The wild ride in store for this edition is another at the scary end of the park, and surely one of the most ominous of all – Ejection Seat, Slingshot, reverse bungee, whatever you want to call it, it’s evil. Or at least it looks evil to me… I’ve never been on it, don’t be ridiculous.
We had one called Ejector Seat that appeared at the Pleasure Beach in the late 90s – it wasn’t this colourful, mind… in fact it looked old from the get-go and I’m sure had never even seen a lick of paint – but they’ve been around since the mid 70s. It’s an intimate ride, with only two seats in a rather modest gondola. This is attached to two giant arms by elastic cord. When the riders are in place, the gondola is raised by a crane into position, and there’s terrible suspense as the elastic cord strengthens down from the top. Then, the operator would typically yell “HEADS BACK!!!” as if your life depended on it – it probably did, to be fair – and seconds later, you are released and off you go, ejected at horrifying speed into space, and essentially flung around freely until the cords relax and you are lowered back down, very much a changed person. Much like the bungee jumping it tried to compete with, it was not without dangers; I’m sure I heard that passengers had to sign a contract beforehand, saying they know of the risks involved.
The main reason for picking this ride was to experiment with some more of Cinema 4D’s dynamics – I searched for tutorials on actual slingshots as I thought I could then transplant it into the ride. This led me to the Cloth tool, which, it turns out, is excellent! So very simple to achieve results with. The ‘Cloth Belt’ tool is another wonder, and did exactly what I wanted; it allows an object to hold onto a point of a Cloth object, essentially letting it hang. It’d be good for clothes on a washing line…
…or indeed good for our ride. There was a lot of fumbling around with various forces and air resistance and flexibility and too many to name, but it was exciting to see it gradually come together. I made two cords, one for each side – they are ‘belted’ onto the top of the tower and a notch of the gondola. By just moving the gondola around, the cords react dynamically in real-time, which is most enjoyable!
Stills don’t do the dynamics justice, so I rendered a quick video of it bouncing around:
Not the most artistically beautiful of my fairground beasts to date, but surely the most valuable exercise, delving beyond the modelling and starting to look at some of the enviable powers afforded to this program. More soon.