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Use nCloth to animate a scroll unrolling
Use nCloth to animate a scroll unrolling
rubberviscous, added 2009-03-25 19:28:31 UTC 21,781 views  Rating:
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The first step is to create the profile of the scroll, I will be using Illustrator to do this.

1. Select the spiral tool, use the following settings: Radius: 400px, Decay: 90%, Segments:20

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2. Object -> Path -> Simplify... Check Straight Lines

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3. Save as legacy Illustrator file, I chose version 3 because anything higher wasn't importing into Maya


1. Open new scene, File -> Import, Select Adobe Illustrator as file type

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2. Using the CV Curve tool, draw a straight line. This will serve as the path curve. Now select the spiral and then the line. Surface -> Extrude.

3. In order to use this with nCloth, we need to convert this to a polygon object.


4. Modify -> Convert -> NURBS to Polygons options. Refer to figure 3 for all the settings. These are the only two settings that you need to change, Type: Quads, Tessellation method: General

5. We need to add some more polygons in the U direction for the scroll. Edit Mesh -> Add Divisions, Division in U: 2, Divisions in V: 1. Do this two time.

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6. Now create a cube, and shape it into a pole that the scroll will constrain to. Otherwise the scroll will simply free fall due to gravity.

7. Now smooth the polygon scroll: Mesh -> Smooth. Select all the edges on left and right side of the scroll, extrude. Use your discretion when extruding, the extruded faces will be used to hold the hair system we're adding in later. In polyExtrudeEdge1 panel, under Poly Extrude Edge History, change Z value under Local Translate to -0.099.

8. Make sure the polygon model has a UV layout. This is important since the hair system is dependent on UVs. Use the UV texture Editor to layout the UVs for the scroll.

9. Switch to nCloth mode, select your scroll: nCloth -> Create nCloth.

10. Switch to component mode and select all the points on the top border. Now select the pole: nConstraint -> Transform. The scroll is now constrained to the pole.

11. Select the extruded faces we made earlier. It's time to make some hair. Switch to Dynamics mode: Hair -> Create Hair options. Just ensure At selected points/faces is selected. Now you got fringes for your scroll. You might need to adjust the hair settings in the hairSystemShape attribute, such as attributes in Clump and Hair Shape.

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12. You will need to tweak the settings for the nCloth object. Here are the settings I used:

nClothShape1 settings

Surface Properties

Collide and Self Collide checked

Collision Flag: Edge, Self Collision Flag: VertexEdge

Thickness: 0.3

Self Collide Width Scale: 2

Bounce: 0

Friction: 1

Mass: 10



Tangential Drag:0

Dynamic Properties

Stretch Resistance: 600

Compression Resistance: 800

Bend Resistance: 0.5

Quality Settings

Max Iterations: 500

Max Self Collide Iterations: 10

Trapped Check: checked

Self Trapped Check: checked

Everything else is default

nucleus1 settings

Gravity and Wind

Gravity: 20

Air Density: 1

Wind Speed: 0

Wind Direction: 0,0,0

Scale Attributes

Space Scale: 0.1

12. It's time to see the animation. Make sure the timeline is long enough. I usually set mine to 1000 frames. Select Window -> Playblast. This shows you an accurate version of the dynamic simulation. Take a look at the final animation here: