You can use Rebend Deformer to straighten out bent objects, bend and twist them in a different direction, and change their arc lengths -mdash; then easily animate between their original and modified state.
First matchRebend Deformerto your object's original bend curve, then it's easy to set it to a new curve -mdash; altering the angle, length and heading via the twist option.
Rebend Deformer includes a falloff tab to let you limit its effect, and we've included Attach Falloff to Null, a free tag plugin that lets you move the falloff independently of the Curious Animal deformers.
Difference Maps -mdash; the Difference Map tab stores the effect of the Curious Animal deformers on each point into a vertex map. That map can then control the influence of shaders, other deformers and many other effects in Cinema 4D.
In order to work properly, your copy of Rebend Deformer requires:
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