Here are 3 videos that will show you tha basic procedures for creating, editing and animating your path deformed meshes with TurboSplines 3dsmax script.
This video will show you how to use the tools in the Creation section to quickly make path deformed meshes.
- Load your paths
- Use different mesh types (cylinder, box, capsule, ribbon, custom profile, custom mesh)
- Create multiple meshes per path
- Add extra features to your meshes: Taper, Tip, Slice start/end
This video shows how to use the tools in the Edition section.
- Change basic parameters (radius, sides, segments, height)
- Edit and animate Path Deform properties
- Copy/Paste parameters between meshes
- Apply variation to get a more appealing look.
This video shows how to use the tools in the Animation section.
- Set Animation type: move, grow, reveal
- Configure Animation start and length
- Apply Offset and set animations order
- Adjust Path Percent values
- Set an Easing
For further information about TurboSplines, please check out the other tutorials or go to the TurboSplines Manual.
Welcome to the wonderful world of TurboSplines! 😉
With this quick start tutorial you will learn how to work with this script and begin to familiarize yourself with its tools. For that, we will create a simple scene with some growing splines.
You can access the following image from TurboSplines Help section, clicking the Quick Start Tutorial button.
The instructions in the image guides you through the typical steps required to create a “growing splines” animation.
These are basically the steps to follow, even simpler:
- Draw or prepare your splines (they will work as paths for Path Deform modifiers)
- On TS Creation section, go to Source Paths area and load your paths. They will be listed there.
(The steps 3 and 4 in the image are not necessary for this example, but you can do them to learn a little more about TurboSplines tools)
- Press (RE)BUILD GEOMETRY button. This will create one path-deformed cylinder for every spline. They will look the same as if you created renderable splines. The big difference is this way you can make them grow!
- Go to TS Edition section and change the Radius parameter to adjust the width of your meshes as desired.
- Go to TS Animation section and change Animation Type to GROW (stretch).
- Finally, press CREATE/MODIFY ANIMATION button (at the bottom of the section).
Now play your animation and you will see your cables growing.
This is just a quick sample of the power of TurboSplines. Play a while with all the script parameters and you will be able to make your scene and animation as complex as you like.
Maybe at some point of this tutorial you wondered this: why can’t I directly animate my renderable splines??
Well, here’s a good news: you can! 🙂
The porpose of this tutorial was to show you an overview of TurboSplines’ workflow, but if you only need to make growing splines, there’s an extremely simple way to do that:
- Just start directly with your renderable splines.
- With your splines selected, go to the TS Tools section and press Convert from Renderable Splines.
- Go to TS Animation section, set the Animation Type to GROW and finally press the big button at the bottom to create the animation.
You we’ll get the same result in less steps, leaving to the script only the animation part. Then you can modify the meshes with TurboSplines since they will be now TS meshes.
We hope you enjoyed TurboSplines. Check out the other tutorials and videos for further learning.
Here’s a video showing a quick overview of the most important tools in Spline Cleaner for removing excessive vertices form your spline curves: Optimize, Normalize and Reduce Vertices.
Visit our SplineDynamics channel on Youtube for more videos.
Here are 2 videos showing a quick overview of Spline Cleaner’s filters tool and the Splines Info Dialog.
Using Filters: take a look at how to select, attach, detach or delete spline curves in a smart and fast way with this great tool.
Fixing spline errors: Discover how to use the Splines Info Dialog to interactively get useful data from your splines and monitor their changes. Learn to make an error diagnosis and resolve the most common errors that splines could have.
Visit our SplineDynamics channel on Youtube for more videos.
Welcome to Spline Cleaner, a set of powerful tools for cleaning, repairing and organizing spline curves in Autodesk 3ds Max!
2. A dialog called “Software Activation” pops-up. Enter your license key in the text field. (You received 2 license keys by email when you purchased the product).
3. If the license key is correct, Spline Cleaner will start.
4. To add the script to a toolbar, go to the Menu > Customize > Customize user interface…
5. Go to the “Toolbars” tab and pick the category “Spline Dynamics”.
6. The script’s name, “Spline Cleaner”, must be listed there. Just drag it onto a toolbar and you’re done!
SPLINES INFO DIALOG
This script comes with an interactive tool called the Splines Info Dialog, wich displays very useful information about the selected shapes/splines.
We strongly recommend you to keep this dialog open everytime you manipulate spline curves to have an instant feedback about their changes.
- Draw some splines and shapes in your 3dsMax scene.
- Convert them all to Editable Spline (most of Spline Cleaner operations requiere Editable Splines to work. Otherwise you’ll get a warning message)
- Select the splines and open Splines Info Dialog (the topmost button).
- You’ll see there all the splines info: no. of shapes selected, no. of splines, segments, vertices, spline length, and more.
- Click the button Show/Hide Vertex Ticks to display all the spline vertices/knots.
- Make changes to the splines, add, delete and move vertices. Then re-select the splines or change the selection to update the splines info.
This tool can also make a diagnosis of possible errors on your splines, such as overlapping duplicates, double splines, overlapping vertices and empty shapes.
TOOLS, ROLLOUTS & QUICK HELP
If you scroll down the script’s interface (UI), you’ll see there are more tools and other rollouts.
The main tools are in the first rollout. In the rollout named More Tools there are some complementary tools, such as Flatten Splines.
In the rollout Basic Parameters, you will be able to change the basic parameters of all the selected splines at once. Try it!
