Tag Archives: Joints

Floundering Flag

I was  speaking to my granda about our animation and about the idea of the T-Rex flying a little white flag to symbolise it’s surrender, and he thought it was pretty good. So, I went about trying to make it.

Initially I was going to use nCloth. Everything had appeared to work perfectly well, it was acting like silk and crumpling nicely with the gravity, then I tried to move it.

I still don’t know what I was doing wrong, maybe it was just a bad day to use Maya, but it would not move. Anytime that I tried to move both the flag and the flag pole, only the pole would move. I tried to find out how to fix this and it said about parenting the flag to the pole before adding cloth and then another one said about trying to parent the nucleus of the cloth to the pole, so I was confused and decided to try and find another way.

Initially I started adding joints into since we had just had the lecture on joints, then I figured that I was making this far more complicated than it needed to be. Amy then suggested using a lattice to deform it and I was about to when I clicked onto the deformers tab and saw the wave deformer tool.


I applied that to the flag and ended up with a nice wave, then I played about with the amplitude until I got an proportionate displacement for the size of flag. I then went to animate this by changing the different translate values before realising, that again, I was making this more complicated than it needed to be. So instead of doing that, I simply switched between 0.1 and -0.1 in the amplitude and keyed that at regular intervals to get a good looking movement on the flag.

Then came the fun of animating the swing of the flag. I started off with it rising up unrealistically smoothly from the ground, so then I added a little bit of a stutter I suppose to the movement, making it more clumsy and befitting of our T-Rex character. Once I was satisfied with that, I then had to do the side to side wave. The rotation of the flag pole was fine to do, but the flag itself seemed to detach and pass through the pole for some reason so I had to key the translate values once I had imported into the correct position on the landscape.

Upon Matthew’s suggestion I changed the shape of the flag as the perfect rectangular shape looked rather odd, I had tried to make it look ragged but it didn’t react realistically so I settled for making it off-white and to triangular.

"Ragged Attempt"
“Ragged Attempt”
"Final Result"
“Final Result”


ArtFusion Media School. (2012). How to Create A 3D Waving Flag with Autodesk Maya. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEuzDsZoFvk. Last accessed 26th Apr 2015.

Hermes, M. (2014). Maya tutorial : How to create and animate a flag with nCloth in Maya. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_0pEAevVjY. Last accessed 26th Apr 2015.

TheCGBros. (2011). Maya nCloth Dynamics Tutorial: Creating A Tattered Pirate Flag (Intermediate Level). Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iUX-I1Z-hM. Last accessed 26th Apr 2015.

Wong, T. (2013). Moving nCloth with Model. Available: https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/61/863831. Last accessed 26th Apr 2015.