WoLD Archives Search About Contact

World of Level Design

Tutorials to Becoming the Best Level Designer and Game Environment Artist (since 2008)

Maya: How to Create Spiral Geometry Along the Curve (Works for Wires, Chains and More)

Category: Maya
June 29, 2023

Creating simple wires or cables that follow a curve is simple. You either use Extrude Along the Curve or Sweep Mesh.

But how do you create more complex geometry to follow a curve such as spiral wires or chains?

The answer is to use some of the Maya's animation tools.

Video Tutorial

Step 1: Create a Curve

First you will need to have a curve.

Go to Create > Curve Tools and create a CV or EP Curve.

Draw the curve shape you need. Eventually this will have a spiral wire or chain follow the curve.

Step 2: Create the Geometry

Next create the geometry that will be used for your object. For spiral wires use Helix primitive shape.

Create > Polygon Primitive > Helix:

Define various settings for it in the Inputs:

Make the geometry as lengthy as you need it to fit along the curve. Make it bigger than it needs to be because you can always delete geometry you won't need.

Remember: this will be your final geometry, so make the settings reflect that.

Step 3: Attach to Motion Path

Now we can attach the geometry to the curve.

Select the Curve first and Helix geometry second:

Change to Animation:

Go to Constrain > Motion Paths: Attach to Motion Path Options:

Set the Options to:

  • Time Range: Time Slider
  • Front Axis: Y
  • Up Axis: X

Click Attach.

Move Time Slider to see the geometry follow the path:

Step 4: Flow Path Object

Select the Helix geometry and choose Constrain > Flow Path Object with default settings. Move Time Slider to make the object follow the curve.

There won't be enough divisions so go to Inputs and increase T Divisions:

Step 5: Final Geometry

As long as you still have history on the object, you will be able to adjust the Curve and scrub the Time Slider to change the position of the geometry along the path.

Once done with position, Delete History on the object.

Important: you will have animation tied to the geometry. If you move the Time Slider, the geometry will move as well. If you don't want this, Duplicate the geometry to make it a Static Object.

Delete any hidden extra faces that are inside the object.

Maya Foundation: Home-Study Tutorial Course

This is an advanced modeling technique that requires you to know the basics of Maya modeling. If you want to learn everything you need to get started with Maya Modeling, download this in-depth tutorial home-study course.


Subscribe to receive FREE & Updated "Maya 3D Primer" PDF Guide (200+ pages).

Subscribe and Get a Free Maya 3D Primer PDF Guide

See more about this Free PDF Guides and what you are subscribing to.

Follow WoLD





About World of Level Design

My name is AlexG. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

Read More »

Home Terms of Use/Trademarks/Disclaimers Privacy Policy Donate About Contact

All content on this website is copyrighted ©2008-2024 World of Level Design LLC. All rights reserved.
Duplication and distribution is illegal and strictly prohibited.

World of Level Design LLC is an independent company. World of Level Design website, its tutorials and products are not endorsed, sponsored or approved by any mentioned companies on this website in any way. All content is based on my own personal experimentation, experience and opinion. World of Level Design™ and 11 Day Level Design™ are trademarks of AlexG.

Template powered by w3.css