Hi Arjan Gelderblom,
How was the exploration of the four files?
The correction Deformer was used in the example above, scale down on one axis to 20%, and after the bend process, another one is used to scale that axis up to 500%. In that way the bend deformer had little influence.
You talk about a flat drawing, I got only a very dense high mesh. In one direction you could have used way less subdivisions.
“Was the flat drawing was that OK?” By itself, without thinking about animation: sure, nice mesh, as a minor suggestion it is just too dense from where I look at. Perhaps have a look how simple and clean a hole or rounding can be done with a lower density mesh and SurfaceSudDivision.
Just a thought, typically each process of animation requires a different preparation of the objects. In other words, to just start and hope to get something done later on, limits your options, hence why I showed you the sketch with MoGraph. (Is MoGraph available to you?). For the work with Joints, I would suggest a much lower polygon mesh, and for MoGraph, we would have the need to split things up, as shown. This is what I trying to share with you, so your projects in the future will work more in the way you like.
Nevertheless, here is your file back, and I have sorted, adjusted and added things. Please compare it to your file. Everything is animated, if it doesn’t start already, please press play.
A little bit more correction with four added FFDs.
Just to add the joint based method, here is a sketch.
(The set was mainly based on the function [selected] “Edge To Spline”, and Convert “Spline To Joint, with some manual sorting. This looks a like a lot of work, but it isn’t that much after all.)