CV-Splines: Hanging Wires, Chains, and Arches with CV-Splines 3.0

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Instructor Donovan Keith

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  • Duration: 04:14
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CV-Splines 3.0 introduces two new spline generator objects:

1. **CV-Catenary**: allows you to easily create hanging wires, ropes, and cables.
2. **CV-CrossStitch**: allows you to draw connecting lines between objects in a hierarchy or between MoGraph Clones and manually specified connection points.



CV-Splines 3.0 introduces two new objects, CV-Catenary and CV-CrossStitch. The combination of these two objects allow you to create really beautiful hanging wires, ropes, and chains. All of this is based on something called a catenary curve, which is the shape that you see when something flexible is suspended between two points, and this is where CV-Splines comes to the rescue. I'm just going to go ahead and sketch out a few different line segments here, and maybe even something like the zig zag. And I'm now going to add a catenary spline object to my scene, and I'm going to make my spline a child of the catenary spline. And now, what you'll see is we are getting a hanging version of those shapes that is properly lined with gravity. You can even adjust the amount of sag, variation between these different shapes, and if you want, you can even reverse them and turn them into arches. So, how would you apply this in a more concrete example, like, say, this electrical tower? How would we string wires between our objects? Well, you could certainly duplicate this. Take your spline tools, take advantage of snapping, and draw out your wires like this. Totally workable method and probably the recommended method when you're working with just a few objects. However, what happens when you start trying to make more than one copy of your tower? Things are going to get a little bit more tedious, especially if you add in rotation. Well, let's go ahead and do that. I'm going to go ahead and add a cloner object, and I'm going to clone this out on the Z axis, and I'm even going to add in a little bit of rotation, which would mean that I'd really have to hand-draw all of these normally. But with CV-Splines, I can now add what's called a CV-CrossStitch spline. And this object is looking for a hierarchy or a cloner. So, I'm just going to drag in a cloner, and you'll see that it has now drawn a line between each of the positions of my clones. But that's not quite what we want. What we want is a line connecting each of these sort of hanging elements. So in order to do that, I'm going to take advantage of this sub group option, and in here, I've got an object called hangers. I'm just going to drag that into my sub group. And what you'll notice is that there is now a line stitching together each of these child objects. And if I wanted, just for fun, I could, for example, duplicate this over and now I've got, I don't know, triple wires down here on the bottom. So, I now have lines that are connecting all of these objects, and that will dynamically adjust as I change the amount of movement, the amount of rotation, any of these things. Now, to turn them into hanging wires, it's just as simple as adding a CV-Catenary spline. So, I'm just going to hold down Alt or Option as I add this, and I now have my nice hanging wires. I can adjust the amount of sag to something a little bit more reasonable, and you can even adjust the amount of variation that happens for each of these. If you don't like the shapes, just change your seed values and you'll get different arrangements for your wires. Now to give this a little bit of thickness, I'm going to come in and just choose CV-Sweep Splines and scale down the resulting shape, and I now have a nice looking set of electrical towers. All right. That's CV-Splines 3.0, adding a catenary and cross-stitch spline to your toolkit.
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