord itself isn’t necessarily that complicated, it does show the importance of thinking through the modeling phase before pulling and pushing points around in 3D space. If the deformations are applied in an incorrect order, we stand the risk of getting unwanted distortions in our geometry or in worst case not even achieving the desired result at all.

Start off by drawing a rippling CV Curve in the top viewport, with a length of about 25 units. This will form the general shape (or path) for the cord, so whenever you want to change, or animate for that matter, the flow of the cord; this is the place to do it. To establish the twist for the cord, we’ll need a separate object. From the Primitive>Curve menu, click Spiral and set the Height to 20 units. The radius should remain the same throughout the length, so set both the Start and End Radius to 1. We’ll need way more twirls than the default settings so increase the End Angle to 9000 (adding up to 25 loops) and change the Subdivisions to 100 to smoothen the curve. Any additional effects or modification to the twist or spacing between its loops should be applied to this object.

The final component to create is the actual profile of the cord. In the top viewport, draw a somewhat oval shaped CV Curve (about half a unit across) and from the Modify>Curve click Open/Close to close the curve. With the curve still selected, click Create>Poly.Mesh>Extrusion Along Curve and pick the Spiral curve. Change the Subdivision Type to Absolute and increase the V abs to 200. Next, select the Spiral and click Modify>Deform>by Curve. Pick the path curve and change the deformation Axis to Z-Axis. Select the profile curve again and rotate it along the Y-axis to make it align nicely with the cord. Press the [+] on the numpad on your keyboard to subdivide the mesh, making it smoother. If needed, fine-tune any of the curves and your very own piece of phone cord is then finished.

The project files used in this tutorial can be found at:


Unknown said...

Found it ! you are amazing.

Unknown said...
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