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I’m struggling hard with a rig for an elephant trunk. I want the trunk to rise up in the air and trumpet. I tried to increase and decrease the vertices, I’ve tried bendy bones and assigning the bones manually via the vertice groups. Which ever approach I choose, it seems that when I exceed a certain angle in bending, the mesh gets corrupted. How should I proceed?

enter image description here

Image of trunk. Slightly modified by reader. Note the armature could be placed closer to mesh before armature binding.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your question is not clear. Please make it clear. Please show your work as a screen capture. Please do this always in the future. Please do this even if you include the blend file. Many times the screen image is enough to solve the issue and some people do not want to open a blend file. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Dec 1 '18 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ Please see this tutorial video youtube.com/watch?v=GvG39bGEsKI. You may also choose to see many or all tutorials from this same video provider. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Dec 1 '18 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ If you want 2D animation then flat mesh is acceptable. If you want 3D animation then a cylinder shape is better. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Dec 1 '18 at 15:15
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enter image description here

A tube with an armature as its spine which used Bind with automatic weights. Image above.

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  • Back up your current work with file save
  • Create a new quick cylinder with loopcuts say 20. Scale to your tastes and elephant trunk shape. Keep the cylinder in straight line.
  • Create a new armature with 20 bones. Keep the original straight shape.
  • The more loop cuts in the cylinder mesh, with more bones in the armature, will allow a smoother movement.
  • Move the armature to be located in the cylinder. Make sure trunk is reasonable tight fit to armature. A tube with no fancy shape is fine because the tube can be changed later after binding to armature. The learning experience will be better.
  • The above steps will take 8 minutes with practice
  • Ensure the placement by examining from different angles
  • Bind Trunk to Armature with automatic weights
  • You may choose reserve frame 1 for the straight armature shape and insert keyframes for all bones.
  • Move to some other frame say frame 8
  • Test the binding by rotating bones of the armature in pose mode. Insert keyframes.
  • You can create a shape key for the cylinder mesh if you like
  • You can shape the trunk with more lifelike shape
  • These above steps are an improvement. If you wind the bones in too tight of a spiral you might not like the results. Bad results such as this can be true of any simple model for Blender Beginners.
  • Delete all previous work when satisfied. Your previous work has some new user problems which can be discarded. A fresh start can be good.

  • Be aware of the Spline IK constraint which allows a smooth curve to control the armature and may save time once its mastered

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, but my animation is 2D. Also, the minecraft tutorial you supplied is not really applicable for me, since I want my rig to be soft and bendable whereas in Minecraft everything is typically squarish. $\endgroup$ – Svante Karlsson Dec 1 '18 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ The idea of starting out with a straight trunk is probably the way to go. Thanks buddy! $\endgroup$ – Svante Karlsson Dec 1 '18 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ I would rather vote up or down rather than a thanks. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger Dec 1 '18 at 18:07

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