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Thread: King Cobra Rig

  1. #1

    King Cobra Rig

    Hello, been a member for a while now but first time posting. I'm trying figure out how would rig a King cobra, the type of snake with a "hood" on their head. The easy part is doing the snake body, and mouth using tik and iksplines

    My problem is figuring out how to rig the hood part so that i get the right deformations. the snake hood skin kinda rolls over the edge of the hood flap when he leans his head back and forth

    heres a real world reference:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0efJRHQG0_w

    any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Hi,
    What if you built the snake body in the fully flared position, then used animated lattices to control them in and out?
    At first I was thinking blend shapes, but that could be difficult for the entire snake to be seamless.
    By using a localized lattice at the hood, maybe you could get what you want, or at least a start. Then for any other nuances of movement, maybe rig those portions with bones or control with a deformation control like a bend deformer.

    Does any of that sound helpful?

  3. #3
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    I would recommend muscle custom shapes. You could have the muscle at the squash position flared out and you will get the sliding effect you are looking for. Then use a set driven key to drive the bones, with a custom attribute on the snake body to drive the set driven key.

    If the cobra was modeled in a relaxed pose your good to go, if it was modeled in the aggressive pose, just use shrink wrap on the muscle shape.

    Check out "Intro To Maya Muscle" lesson 18 - "Sliding With Shrink Wrap Enabled"

    I haven't tried it yet, so DT guys correct me if I'm wrong, but you might be able to simply parent the flare with a blendshape and not have to worry about the setDrivenKey and extra bones.
    Last edited by shamusoliver; 03-07-2011 at 10:14 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: King Cobra Rig

    this project is due Friday and I need help, i set up control objects that control cvs of the curve for the spline ik, but i need to be able to make a slither animation, i tried using the animate along path tool but it moves all my control curves to the start of the curve so that they are all on top of each other, i need a way to hold that offset between the controls, kinda like animating a train. If anyone has any suggestions please help. thanks!

    here is a screenshot


  5. #5
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Hi DigitalDave,
    I think a nonlinear sine deformer could get you there quickly. I put together a little demonstration. Hope it helps, looming deadlines are no fun.

    Last edited by shamusoliver; 03-16-2011 at 11:40 AM.

  6. #6

    Re: King Cobra Rig

    thanks shamussoilver, I would use the sine deformer if i was just going to move it in one direction, but for this need to have a custom path made with a a cv curve ive tried attaching the rig to the path but the bones all jump to one spot

  7. #7
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Ok, here we go.

    You can bake the deformation of the sine deformer onto the cvs of the curve. Here's a video regarding that:



    Then you can attach the curve to a motion path, here's a video regarding that:



    Then you can add an extra bend deformer to lift the snake head off the ground easily, here is a video regarding that:

    Last edited by shamusoliver; 03-17-2011 at 12:21 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Hello DigitalDave! There are some great suggestions here! Let me first say that building any rig can be a very in-depth process, so this is obviously going to be a quick and easy solution. That said, here's a quick video of how to set up a rig that, when animated, can give you some nice snake movement. If you want to attach it to a motion path, just attach the global control curve (cc_snake in the attached file) to the motion path. Good luck!


    Here's a link to the Character Rigging for Production in Maya 2011 course that was referenced in the video. You may also find Curve-based Facial Rigging in Maya 2011 helpful. Lastly, here's a link to the final rig from the video in case you want to play with it: snake_rig.zip

  9. #9

    Re: King Cobra Rig

    thanks for all the great help! I will post my animation when its done

  10. #10

    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Hey Everyone! Its been over a week since I finished the project but if anyone wants to see my result I have posted it on my portfolio website.
    http://dl3media.com/?p=131
    thanks again for all your help

  11. #11
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Nice job! I like how you added in the rolls to the body segments as it is moving, looks great.

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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Great work!

  13. #13
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    Great job!! Thanks for sharing your final work!

  14. #14
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    Re: King Cobra Rig

    WOW DigitalDave, that snake is amazing!!!
    Love the ending and the details you got in his mouth and head movement. Great work!

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