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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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Toothpaste Animation

Step 1
Load the scene toothpaste.scn from the cover CD. Select the null called tube, click Animate>Create>Path>Set Path and pick the toothpaste_curve. In the Path Constrain PPG set the Y offset to about –0.5. Select the toothpaste object and apply a bend deformer. Change the Axis to X Axis, set the Bend Direction to –90 and lower the Radius to about 1. Lock the PPG in place by clicking on the lock icon.

Step 2
With the toothpaste still selected click Modify>Deform>By Curve and pick the toothpaste_curve. Change the Axis to X Axis and set the Translation Along Curve to 6.5. Go back to the Bend PPG, set the offset along the X axis to –7.5 and click on the animation icon next to it to set a keyframe. Now, move to frame 100 and change the offset to 6.5 and set another keyframe

Step 3
Select Modify>Poly.Mesh>Knife Tool, draw a line across the toothpaste in the top viewport. Click Ctrl + End to open thw PPG. Check the Delete Polys Above and click on the Create Grid And Connect button. With the grid selected click Transform>Match All Transforms and pick the tube null. Next, click the Parent button in the constrain panel and select the tube null with the middle mouse button.
The project files used in this tutorial can be found at:

Quick tip
To gain further control of the tubes animation, you can activate the Up Vector in the Path Constrain PPG, giving it a more natural movement.