Soft body curves continued,

So I was working on these and hand keying the scale. This works well, but I developed a way to autoscale and have it do it automatically. If you will remember from the other page, we create clusters on the goal curve, so that the soft curve and the particles that live on it will want to be where the goal curve is. The clusters allow us to warp and distort them into any shape and make the soft spline and geometry that is bound to it assume what ever shape that we want.

Create a measure distance node and parent the two locators under the first and last cluster in the goal spline. Make note of this initial or rest length. Name the node and locators what you wish and then create a multiply divide node and name that too. Naming is fun : D In the hypershade, connect the distance from this to the input one, then in input two, enter the initial or rest length. (Something to try, I have also been toying with the idea of plugging in the arch length directly from the goal spline its self and skipping the distance tool all together. haven’t tried it though.) Now change the node to divide and open the connection editor. Select the joints that will be driven or are affected by the goal curve in question, put them in the right column, multiplydivide node

in the left, and connect the output to scale X of every joint. This can take a while if you are like me, and a ton of joints.

Once done, you have joint chains that will automatically scale larger or smaller so that you will not have shearing or stretching. Basically you will have dynamic tubes that you don’t have to mess with, unless you want to.

This scaling system is a great trick for lots of things, scaleable arms, legs, spines, french fries if you have the need for growing and shrinking french fries. The possibilities are endless.

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