Designing a hose for animation?

I’ve finally made my first character and it’s a vacuum…only problem is, I’m stuck on the hose. I want to create the type of hose that lloks like this:

http://www.1st-in-vacuum-cleaners.com/client_images/central-vacuum.jpg

Now I know that the little ridges should be on the texture, but I don’t want to do it that way. BUT, I don’t want the hose to have as many wedges as seen in the photo.
Basically what I want is a hose with a few ridges like in the photo, but I don’t know where to set up the bones to make it move properly in an animation. I don’t want to use 50 bones and set up a complicated thing that won’t work. But at the same time I want it to look good. I know there’s gotta be a simple way to do this, I’m just still too new to all this!

EDIT: I got the hose built fine, but I’m ot sure if I should set up a simple bone structure or ry my hand at an IKA type chain… :-?

The decision for more or less bones depends on how flexible you want the hose to be.

Each joint of two bones stands for one possibility to bend the hose. If you need only one curve then one joint (i.e. two bones) is enough. If want an S-shape you’ll need two joints (i.e. three bones) etc. For extreme bending however you’ll possibly need more bones to avoid strange distortions.

You’ll have to try what works best for you. But the number of bones should be as little as possible.

i would use about this many bones give or take one or two.
http://home.att.net/~moton-toybox/trunkbone.jpg

I did one like this a while back and it worked fine.

http://www.alienhelpdesk.com/misc/nosehose.jpg

Thanks for the replies. Macouno, how come the first and last last bone is parented to the bigger bone?

This could also help: http://www.clubinfo.bdeb.qc.ca/~theeth/Temp/Rope.zip

Martin

i use an odd IKA setup.

That first bone aligned with (and inside) the head of the hoover… has an IKA constraint on it to the bone going vertically down… It also has a copy rotation constraint to that lower bone (also aligned with the head of the hoover). And the bone going down is child of the body…

That way I can animate the entire hose and the angle of the head by moving around and rotating the bone that in this picture is angled downward.