Complex animation problem

Hello all,

I’ve got a brain breaking problem with my latest work: A flying Santa sledge. I’ve got a rigged santa (with armature) sitting in his sledge. Four reindeers also rigged are in front. I use four meshes for the ropes that rely them to the sledge.
Under the whole thing, i’ve created a three part armature so that i can bend the whole when turning. So far so good… However, now i need to make that big armature fly around and bend as the path goes… but i can’t find a way to archieve this.

If you have any other solution…help ?

Not sure if this works:confused: but here it goes anyway: make a bone (the SuperCOG bone) in a separate armature and then use a copy constraint on your other armatures COG bones that follows this bone. Then you simply need to make the SuperCOG follow the path and everything else should follow along.

I think this might help : http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=106676

He has a blend you can look at in the post as well as a demo vid . But since most of the explanation is on the German Blender site (may be your German is better then mine ?) I 'll give you some tips to look for in the file .

1. he’s using the curve modifier to deform a long rectangular plane which is composed of three rows of vertices in which the middle row is offset so that the plane looks like a long arrow or the back end of one … like “>>>”
2. he then vertex parents (select object then shift-select the plane then select the verts you want to parent) each cube to three vertices (>) in a vertical row … you need the offset other wise the cubes will not know how to orient themselves … a straight line will not work … you need the triangulation …
3. he then adds a LocX IPO curve (I would assume by Ctrl-LMB with the curve selected) to the plane … and your done … but if you are like me and like a little more direct interaction in the 3D window you can skip this part and instead add an empty and make it the parent of the plane . Now when you move the empty along the X axis the plane and the cubes will move along the curve .

The basic principle should work in your case but … you can’t vertex parent an individual bone in an armature only the the entire armature … but of course you can use the copy location and copy rotation constraints on each bone instead and either just use the cubes in jugglerjuggler’s set up (just make them not render or hide them in another layer) as the targets for the constraints or replace them with empties …
You will have to disconnect the three bones and probably remove all armature hierarchy from them to make this work properly …