CG Wishlist

Taper Controls In Renderable Splines:

When modeling things like trees or tentacles, it's very common to want to build some long cylindrical structure, and have it reduce in size as it follows the path. For example, in the Extrude Along Spline function in Editable Poly, there's controls for tapering along the extrude. Lofts also have this control, you can affect the size of the shape traveling along the lofted path. I'd like a simplified version of these controls added to the Renderable Spline controls.

You might ask why not use a loft? Simplicity is the answer. To get the same effect with a loft, you need 2 splines and a loft object, so whatever number of tree branches you want will need to be multiplied by 3. Plus, lofts are not maxscript accessible, which makes trying to automate their use impossible.

What I propose is adding two controls to Renderable Splines, a taper control, and a bias control. Taper shows how much smaller the crosssection should be at the end of the spline. So if you're initial size is 20, and you choose a taper of -0.9, that would give you a size of 2 at the end of the spline. Taper's larger than 0 makes the final size bigger. This is indentical to the controls found in the "Extrude Along Spline" option in Editable Poly. Bias defines where along the spline should the taper start. So 0 means it should start immediately from the first knot of the spline, 0.5 means the first half of the spline is unaffected by the taper, and the tapering starts at halfway along the spline.

Now it's way faster to create objects like branches without the need to manage a ton of extra shapes and loft objects...

These functions could also be added to the Renderable Spline Modifier, and the Sweep Modifier.

This site is ©2008 by Neil Blevins, All rights are reserved.
Back to