Logic Gadgets: String

Icon string
Name of gadget String
Section Connectors
Number of Tweak pages 1 (of 4 linear connector types)
Author LadylexUK, QuietlyWrong
Last updated 27 June 2019 [EA v1.04]

Description

A String connector links two objects together in a very simple way. Connect one end to the “parent” object, then the other end to the “child” object and now when one tries to move further than the string’s length away from the other, it will attempt to drag it along. If one object is not moveable, it will effectively prevent the other from moving further away than the string’s length.

The connector doesn’t work exactly like a real piece of string – like all connectors, it has no physical presence in the Scene so you can’t wrap it around anything or knot it. In fact it won’t curve at all – in edit mode, Dreams just shows it to you as a straight line between the parent and child gizmos, regardless of how much “slack” there is in it.

Once the string is in place, you can can grab the parent to move the connected items as a whole. You can also grab the gizmos at the ends of the connector and reposition these – once they have been assigned to the parent and child objects they don’t even have to be touching those targets! They will act as the pivot points for the string so should be placed in accordance with how you want the objects to move together (unlike most other connectors, where the placement is less critical). When the string itself is selected, a draggable blue gizmo appears at the child end – you can drag this to change the string’s maximum length:

String connector

String doesn’t prevent rotation (unlike the piston and slider connectors), so provides a good way to make pendulums, wrecking balls, christmas ornaments hanging from the tree – just so long as you need a little physical movement (otherwise you don’t really need a connector).

Example Tutorial (adapted from Media Molecule)

  1. Stamp a shape into your scene.
  2. Stamp another shape into your scene as a new sculpture.
  3. Select string from the gadget menu and connect the two shapes together.
  4. Start time, now grab the parent object with the imp and move it around – the child should swing and spin around beneath! Could you combine a few shapes to make a simple hanging mobile to decorate an infant’s cradle?

Tweak Menus

String tweaks
  1. Connector Type
  2. Tightness
    2a. Input
    2b. Output
  3. Max Length
    3a. Input
    3b. Output
  4. Collide with Connected
    4a. Input
    4b. Output
  5. Connector Completion
    5b. Output
  6. Power
  1. Connector Type
    Here you can change the type of linear connector without having to create a new one; the same connection points between parent and child will be maintained.

  2. Tightness
    The sring connector’s tightness setting is a measure of how “stiff” the string is. At 0% there is no resistance from the connector itself, it will merely prevent the child from moving beyond the max length distance from the parent. At 100% the string is all but rigid, allowing no relative movement between the two connected objects.
  3. Max Length
    Define the maximum length of the string – the furthest distance that can be adopted between its parent and child gizmos. By default this is the distance between the parent and child at the time the string was created.
  4. Collide with Connected
    Toggle this to permit or prevent collisions between the child and parent objects when they come together. When this is switched off, the child and parent will pass through each other regardless of their respective collision settings. When switched on, the objects will behave as normal – colliding if they are configured to do so.
  5. Connector Completion
    This output provides a value from 0 to 1 as the child obejct moves further from the parent object, with an output of 1 at maximum length.
  6. Power
    The power input for the string retains the connection but disables the outputs. It also reduces the tightness to 0%.

 

Connectors – common properties (click arrow to reveal)

All connectors are completely invisible in play mode. Even the appearance of the connector in edit mode will depend on the current “Show/Hide” settings (there is a specific option for connectors) or whether you’re working on it now. Similarly the “connector” itself has no physicality. So if you want a connection to appear in your scene, or for objects to bounce off it (for example) you will have to create a separate decorative element in addition to the gadget itself.

With most connectors it is important to connect the two sculptures in the right order – connect the (larger yellow) gizmo to the parent first, then (the smaller blue gizmo) to the child. Flip Selected ConnectorsIf you ever need a quick way to switch the parent and child relationship, select the connector and click on the “Flip Selected Connectors” icon in the context menu.

When you complete the connection you’ll find that, even in edit mode, the imp can no longer move the child in an unconstrained way – it is limited by the connector’s range. Instead you have to move the parent itself and the child will follow.

If you want to move the child independently, hover the imp tip over the child object and press the triangle button (“Reposition connectors”) on your controller. In this mode the ends of the connector will start glowing and you’ll be able to reposition the child object freely. Press circle to exit this mode.

Reposition connectors

Never connect two sculptures with multiple connectors. Similarly, never make connections in a loop. Such connections are considered invalid in Dreams and will behave unpredictably, if at all (and may even affect your Scene’s performance). When invalid connections are made, the whole connector will turn blue to highlight it (see in the red ovals added to the image here):

Invalid connectors

Connectors only work with sculptures. To connect paintings you have to cheat a little and include an invisible sculpture in a group with the painting. Then the connector can be attached to the group.

 

Lex Tips

Useful Tutorials

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