What is Flex? 
is a deformation effect that allows you to bend, squeeze, mold, or twist an object using a spline.  It is fully animatable.  Think if it as using a spline instead of bones.

Why do I want it?
is a very powerful and useful tool.  You can use it to animate things like snakes, rope, and  tentacles.  You can also create a shape and move your object along it.

How do I set up a Flex curve?
          1) Select the object.

2) Go to the Setup tab and select Flex from the Add block on the Items sub-tab, then click on the button.

3) On the Curve block, click on Add Point (to make one point), or turn on Point Add (to let you add points by clicking in the World View).  Use the other buttons as necessary.  For more information about this panel, click here.

4) Once the points are all set up, exit the setup mode by clicking onto one of the other main tabs (like Animate).

Note: You may need to flip the character and the effect.  If the character turned upside down when you turned the effect on, just select the effect and set its bank to 180.  Then select the character object and set its bank to 180 also.

Setup mode:
mode is where you create the Flex Curve and perform all of the setup.  What you are doing here is creating the Curve points and adjusting their "rest position."  In other words, the position they're in without any animation--their default position.

Thanks to Setup, you can set up a character, do some animation, then go back and make changes to the points without losing any of the animation.  You can even animate an object, then replace it with one of a different size, go in and re-position the points to fit, and still retain all of the animation! 

What else do I need to know?
Your characters should be modeled facing toward the - Z (negative Z).  Take a look at the
             difference between Wormler_LowRes.lwo and Wormler_LowResB.lwo to see the difference.

This is a top view.  The object on
the left is facing in the +Z direction,
and the one of the right is facing in
the -Z direction (correct).

          2) Flex points should only be placed along the z axis.  In other words, if you wanted to put Flex
             onto a human character, the object would have to be saved out of modeler in a lying down position.

Additional Information:
There are three blocks in Setup that associated with Flex.  They are:  Curve, Curve Options, and Point.

There is a 7 minute Flex video on our web site.  Here are the links:  Real Player (8.5mb)   Windows Media (9mb)   DivX (13.5mb)

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