Creature chasing

I did one Ragdoll test for the creature. its WIP. I need suggestions on setting up an environment. I am planning such an environment where this creature will fly through and will collide with it. and will fly off balance and chases a character.

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Fantastic, thanks for reposting this here from the Agora chat, and welcome to the forums! :partying_face:

For an environment, you’ve got at least 2 options.

  1. Model a single low-poly environment and use Assign Environment on it. It will use the polygons as a collision object directly.
  2. Use separate geometries, boxes and spheres etc. and use the regular Assign, with the resulting Marker set to Behaviour = Kinematic.

The Environment option should fit well, depending on the geometry. It supports holes and any kind of geometry you can build from polygons. The limitation being that the environment cannot move, it would be static from where it was initially modeled and positioned at the start frame.

With Kinematic Markers, you get the same effect except it will fill any hole and attempt to generate optimised collision shapes that can also be animated and turned dynamic if you needed it to.

So for a terrain or jungle-like geometry, the Environment should work best. Whereas anything you expect should react or be animated, like plants and leaves etc. could be Kinematic. You can combine these types in the same solver.

Other than that, the results looks gorgeous! I don’t think you need it in this case, but generally I’ve found that wings behave more like wings if you have a long flat shape as a collider, instead of the capsule. As a long thin shape, it will act like a long thin shape.

You could take your polygon mesh from the character, and extract some polygons from it. And then use the Ragdoll → Utilities → Replace Mesh to use it as a collider.

Here’s one creature where I did something similar.

Thanks, Marcus! I will try for Environment, and also rebuild the mesh for Ragdoll markers for better collusion with geo.

I have done a test with environment bg. and tested how the collision is working.(WIP) it is working fine. but sometimes the refreshment issue I found. I need to restart Maya to refresh the plugin. I don’t know why.
even when I applied the Fields it didn’t work the first time since the file was open for so long. when I reopened it worked :slight_smile:

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Aha, very nice, That background, is all of it used as a single environment? I expect Mr. Performance to be nicer if it only had to deal with the parts actually interacting with the creature, like those trees. And leave all else out of the system. What kind of performance are you seeing at the moment?

Can you tell me more about this? How do you notice the issue? Is it possible to make the issue happen in a new scene, with just boxes and spheres?

Hm, could it be that the solver is cached (that green line towards the bottom)? Whenever you record, there’s an option to automatically cache the simulation also. Which keeps the results from the recording, until you disable the cache. Only when the cache is disabled will it respond to changes like environment and fields.

  1. Ragdoll → Edit → Uncache
  2. Or on the rSolver node, there is an attribute called Cache = Off.

Reopening the scene will also clear the cache, so it’s possible that’s why it worked then.

I would add that overall the primary motion of the character seem a bit forced; as if it’s being driven by a Kinematic hip or a very strong Pin Constraint.

When it collides with the environment, it recovers much too quickly I think; as though there is some external force correcting it rather than just it’s own wings. I suspect you’re experimenting with the Pose Space = World or Custom? If so, I would recommend you avoid that and it should get you a more dynamic result. Leave everything as Local and put a Pin Constraint on the hip, if you haven’t already, and animate it as though it’s a puppet hanging by a thread. No World or Custom space and nothing Kinematic.

thanks! that will be helpful.

for sure I need to add more primary motion to the character to get the characteristic. I haven’t added any pin constraint. I have animated the primary movement with body control. I used only a local for all markers. I used a stiffness value a bit high to keep steady .

I will try and experiment with lower values.

I can see that right now there is not much performance going on from such a story point of view.

but I am thinking the character is in a bit rush and flying, which makes it off balance and colliding around. in the end, a big arrow comes from offscreen and sticks the creature with the big trunk of the tree. that would be the climax.

this is the cut shot_2 I have planned to end the story… I will post the full shot planning soon.

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Brilliant! :clap:

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Thanks, Marcus ! for a previous shot can you pls share your tutorials on the PIN and other constraints. ? it would be really helpful.

You can find the basics of constraints on this page here.

Is there anything more specific you’d like a tutorial on?

I am sharing planning for both shots. I will be working more on performance and adding fields. pls, share your suggestions.


For starters, the spear part looks fantastic. Great impact, great framing and great follow up shot.

For the environment, I feel as though he is colliding with things, but isn’t responding to the collision. It looks as though there is an invisible hand holding onto his torso, pulling him along and ignoring the contacts with the environment. The first contact for example, the one with the left-hand side wall, his lower body is correctly bouncing off the wall, but the upper body has a different bounce. Making them look disconnected. I would try letting go of the invisible hand (assuming it’s a pin constraint, or a marker turned Kinematic) during that impact, and see what the creature would normally do. It’d likely start falling to the ground, so maybe also animate gravity off at that point, to see how it would tumble. And then see if you can find a way of it regaining control over its flight.

The next hit of the branch against the lower body has a similar feel to it. As though he’s being held by an invisible hand that doesn’t mind whatever happens to the lower body. In this case, it doesn’t seem as though it would be able to continue flying, that seems like it would completely lose control and almost get stuck on the that branch. I would try making the branch dynamic, such that it also reacts to the creature, and maybe breaking it such that the impact is low enough for it to continue.

Hope it helps!


Thanks a lot, Marcus for your valuable input. I will try to keep things in mind and work on them to achieve the desired result. I was thinking to break the branch but I couldn’t figure out the things to work on. thanks for that demo and Maya file as well. I will try to insert that impact into the animation.

HI , I tried making branch dynamics. somehow because of the speed of the creature, it’s not giving a proper impact on it. I am posting a few different views for that. pls have a look.

I feel that slowing down a bit at the time of contact with the branch might give a good effect on the branch dynamic. what do you say .?

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Looks pretty good I’d say, what effect are you looking for?

You might be able to tweak the Density of every Marker in the branch. Such as 0.1 or 0.01. That’ll make it lighter, which would have less of an effect on the creature.

Another thing you may already be doing is setting Translate Motion = Soft on the branch group, and adjusting the Translate Stiffness until it gets the right flex. Might also want to lower or remove the Pose Stiffness on the branch group too.

If the branch isn’t in a group, I’d put it in one. You can select all Markers and go Ragdoll → Edit → Group. Or you can set those attributes on the Markers themselves.

Hi Marcus,

I am already doing the setting as you said. thanks for that.
I am looking for some more stretch in the branch for a bit. then it breaks. by doing that I can have an opportunity to show more struggling in the creature’s motion.
I am thinking to hold the branch bit more with the creature and then it can break.

I think I can achieve that by tweaking the Density on the Marker. I will check that.