making of: a cassette tape
By benno Wagner.

Introduction:
Decoration

As technology develoops further and further, some objects being used every day by millions of people suddenly become functionless. Then, all of a sudden, they become symbols, artefactos of a certain Episode of time. Thats what happened todo the god old casete. It reminds one of youth, god music, mixtapes, being on the road and hanging around in front of a radio waiting for some special song with your finger on the récord button.

Lets celebrate the memory of this anc estor of all portable audio devices and animate the winding/ unwinding of a casete tape.

Setting up the scene.

First of all, set up a basic Studio-like scene. I wanted the cassette and tape todo be stretched out on white paper. Thus i added a plane and gave it this material: slightly grey colour, no specularity and a procentual marble-texture (noise-dept: 4) afecting the normal value. Two spot-lamps with somewhat old-fashioned buffered shadows, above all a Sun and a Forth Lamp close todo the flor Illuminate everything.

Decoration


No tape without a casete, so lets start with that. First, we ned simple casete-sized box, with a bevel-modifier todo get some rounded corners.

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Enough modelling, lets just add a photographic texture of a casete. I tok a picture of one i found at my parents phono shelf. Pretty retro, hmí.

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As this scene Will mostly be shot from a Bird-perspective, the lak of complexity of the casete doesnt have todo bother us.

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The tape.

Now its time for the tape. First add a Path.

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Grab and move the points and add some new using Control-LMB todo define the Word/ phrase/ symbol you would like todo lay out with tape. Remember: Sharp Edges and crossings are quite unlikely in reality, so better avoid that (Trust me, y made some studies with real tape.

It is useful todo write out the Word without lifting your Pencil of the paper first.

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I picked up the Word mix todo celebrate the ancient tradition of creating elaborated mixtapes. Finally, the endings of the Path should touch the Edge of the casete. Dont forget todo name the Path, like mix.

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Well, thats the Path, now we ned the tape itself. Add a plane and deleete two vértices.

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Select the remainig two and press subdivide (->find it in the editing buttons) about 8 or 10 times. Now with all vértices being selected switch todo front view and extrude them and give them the height of about ¾ of the casete.

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Next, we ned two modifiers. First, add the sub-surf modifier and adjust it as your like. Second, add the curve modifier. Fill in the name of your Path (in my case mix).

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Now, with the Path selected, click on curvestretch in the editing buttons. The result Will be shocking first. Chaotic lines all across the place.

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Thats because somethings wrong with the position of the Mesh-tape object. Select the Mesh-mess and move it along the y-axis until the Mesh perfectly stretches along the Path. You can increase the sub-surf value of the Mesh if it looks somewhat Edgy.

Animating the tape.

Now, everything is set up to begin with animating the scene. First of all, we turn the Path into a Softbody. Select the Path, choose the objects-buttons and than the physics-buttons. There, enable the Softbody-function. Set the friction-value todo 2 and the Gravity todo 0.0 as the tape operates on a plain surface anyway. Finally, disable the use goal option.

Decoration

Next, add an Empty just close todo the endings of the tape, somewhere inside the casete. In object/ physics-buttons, with the Empty selected, choose the Harmonic-field. There, set the strength value todo 0.6 and give damping a 0.6, todo. As fall-of-value, choose 2.1. Active máximum and minimum distance by clicking on the small use-buttons and enter the following values: maxdist: 3.46, mindist: 0.30. You may change those values todo your liking and Even move the harmony-empty around todo find the best settings for your scene.

Decoration

Thats it. Now press Alt+a and watch your laid out tape getting Wind up. You might notice some crazy behaviour of the tape close todo the harmony-empty. Try todo kep this whirling around todo be happening inside the casete. Move the harmony-empty, or change its settings todo handle this issue. You want the tape todo emerge of the casete? Just render your clip. Then, within the Blender sequence editor choose reverse and the tape evolves the other bien round.

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By benno Wagner. www.blenderart.org.