View Full Version : Animating Medusa.

05-09-2013, 09:17 AM
I'm inspired by the video below and am embarking on a personal project to model and animating Medusa after a long hiatus from Lighwave (last used was v7.5). Would appreciate any help in approaching on how to rig and animate her head of snakes without having the snakes colliding into each other and how the lower body would slither along uneven terrain without having too much manual keyframing involved

Questions currently in my mind:

- Should I use instances to replicate the snakes ?
- Could I use hair splines and FiberFX to animate those snakes on her head ?
- Is flocking necessary for those snakes ?
- How do I animate the slither along a path ?
- Automating the rattling of the tip of tail at regular intervals.

It seems 11.5 has all the features necessary but just how well these features work and integrate collectively to achieve that Medusa effect, that's my question.

Thanks for any input :)


05-09-2013, 11:43 AM
LW still lacks that long awaited overall nodal system which would enable us to connect different building blocks into systems we dream of, but
now for example if you have a bullet animated spline, you can not use it as a deformer for a bone structure. There is no link between the tools.
And there is no spline driven IK solver. You cant make a long chain of bones and link it to a 4-5-6 point spline which is easily animatable and tell
the bones to follow that spline. Forget it. This is maya stuff.

But you know what? You can do it as Ray Harryhausen did it, may he rest in peace. He animated the whole beast frame by frame.

05-11-2013, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the reply.

Guess I overestimated LW 11.5 abilities. Wonder if modo 701 could could this trick ? :P

05-11-2013, 11:16 PM
Thanks for the reply.

Guess I overestimated LW 11.5 abilities. Wonder if modo 701 could could this trick ? :P
The thing is that LW is now so close, but for a snake creature with snake hair you can't do without a proper spline IK solver.
That is a minimum I think.

05-12-2013, 01:43 AM
Noted :)

I vaguely remember many years back there was a plugin that could do a snake slithering animation...something like a follower I think. But then I guess it would be painful to animate too.

05-12-2013, 05:05 AM
Maybe this thread is useful?


05-12-2013, 08:00 AM
Thanks for the reply.

Guess I overestimated LW 11.5 abilities. Wonder if modo 701 could could this trick ? :P

Modo doesn't have a built-in Spline IK solver either. Although it does have a full-body IK solver licensed through Ikinema. But if you do have Modo already, then Christopher Hague created a Spline IK script here:


If you don't have Modo, messiah is also a viable and less expensive option. messiah has had Spline IK, called Flex, for over ten years or more. Plus it has several kinds of Cage deformers which could help.


Of course, if you want THE ultimate in rigging power and flexibility, then Houdini is unparalleled. Not for the faint of heart though.


05-13-2013, 12:52 AM
Worley has the Taft plugin, which includes Hoser. We used it to simulate tentacles on an alien character. No calculation needed, i.e. dynamics. Look here.


05-19-2013, 09:15 PM
Why not the Spline Deformer from Dpont?