Using ragdoll to animate 1960s-style sci-fi marionettes

Hi all, a bit self-conscious showing this after seeing so many impressive setups on here, but I’ve been using Ragdoll to animate my 1960s British sci-fi marionette homage. Initially I used ragdoll to augment the animations, but since Ragdoll 3 I’ve switched to a Ragdoll-only setup. I love it - it does exactly what I’ve been looking for, and couldn’t previously achieve with things like magic leap or Tvori!


Oh wow I love this so much! :heart_eyes: Any chance you can share what the Markers look like for these? The bobble-head look on the middle clip is amazing and the way they carry that rocket is magnificent. Can you share a little bit about how you approached it, and what kind of challenges you faced?

The way their head moves and influences the lower body is so great. Did you animate the lower body at all? Or is this purely the head moving and causing the body to move?

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this is great / awesome to see the approach and application of ragDoll in this kind of projects !
Nicely done!
Looking forward to see more !

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Thank you!

There is some animation on the lower body but true to the original these puppets spend most of the time sitting around in vehicles anyhow (in this case constrained to kinematic chairs). The outsized heads are quite heavy so they do the bulk of animating for you basically.

In case of the little venusians carrying the rocket, there is minimal animation on the characters themselves - their hands are welded to the rocket and its mass basically does the rest.

The most challenging thing thus far has been not do too little. There’s a fine line between charmingly sloppy and just shoddy, after all. Also switching to Ragdoll 3 halfway through, but that had more to do with switching animation philosophies and it resulted in the whole process greatly speeding up and being a lot more fun!


Thank you so much! I’ve got about 3/4 of the short done, so it won’t be too long!

Oh man, the carrying of the rocket is marvellous. I really like how the feet are animated, contacts and friction does a lot of heavy lifting here to keep them on the ground and it works really well.

This is an excellent showcase for Ragdoll and how to animate with it, thanks a lot for sharing this.

May I post this on our LinkedIn page? :blush:

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This is great!!! Really looks like puppets. Soooo much personality in their movements:)

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Yes, of course! My pleasure - Ragdoll’s really been an epiphany for me after years of fooling around with nHair to achieve things!

Thanks! This was literally the first thing I wanted to when I came across ragdoll dynamics!

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I’ve been down that rabbit hole with ncloth and nhair

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The film is largely done, I’m looking into a few festivals before I release it. For now though, a trailer!


Now that’s magnificent, thanks for sharing and congrats on finishing, looking forward to seeing the full thing!! :clap: :clap:

Wow!!! Love it !