Quick Tip: Duplicate Object Along Curves

You cannot use the “Duplicate” or “Duplicate Special”-tool to duplicate along a curve. We are going to use an animation-tool to get a similar effect.

Step 1

First create your object and the curve.2016-05-06 20_15_26-Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2_ untitled_   ---   pCube1.png

Step 2

Before you duplicate your object, you need to decide how many objects you need. Then you can set the Animation Range from Frame 1 to Frame (2* the count of objects that you need.)

Step 3

Select your object and the curve. Now use Constrain > Motion Paths > Attach to Motion Path. When you play the animation you will see that your object moves along the curve.

Step 4

We need to change the keyframe tangents to linear to distribute the objects evenly over the entire curve.  To do this select your object again and open the Graph Editor (Windows > Animation > Graph Editor). Then select both keys and select “Linear Tangents”.

2016-05-06 20_29_23-Graph Editor.png

Step 5

To create all our objects, select the object and “Visualize > Animation Snapshot (options)” In the options you need to set End Frame to your Animation Range Last Frame and the Increment to 2.

Step 6

Delete the original object and curve.

2016-05-06 20_38_03-Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2_ untitled_   ---   bezier1....png

End Result

2016-05-06 20_38_42-Autodesk Maya 2016 Extension 2_ untitled_   ---   transform1_2...

While this technique is a little cumbersome, it is very flexible and extensible. For example you could add a scale animation prior to creating the snapshot, or add deformers to modify your object prior to duplicating it.