Making a Simple Rope

I was asked, recently, on the [textures] mailing list whether we could produce a rope texture. I thought about this and realised maybe this could be achieved using IFW Spiral. Here's what I tried.

Step One
The first thing to do is make a rope object so in the modeller select add disk. Select Numeric Entry and set the Segments to 100 the bottom to 0m and the top to 2m. Make sure the cylinder, our rope, is along the X axis and make the XYZ radii all 1 cm. Click on OK and then make the object. To complete the object select Surface from the Polygon tab and call it Rope make the color a ropey brown and click on Smoothing. Once this is done save the object as SimpleRope.lwo.

Step Two
In layout load the SimpleRope.lwo object. Go to the top view and zoom in so that the rope object fills the screen. Select Bones and then Draw Bones. Draw out the first parent bone from the far left of the object towards the right for about 0.5m. The using the Bone Item Properties panel set the following for the parent bone. Position 0m, 0m, 0m; Rotation 90,0,0; Rest Length 20cm. Click on Add Child Bone nine times so that there are bones running along the length of the rope (10 in total). Finally, select each bone and under the Objects Tab make each Bone Active.

Step Three
Bring up the surfacing panel, select the Rope surface and add IFW2_Gradient. Set the shader to Spiral. Go to the Axis Tab for the IFW2_Gradient and set the size to 40mm, 40mm, 40mm for XYZ. Change the Axis to the X Axis. Go to the color options and uncheck all four colors and select the wave type as Scallop. Make sure that the bump is set to 1.0. Also, try adding Dirt from IFW2_Organic to dirty the rope up a bit. Finally, position the object to -1,0,0 so that the rope is in the middle of the scene and save it as BonedRope.lwo and save the scene as BonedRope.lws.

Step Three
The only thing left to do is position the rope, set the scene and render. Also, rather than using bones a morph target can be used instead. In the modeller create a second rope by a rail extrude or manipulating the original rope. Load this into layout and use it a morph target. Remember to check the Morph Surface check box so that the spiral rope pattern is tacked to the surface.

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