I'm looking to solve a challenge using tools native to Max8.0 or Max9.0. Essentially I want to have a swarm (maybe 200-300 elements) of worm-like critters travel over a mound-like surface in the same general direction. There's to be a certain amount of variety in their forms - some thicker, some longer, different colors, etc.
also some randomness in thier paths and speed - some of the worms undulate, while others move relatively straight across the surface - something like the wild boar creature sequences in Princess Mononoke.
Right now i'm not sure if it makes more sense to use a particle flow solution ('chase' and surface deform/conform) - or to get into crowd simulations. Perhaps the solution lies in a composite of both methods. Time is an issue (i need to deliver by the end of November and it's an eveniong/weekend kind of gig) - I have next to no experience with either method.
Can I use a particle simultaion to keep the head of each worm stuck to the mound's geometry as it moves along, while the tail flutters behind via a ripple or noise deformation? If so, how might this be accomplished?
any guiding word would be fantastic.