Snakey Project

Hey Gang !!! it’s been some weeks since my last post.

I just started working on my next personal “project” Snaky…
I am developing a mix of techniques and workflows to speed up and make more efficient the animation process of Snakes.

I started with a SideWinder Cycle, never easy and always time-consuming!

Credits for the model and texture to this guy on this video
here is the model if you want to have it:

stay tuned I will keep posting my progress, It will get more complex and challenging over the weeks.

thanks for reading and watching!


Holy moly! Super cool!!

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Very cool. That first clip is hard to truly appreciate without a ground where you can see how it travels, but that looks like a sidewinder motion to me. Wish it was longer! :blush:

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Will do…!!! Thanks!!

Among my bullet points to cover is to be able to cycle this Motion …!

stay tuned !

I did extend the cycle and pick a different camera to showcase.

I think the cycle still needs more polish (It is on my to do)
and start playing a bit more with Ragdoll

But good to show some progress on this new changelle

@marcus One question:
What would be the best attr to emulate “Sticky” Would it be Friction?

Thanks !

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I expect friction is what you’d want here, rather than stickiness. Stickiness would in practice create a Pin Constraint on contact with a limit on how much pull it can get before breaking. For a snake, unless it’s covered in tar, that probably wouldn’t look right.

In the case of the first video here, it looks like friction is much too high; however, snakes have one property that Ragdoll cannot yet simulate, and that’s anisotropic friction. That is, friction that differs in the X and Z directions. Snakes have a greater friction side-to-side than they to along their length, which is crucial to this the kind of movement they do.

I’m not 100% sure how you can emulate this, other than to attach little capsules below the snake that can roll like cars on a wheel. That way, those wheels can have lots of friction, and their rolling would emulate a low friction along their length. The Damping amount would control the friction along that axis.


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I love a good creature research project,

How Snakes Move! (They don't just slither!) - YouTube

With side winding the snake is trying to get as much of its self off the ground and use 2 -3 main points of contact , like it’s walking, I think turning friction right down and pining the 2 points of contacts - looks like the head and near the tail are acting like feet with everything trying to be off the ground,

@marcus suggestion for adding little wheels reminded me of the last form of locomotion snakes use, could have lots of little feet under doing a wave walk

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Awesome ! thank you Jason!
Yes that video is my core reference … plus couple of others.

here’s what I think. For the SideWinding Motion:
I don’t intend to solve the motion with RagDoll, since is it a 2 and 3 point contact mechanic , I am building/ animating the Cycle ( that I will be able later to flip, mirror, timewrap and extend)
Once the Cycle is ready my intention is to use RagDoll to let the snake free on Terrains and obstacles… And See How much ragDoll gives me.

Later I will continue breaking the other types of Snake Locomotions

Will keep you posted !

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cool! can’t wait to see the progress :slight_smile: I might have some ideas growing for a workflow …watch this space

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Deam !!! RagDoll again went beyond my expectations !!! So good…

Quick playblast of the “resolution” of the snake going through some terrain using just the cycle and letting the ragdoll take control.

it’s got some work around that I have to clean and depured! but it is going in the right direction


well shucks! that looks really great man!

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Sharing new version longer frame range…!

I can only imagine how many days (weeks) could take a shot like this to block …
Worth to clarify that I am still working with the same cycle that I showed above, nothing has changed on the cycle.

“Now I am still trying to process and figure all the steps that I did” hehehe

thanks for reading and watching guys !


Super cool! I can see that being rendered and in a show! quality!

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Hey gang !

Some new stuff coming up !

here are some additional test that I did using same basic “unpolish Cycle” that I had done weeks ago.

I looked for some nice ENV and GROUNDS to challege the RAGDOLL… to see how much 4WD the snake has…and the result : "It did not disapointemd me " Ragdoll is a Solid 4X4 system !

Now that I have the Rig and SetUp where I want.
My next to do:

  • Get that cycle polish to improve and smooth the jittery ( I am guessing that is the simulation is giving such a nice result with this Cycle, once it is smooth and polish it should look pretty nice)
  • start doing some animation test base on one main pose “strike - or coling pose”
  • Record a video of the RIG to show How to “sell” the work flow…

Stay tune…thanks for watching !!!


Benchmarking the RIG…!

not bad at all!!!.. managed to set up non flipping controls ! :grinning: :smiley: :disguised_face: :nerd_face: :face_with_monocle:


Nice one! Going to look real sweet when dangling in that tree!


Very cool man! I think you might have the gravity too high there are moments where it looks like it’s really getting pushed down, For the branch … having the beach ALSO be a ragdoll will be the cherry on the top

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thanks, gentlemen!

I am refining the Cycle… and next round will present the Asset - All the options that I build on it - and do some test of FreeAnimation to make that body interact


Hey gang! it’s been a couple of weeks… but it’s been so much activity with the new version.!

I got to refine the Cycle… but today I am bringing something different, we already know how well RAGDOLL does the terrain recognition

I want to share some of the WIP of this test that I did to benchmark the RIG and Workflow that I am developing for Snakes and such as …

let’s start with the Playblast Recorded

Now let’s breakdown a bit of what’s happening here:
This the RAGDOLL , I play with some stiffness and pin one marker to let the Pinguin grab the snake

These are the Animation Ctrls Riding on the Body 1;1 for polish , fine tune and maybe extra motion

These are the Markers controls … since they are too many I would stick to the Anim controls at this point. But still the option to edit and animate them is there

This is the Animation Pass using My IK/Path controls on top of the FK base:

This is the base animation that I have, it is made with FK controls. These two layers of controls are 100% editable, meaning that as I adjust my base pose, the IK gets updated and also the Ragdoll does it.

Hours of work: Started from scratch at 8:45 pm … and it is 11:45 pm creating this post ! (of the same day of course Lol :rofl: :joy: :sweat_smile: :rofl:)

the system is getting there… but without ragdoll it will be only half of it !

@marcus one question: the Attach cns option just disappeared from the menu … :dizzy_face: What did I do? I guess I will need to update it

Stay tune… One more coming up !

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More Stuff ! … from uncoiling to slide/drag

My idea was to test the System/asset and workflow starting from a complex pose, uncoiling to slide along, and then interacting with the terrain…

base Fk animation

Second Layer IK/Path

RagDoll applied /recorded interacting with the Environment

and this is the output recorded to the rig.

As many or most of my tests are not refined or tweaked with the additional controls, I am just playing around, digging and developing a workflow that can speed up the process

thanks for watching and sharing !

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