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I've seen videos of people doing it so I know it's possible, but I don't want to use bones on every single feather. I've searched around and experimented for hours now and I just can't figure it out. I've tried soft bodies and cloth physics but that doesn't seem to work with feathers. I want it to obey physics as well. If I animate the wing flapping down the feathers should curve back and vice versa, and of course the feather has to stay attached to the limb. I hope this makes sense.

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blender physics likes simple shapes, you can get around this by using mesh deform modifiers, and surrounding the mesh you want to deform with a simple shape. For a feather, something like a 4 segmented rectangle around each feather. Then apply soft body or cloth physics to the rectangle.

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  • $\begingroup$ Will the soft body not have the same issues as it did applied directly to the feather? (Glitches, seperating from the rest of the wing, simply not following physics, etc). And what'll cause the feather to go along with the rectangle? Should I parent each feather to its corresponding rectangle? $\endgroup$ – FlamewingTheCat Jul 22 '18 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ @blazera please be more descriptive in your answer, post some screens and working examples. Overall the idea seems to be ok, just make it clear for the OP. $\endgroup$ – cgslav Jul 22 '18 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ "Will the soft body not have the same issues as it did applied directly to the feather? (Glitches, seperating from the rest of the wing, simply not following physics, etc)." No, Blender physics tends to glitch out and break if the shape isnt very simple "And what'll cause the feather to go along with the rectangle? Should I parent each feather to its corresponding rectangle?" You'll parent the rectangles to follow the wing. And to save time, you'll wanna setup one feather, and then you can duplicate the feather. $\endgroup$ – blazera Jul 22 '18 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ I've been trying to figure out what you meant for an hour now and nothing worked. All I managed to do was make the rest of the wing glitch out horribly, and both the feather and the rectangle were flying around everywhere seperately. Could you give me a step by step instruction or some screenshots or something? $\endgroup$ – FlamewingTheCat Jul 22 '18 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ youtube.com/watch?v=iCIWOZby4CU this is the concept. You surround the mesh in a much simpler mesh, and apply mesh deform modifier and physics to it. $\endgroup$ – blazera Jul 23 '18 at 17:57

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