Rigging a tentacle (IK spline twist)

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Old 09 September 2013   #1
Rigging a tentacle (IK spline twist)

Hello!

I've got a squid tentacle that I'm rigging, and I've set up joints, an IK spline to drive them, clusters to drive the spline and controllers to drive the cluster - All the basic things. Now comes the challenge. In order for the tentacle to deform realistically and be able to articulate properly, it needs to be able to spin around it's midpoint, so to speak, and twist freely at any point along the arm. I'll need each cluster to rotate it's corresponding joints, probably. How do I do this?
 
Old 09 September 2013   #2
An IK Spline only twists at his ends, not in the middle. If you want to achieve this, you have 2 options :
1. a chain of multiple short ik splines instead of a single one.
2. attaching your joints to a nurbs surface, and control your nurbs with clusters.

I'd go for the 2nd option.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #3
The nurbs approach seems to be the way to go, from the research I've done online. Would you happen to have a tutorial on it? I'm not a good rigger (yet!) so I'll need a bit more help :|
 
Old 09 September 2013   #4
I don't have a tutorial about this but it's pretty simple. I guess you know how to build a nurbs surface, you know how to create clusters too, then you just need something like this : http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/script/rivet-ex
to create your rivets along the surface, then simply parent your joints to those rivets and you're done.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #5
Finally, I sorted it out using two separate joint chains, one driven by an IK spline and a second one parent constrained to the first one in all channels except the one that let's it twist around it's axis, which I orient constrained to my controllers. Thanks for the help, even if I didn't use your solution. The more you know... *play jingle* (and all that)
 
Old 09 September 2013   #6
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