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I'm doing an animation for a chinese dragon, I'm new to path animation and I have a newbie problem.

The armature moves along the path but, while the head follows along, the tail bones aren't rotating according to the path, but inherit the rotation of the head.

enter image description here

I have tried detaching the tail bones from the head, changing origin points to where they should rotate, uncheching inherit rotation under Propeties/Bones, Reapply the path to the single tail bones, but the result is the same

Looked everywhere for a snake like tutorial but all I got were half baked explainations. even tried with a 5 bones no mesh armature, doesn't work either, I can't figure it out.

The rigging I did was very simple, with no IK and no control bone, since I needed this character for one specific task only, and basically to move like a roller coaster ride.

thanks for any halp you can give me

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you want spline-IK, you could find some tutorials using it for animal tails, octopus tentacles or rope. $\endgroup$ – sambler Mar 10 '17 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ there is no applicable tutorial around, none that includes line path $\endgroup$ – Davide Frasca Mar 13 '17 at 15:55
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While it isn't quite as simple as telling the armature to follow the curve, you can use a splineIK constraint to make the armature deform along a curve, you still need to manually animate the different positions to make it follow the larger curve.

Once you have the armature with enough bones that it will bend to your liking, you select the tail of the last bone, go into pose mode and add a spline-IK constraint. Set the target as the curve that you want to use to deform the armature and the chain length to match how many bones you want it to control.

If you have setup the bones to go the opposite way to how the splineIK works you can use ⎇ AltF in edit mode to flip the direction of the bones.

Now the bones will deform to follow along with the curve as it is deformed.

sample splineIK

In the example I have added an empty as a hook to each point in the curve to easily animate the location of each curve point.

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