How to fake softbodies with a rigged character...

Ok, I don’t know how much use this is to anyone, but I figured I lend an example.

The reason why I am doing this is to make a plume of hair on my character’s head flow with his movement, but I don’t want to have to animate it seperately. This worked perfectly from what I can tell initially.

Quick Animation Example (857kb, DivX 5)

Blend file

This example shows an alien with antennae or eye sockets protruding from his head. When he moves suddenly, the antennae whip around as if they were made of rubber. I used a rigged head and parented (hooked) empties with a little latency to do the effect.

The only drawback is that I wasn’t able to do this with motion blur turned on. Actually, I could at one time, but I was probably using a different technique then.

If there is any room for improvement on this concept, I would love to hear about it.

Take care,

I had a similar idea for rendering hair with a smooth motion.

See here for more:

I had a similar idea about using hooks for cloth.

That’s really useful to me. Thanks.

I wasn’t even aware of the slow parent/child thing. Learn something new every day.

Thanks again.

Can you post an example?

This is so awsome!!! thanks for the example

ermm tring to simulate what you got and cant seemto get it working… I got a mesh armature then parented and the make hooks…

This isn’t working for me (Using v. 2.34). When I run through the frames the empties move around but on the actual alien body only the head moves, and not the antenae.

He’s using hooks. You need 2.35

damn, time to upgrade then.

wow, thats really cool

nice idea too

i tried rigging one myself, but it isnt quite right… yet


Very nice technique!

I used this method to rig the boobs and belly of my Sumo Wrestler Yamo ;):

Direct link to the video file:

wobble… :smiley:

after making fast foward motoin anim not so good
but for genarl head movment :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

Cool. You can do the same thing with bones. I used it for pony tails on a character.

How do you set latency for the bones?


I’m trying to remember without having the rig in front of me…

I think I made a short IK solved armature for each pony tail, with the IK solvers (empties, not bones) as the children of the head bone, and the latency (slow parent button in animation buttons) applied to them. Exact technique he used, but with bones instead of hooks.

click the [SlowPar]
and to control how slow click the [ < TimeOffset : 0.00 > ]

Ah, thanks Harkyman, I hoped it worked stright with the bones… just, perhaps, as Sutabi has shown? Does “SlowPar” refer to the armatures?


Unfortunately it doesn’t. I believe the SlowPar only works with object-level parenting relationships. The intra-armature parent relationships are a different thing.

Alas! :smiley:
Thanks anyway.


Hi there,

thanx for the file. It doesn’t work here, it does crash Blender 2.3.5 on Windows XP !?!

Best wishes, fritzman