Tongue Rigging

Hi,

What are some of the best ways of rigging a tongue, so that it can be used for various arbitary positions? In this case, I’m working on a cartoon dog.

I’ve tried using a [BBone -> Control Bone -> IK-Target] setup, where the bbone had a StretchTo constraint to the IK-Target, and the Control Bone held a CopyRotation constraint to the IK-Target and the IK-Solver constraint. This setup was clumsy and didn’t work too well (the tongue didn’t ‘flop’/bend well enough).

The current setup I’ve got is a chain of about 5 bones. Each bone has a StretchTo constraint and a CopyRotation constraint. These constraints are pointed at the IK-Target, and the influence of each constraint is proportional to the distance (in bones) between the IK-Target and that bone. It certainly bends quite well, but I wonder whether there is a more elegant solution out there?

Aligorith

If is is, as you say, for arbitary positions, you could use RVKs (now also knows as Shape Keys) to define final positions for example:

Tongue fully in (Base mesh)
Tongue fully out
Right hand side
Left hand side
Scooped (Like a dog laps)
Curled (Second lapping action)
Lick left jowl
Lick right jowl

etc., then use key animation to animate the tongue as you need it?