Flying a ribbon around

Hello brilliant minds.

I want to fly a ribbon around the frame.
It needs to come in from out of frame, circle around an object in the middle of frame then exit out of frame. I tried 3d path with 3d text but cant get anything nice. ie wont warp around the curve.

Any suggestions?

Can you build a deform mesh in the shape of the path and then move a ribbon through it?

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Or a simpler version of that would be a giant extended bicubic with the ribbon as a sort of texture within it, but getting any sense of depth on that would be fiddly.

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You said you tried 3D path, but have you tried 3D shape? I think this plus some post render treatment might work ok.

Or better, and more realistic solution — hire a CG guy that specializes in this. Photoreal 3D in Flame is kinda somewhat sometimes decent, but it’s more hassle than it is worth. I would outsource this for the CG, then make it pretty in Flame.


As usual theres no money in this cheap social media spot. The 3d guys I know dont get out of bed for anything less than 1k. I have 1.5k for the whole job. haha

I did manage to get something out of 3d text. The trick was to bunch up a ton of the letter I together.

Heres what I came up with which obviously will need a lot of dressing up.


That’s looking cool John.

Have a look at this tutorial from @Sinan not really a flat ribbon, but there might be something to pull from here.

Talk to @AustinCampbell about 3d ribbons. He’s been around that block.

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@Josh_Laurence was the mastermind behind the ribbon. I just manipulated it :sweat_smile:

It’s been a while but I believe Josh’s ribbon setup went something like this:

  • color source piped into a super wide action (4000x500)

  • created a rectangle gmask in the wide action

  • animated the rectangle moving across the screen

  • dialed motion blur to taste

  • piped the result into another action and used the extended bicubic feature to create the path


Thanks @AustinCampbell, this is exactly what @kirk is talking about! For a client that wants something quick and easy, this is absolutely the way to go. If you’re getting close to it and wanna see the depth of the ribbon, you can take this a step further in Flame with a 3D object and extrusion or head into a 3D program. Blender is free and there are billions of tutorials on YouTube - even some with narration.

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