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Old 6th February 2008, 12:11 PM   #1
Greasetattoo
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Default replicate along polyline

I think we need a way to replicate a object along a polyline.
I am trying to make a motorcycle chain.
With about 50 links.
Does anyone have a idea on how to do this?
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Old 6th February 2008, 03:05 PM   #2
lisa
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

You could do it by abuse-of-greeble, which works quite well. After seeing tbd's neat-o trick with the bricks, I've been using greebles to build all kinds of things.

1) Make a single link of chain as its own object, and turn it into a custom greeble by putting //CUSTOM_GREEBLE in the object properties.

2) Draw your polyline, keeping each segment of the polyline as close as possible to the length of the link of chain.

3) Extrude the polyline so that it is the width of the chain link as well. You should now have a flat "ribbon" in the shape of your chain. Delete the original polyline, leaving just the ribbon.

4) Select the ribbon and open in the greeble tool. Turn off bevelling, turn on only custom greebles, and set all sizes and percentages to 100% as shown; if you need them bigger to make sure they touch you can even set it beyond 100%. The idea is that you want one, full-size, unrotated greeble on each surface.

(Side note: if you set the tool to leave each greeble in its own object, it will make it easier to go back and tweak the chain later if you want to adjust individual links.)

5) Click the "Create Greebles" button and ta-da, instant chain!
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Old 6th February 2008, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

Thank you, Lisa!
Saved me a lot of time!

I never used greeble, so I may have to get my hands wet!
thanks
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Old 6th February 2008, 03:20 PM   #4
lisa
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

I *love* the greeble tool. It's really good for placing trees on landscapes and that kind of thing, too.
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Old 6th February 2008, 05:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

2.5 hours later....
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Old 6th February 2008, 07:11 PM   #6
lisa
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

Very nice!
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Old 10th March 2008, 11:30 AM   #7
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Angry Re: replicate along polyline

Lisa I need your help, I tried doing the custom greeble technique as explained above, but it wont work for me, I am doing everything you say but whenever I hit create greebles, i get this message!Click image for larger version

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Old 11th March 2008, 04:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

My problem was not typing //CUSTOM_GREEBLE exactly.
using lower case and missing an underscore, doh!

I still get that error, but the greeble works so I'm happy.

I note MrSteve has his object named //CUSTOM_GREEBLE
Not sure if he has his property set right.
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Old 11th March 2008, 08:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

Thanks ham, i was naming the object custom greeble instead of the object date feild its all good now, thanks
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Last edited by MrSteve; 11th March 2008 at 05:29 PM. Reason: wrong person, sorry
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Old 12th March 2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: replicate along polyline

I know what that error probably is... very last part of step #3, "delete the original polyline". Once you extrude, the polyline becomes effectively invisible, so you can't see it, but it's still there running along the edge of the faces.

Since it's a 2D shape, it can't be greebled. If you find the dead shape and delete it (may be easier if you select everything and click the "poly' button above the materials palette), that error should go away.

EDIT: for the curious... leaving the polyline doesn't really hurt anything, it's just wasted polys.
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