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Dynamic Rig Tutorial

By Sean Hewitt
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Software used:

Hit play again and you'll see all the hair follicles are tied together now at the ends, but aren't fixed to their origin.

So now we have a rig we can position by hand and these hairs will drift about but their center point won't travel too far away and thus remains fairly predictable motion-wise. And here's where I got to my brain teaser: What the heck do I use that can follow a single point on a curve without constraining that curve down in anyway? As well, I didn't want something like a point constraint where the object would follow this point in Translation, but would follow in rotation as well.
I could use a wire deformer to attach my model to the curve, but that deforms an object which I don't want. And even if I had some other geometry attached to the curve, I'm still in the predicament of needing a way to constraint an object to a vert or face or some single point. Because even if I get the geometry moving 100% with the end of the curve, its center point still stays in place, so parent or point constraints aren't any good.

The other thing I found that worked half way was a geometry constraint. I could make a locator and geometry constrain it to the curve, but a geometry constraint only confines the locator to the whole surface of the object, not a single point. So when the control starts moving, the locator will slide all up and down the curve I attach it to. We get a solution when we combine both these methods together though.

What we'll do is first make a nurbs plane and use one of the curves (I usually use the top curve hanging down) and make it a wire deformer on the nurbs plane. Now the nurbs plane follows the end of the hair, which is tethered to the other hairs, and thus stays in the center of them all.

Next, I'm going to take that locator we made earlier and geometry constrain it to the NURBs plane we just made.

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