On the right of every tool’s title there’s a question mark icon. When you place the mouse pointer over this icon, a tooltip with help appears. If you click it, in most of the cases, a dialog pops-up showing an extended help.
To start trying the script, you can play arming and disarming shapes with many splines. You can do it very fast with Spline Cleaner.
Draw some shapes and splines and create some duplicates to have a bunch of curves. Use the tools Splines Info Dialog, Attach Selected, Explode and Weld Vertices to see how powerful this script is.
We hope you enjoyed Spline Cleaner. Check for more tutorials on this site!
The goal of this tutorial is to make an animal, recreating its volume using helical splines. In this case, we chose to do a goat but you can pick any animal you like.
To accomplish that, you should first search for reference images on the web to observe the volume of the animal body. Then, find or make a vector drawing of the profile of the animal in a pose you like. (Here’s the silhouette of the jumping goat to download).
Open 3dsMax and create a plane with this last image in the front view to use as reference.
Next, you should draw spline curves along the center of the silhouette. One curve for the body and head, one curve for each limb and another curve for each of the appendices (tail, horns, antennas, etc.). See the image below.
(In this example, we only needed to draw 4 curves).
Now run SuperHelix to start creating the helical splines.
Hide all curves, except the one for the body, to have a cleaner view.
In Superhelix, create a simple gizmo with the “Basic Spring” default preset.
Then, click “Pick Custom Path” button and select the body curve. The main path of the gizmo is replaced for a copy of the selected curve.
Now click on “Move to path” to align the gizmo to the current curve.
Next, you need to create sections along the main path of the gizmo, as if you were placing scale keyframes along an extrusion path.
Tick the checkbox named “Add one section per vertex”. This will help you make things faster.
Then click “Add Section”. One section circle is created at every knot of the curve.
Adjust the scale and rotation of every section to adjust them to the body shape and “flow”.
Now click “MAKE HELIX” to see how the resulting helix looks like.
Smile! You almost have the body ready. 🙂
Try varying the thikness of the spline (at the Display/Options rollout) untill you are happy with it.
At this point you’ve probably got the idea of how to continue.
Just repeat the same procedure for all the parts of the animal with the curves you drew. This way you will build all the gizmos you need to generate the splines.
Note for users of SuperHelix Free version:
The Free version can handle only up to 3 gizmos at a time per scene. So, if you need to create more than 3 gizmos, like in this case, do the following:
1. Once you have your first 3 gizmos ready, select them by their layers into the layer manager, and then save the selection to a new .max file.
2. Then, delete them from scene.
This way you are ready to start creating new gizmos and all your gizmos will be saved for future edition.
If you need to do this frequently, consider to purchase SuperHelix Pro for a very affordable price.
For creating limbs in pairs (for example, for legs and arms), you only need to have one gizmo ready and then duplicate it with the “Duplicate current gizmo” button. It is located below “CREATE GIZMO” and named “DD”.
You can move, rotate or scale the gizmos using the point helper of each gizmo (displayed as a box).
You can also perform a non-uniform scale on section circles to have a better look on joints or other parts.
Make final adjustments. Try changing the number of turns and the spline thikness. Check the volume and flow in general.
That’s all for now!
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
You can post your comments bellow or at the users forums.
We want to see your amazing work with SuperHelix. Post your images or send us your renders if you want us to publish them in our Image Gallery.
Here’s a clear explanation of Presets and The Gizmo in SuperHelix, extracted from the script manual.
To start using SuperHelix you need to create a gizmo.
The SuperHelix gizmo controls the shape and volume of the resulting helix spline.
Due to the complex procedures that SuperHelix script performs, the user cannot see the resulting splines interactively. So, to give the user a live preview of the result, the script uses a control gizmo. This a great advantage because it shows a very simple representation of what can be a very complex spline.
The gizmo include 3 type of components:
Root helper (a cyan point helper displayed as a box)
It controls the position, rotation and scale of the whole gizmo.
Main path (green central spline)
It’s the “spine bone” of the helix. Indicates how the helix flows through space.
Sections (one or more yellow circles around the main path)
They control the variation of volume and torsion at different parts of the helix.
The 3 type of components are simple 3dsMax objects and can be manipulated as so:
For example, you can modify the main path from the Editable Spline parameters, adding more vertices and moving them to change the spline shape. (Although it is preferable to use the “Pick Path” option for working with custom-shaped splines).
You can add or delete circular sections, as well as moving, rotating or scaling them to produce a different shape.
SuperHelix comes with a set of useful Presets. They are a quick way to start and learn this powerful tool.
You may also create and manipulate your own presets.
Every preset stores the values of all parameters in the UI. The default presets also store a uniquely modifed gizmo each one.
These are the Default Presets and their particular gizmos:
Ball of Wool
Every preset was specially built to show the use of one or more parameters in conjunction with a particular gizmo structure.
For example, the presets Ball of Wool and Snail Shell make use of the Absolute Rotation parameter to achieve a kind of spherical volume.
Rope and Fruit Basket show the use of the Clone circularly tool to generate many helical splines around the path of the gizmo.
Chinese Pagoda shows how a low resolution value can be useful to give a geometrical look to the helix.
Take in consideration that the presets are just a set of predefined parameters and modified gizmos, but any gizmo shape and parameter settings can be achieved by starting from the default Basic Spring preset.
Here’s a Quick Start Tutorial to start playing with Presets and the Gizmo