Helpers or Bones colliding with a mesh. How would you go about that?

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  03 March 2013
Helpers or Bones colliding with a mesh. How would you go about that?

Hello everyone!

I still consider myself being a Newbie, so it's not uncommon for me having to deal with the question of how to realize a certain idea. Often I have a rough idea of how it could work and after looking up on specific topics, I usually come up with a solution.
However there is this one issue I just can't seem to wrap my head around.

I'd like to bring some automation into my animation and to do that I need some sort of basic collision test for Helpers or any other object for that matter.

For instance I'm working on a character that's basically just a giant mouth on legs. It's supposed to eat stuff, put stuff into its mouth and things like that. But I don't want to manually keyframe his lips every time they wrap around objects to match that object's shape.

Another character has these large fatty areas. I'd like to build a simple grid of bones along those areas and have them constrained to various Spring controllers. But those Springs should react to collisions with other surfaces as well ... for instance if this character gets punched in the belly, I want there to be a bulge and a nice jiggle afterwards. This is something I could animate manually, but I'm just listing examples here.

Or imagine fingers moving along an uneven surface, like another character's face.

I'm basically just looking for a simple way to have Helpers automatically being moved when a certain surface collides with them. I thought about using CAT-muscles instead, but because its deformation is limited to two dimensions, I can only see it work with the fatty character. To some degree I could use it to have the other character's lips move outwards at least, but with the finger-problem it doesn't work at all.

I suppose this is a rather weird request, since I haven't been able to find any pointers about how to tackle this. Or maybe it's just totally obvious and I just missed it =)
Anyway, I would very much appreciate any hints I could then pursue. Maybe it isn't even possible without plugins or a great deal of scripting ... knowing that would be helpful as well.

Thank you very much!
  03 March 2013
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