I have a bunch of planes as one object I'm using to create a crowd of people on a hilly terrain. I'm looking for a way to snap all the "people" to the curvature of the terrain, without have to grab each one individually and raise or lower it. crowd following terrain

I tried the shrinkwrap modifier, but it flattens them out, rather than keeping them upright. Is there a modifier for something like this? Something like a surface deform modifier. Thanks!

  • $\begingroup$ Have you thought about using a Particle Emitter? You could Weight Paint the "hilly terrain" to control the density of the particles (people). $\endgroup$
    – Dontwalk
    Aug 9, 2017 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ The density isn't the problem, it's making them follow the height of terrain I'm having troubles with. $\endgroup$ Aug 9, 2017 at 19:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You can use a Particle System. $\endgroup$
    – Dontwalk
    Aug 9, 2017 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think the particle system isn't what I'm after. I'm also looking for a way to have fencing follow the terrain as well. You can see the fencing in the picture above. $\endgroup$ Aug 9, 2017 at 19:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A shrinkwrap constraint will position the object origin and not squash the whole mesh. $\endgroup$
    – sambler
    Aug 10, 2017 at 0:48

1 Answer 1


You can use a Particle System. Use your terrain as the emitter and the people as either an Object or a Group (Set their Origin to the bottom).

Set the Start and End time to 1.

Under Velocity change "Normal" to zero.

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Choose either Object or Group (You'll need to separate your planes in Edit Mode press "P" and select Loose Parts). "Object" would be choosing one plane/person as the particle. With "Group" you could choose any number of planes/people for more variety (Select the planes in Object Mode and press CTRL +"G" to Group them).

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Additionally you can have control over the Particle Systems density by Weight Painting and a Vertex Group. With your Emitter selected go into Weight Paint Mode and select an Add Brush (There also is a Subtract Brush).

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Preform your Weight Painting. Blue represents the most density and red the least. Colors in between vary the density. This creates a Vertex Group with the default name "Group".

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Go back to the Particle Emitter and under Vertex Groups > Density select or enter the name "Group".

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  • $\begingroup$ Hey, thanks so much for the help. So I set the terrain up as the emitter, but I guess I don't know where to go from here. $\endgroup$ Aug 9, 2017 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited the answer with some additional info. Ask if you need more... $\endgroup$
    – Dontwalk
    Aug 9, 2017 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ Oh thanks, I see that now. However, that's just creating more particles rather than moving the existing ones. $\endgroup$ Aug 9, 2017 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it's a work around... $\endgroup$
    – Dontwalk
    Aug 9, 2017 at 20:28
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I appreciate the help because I will be able to use this technique in the future, however I'm looking for a way to deform the existing object at the moment. I wonder if I can't use physics and animate them falling until they just collide with the terrain? $\endgroup$ Aug 9, 2017 at 20:32

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