Cloned Animation Not Sticking to Landscape



I want some ants to run around on a surface but I’m having issues with them not sticking to the surface of the landscape. They start out stuck down, but once you press play they fly off and sometimes into and through the landscape.

My setup;

Using C4D Studio R20.

I’ve downloaded a rigged and animated 3D ant, which I’ve then placed in to a cloner (with Random and Time Effectors applied, to make the multiple ants run around randomly).

The ants are running on a landscape object (which is parametric still, but I’ve tried changing it to polygonal and it doesn’t appeared to have made a difference.).

I have a rigid body on the cloner and a collider body on the landscape.

I feel like I’m missing something really obvious… or maybe my setup for achieving this is completely bonkers.

Any ideas?


p.s. I was going to upload a scene file but it won’t let me!


My initial thoughts are:

  1. Don’t use the rigged ant: use a proxy object (like a cuboid) and replace that with the ant model afterwards (you might have to not worry too much about feet touching the ground).
  2. You could try increasing the steps per frame of the sim (careful, higher figures lead to really odd behaviour), and/or deceasing the resolution of the landscape to help simplify it and make it more accurate.
  3. You could probably do it with a particle system, where each particle moves over the landscape surface, and is then linked to the ant model – X-Particles has a tutorial on this subject with a vehicle on a little planet.
  4. You could deform splines across the surface and simply have the ant models follow them. It’s a bit more work as you’ll have to the place the splines, but it’s guaranteed to work, and is more art directable.
  5. Something like this?
  6. Wait until someone cleverer than me gives you the right answer.

(if you ZIP the file will that work?)


To add to @Darth_Mole suggestions, I would also add thickness to your landscape as that is essentially a plane. Planes with no thickness can cause dynamics to act oddly. Either make the landscape editable and extrude for thickness, or if you want to keep it parametric, add Cloth or use Maxon Labs Py-ParametricTools


Also try other modes under shape like Moving Mesh


And also to add–if you change the collison shape under the collision tab of your dyanamics tag from automatic to STATIC that usually fixes it for me. You may or may not actually need to add thickness to the mesh if you just do that.