A while ago I built a script to arrange Christmas lights on a tree. This poses an interesting problem. When cloning objects along a shape in 3dsMax, objects tend to orient themselves in seemingly random ways when the guide shape changes direction. To avoid this, I’ve implemented the approach described here. Recently this same topic came up in a post on CGtalk here. This triggered me to package my scripta little bit neater and share it here.
Christmas and DNA
The script generates strands, circles or spheres along a guide shape. This allows you to create interesting patterns and effects along any guide shape. This includes wires, DNA, wave patterns or Christmas lights.
You can also pick the script apart to get the methods which deal with orienting the objects along the shape, or take a look at the aforementioned CGtalk discussion.
Check out these two interactive 3D models on Verold