I'm working on a project and trying to match a rig built in Houdini. Basically, I'm trying to find a way where I can deform a mesh with a spline. Take a look at the photo below to see what I mean. Note the helix wrapped around the cylinder. I would like to find a way where I can deform the helix, and have the helix deformations change the shape of the cylinder. In Houdini, another artist is able to apply a 'radius' to the spline and have it deform only certain points of the cylinder, which is really nice.
The closest thing that I could achieve was turning the spline into a single row of polys and distorting the cylinder with a Mesh Deformer. This got me pretty close, but I'm missing the 'radius" feature that allows me to "weight" the spline's influence on the cylinder.
Note that this is not a Spline Wrap or a Spline Rail, but something different all together.
Happy to answer any questions :-)