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Spline Wrap with Dynamics (animating a snake around a sphere)

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Eddy RoseSpline Wrap with Dynamics (animating a snake around a sphere)
by on Jul 19, 2011 at 6:44:31 pm

I'm trying to make a snake that slithers around a sphere. I modeled a snake and used a spline wrap to position it around the sphere, then I offset the spline wrap so it moves.

Only problem is the snake is of varying thicknesses. If the spline is too close to the sphere the fattest segment (the belly) goes right through it,, but if it's too far away the thinner segments (the tail and head) don't touch the surface.

I tried giving the snake object a soft body tag and the sphere a collider tag. The snake can still follow the spline wrap but the soft body allows for the shape to be flexible and pushed out of the sphere. It's far perfect though...I'm sure there's got to be a better way.

Here's a basic version of the project,, please look and tell me what you think, any advice welcome!

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Brian JonesRe: Spline Wrap with Dynamics (animating a snake around a sphere)
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 5:22:02 am

you'd have to move the spline away from the sphere by the amount of the snake's radius at a given point along the snake. Daunting task. I couldn't think of anything else so since the spline wrap want's to center the objects points/polys on the spline, what if you make sure it's flat on one side then double the snake (perfect for the symmetry object) so it lines up right and use an alpha texture to make one part disappear? Maybe there is a way better way but here it is...

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Eddy RoseRe: Spline Wrap with Dynamics (animating a snake around a sphere)
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 7:24:53 am

That's actually pretty crafty,, but I think I just found something even more effective; a Displacer Deformer! Figuring out the set up was a bit tricky but it works something like this for anyone who's interested:

I put a material on Mr.Snake with proximal shader set to respond to the Sphere in the color channel. I then grouped up all the assets for the Snake (including the Spline Wrap) into a Null and gave it a displacement deformer. I then pointed the shading of the deformer to the proximal material, set the object to spherical, set the falloff to spherical and conformed the size and position to my sphere. After a lot tweaking the settings my snake has a nice soft belly that conforms to the shape of the sphere.

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