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I was trying to replicate the dynamic joint setup presented here (Maya) http://youtu.be/quNPwNt5zmk?t=48s (See the first 10 seconds animation of the "Process and inspiration of the making of PTEROIS" starting at 48s). The animation is showing a simple armature dynamic setup waving as you move/rotate the root of the armature around (soft/rigid body kind of dynamics - underwater weed/anemone kind of animation). Is this kind of setup / dynamic animation possible in Blender ? I was unsuccessful to find the proper solution/settings that would give me same smooth, non-jerky, attenuated animation. I used spline IK combined with curve/soft body animation. In the referenced animation note how when the root bone rotates, the rest of the armature follows the root bone propagating the wave all the way to the tail (@note: the tail does not move immediately).

I'm looking for a solution that would be as close as possible to the illustrated one: namely i want the dynamic wave animation to be smooth, the curve bending should be smooth (no uneven bending due to properly updated curve tangents during the animation). Also the curve should not jump around due to some funky solving errors, and the waving should attenuate to the rest position without further mini oscillations. And the armature should not stretch as the curve animates.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi! Welcome to the site! :) Stack Exchange's question format is restricted to very succinct questions that don't require lengthy tutorials or discussion. However, there are many resources for learning all about Blender -- check this Beginner's Reference page for links to information on all aspects of Blender. If you have high speed internet, I also highly recommend searching on YouTube for "Blender tutorial (feature you want to learn about) ". $\endgroup$ – Thom Blair III Apr 24 '14 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ I understand your recommendation as a general guideline and thank you for the beginner references. I would consider my blender knowledge rather intermediate (not beginner) and the topic I listed I think is somewhat advance and I felt the need to elaborate a little bit on what the problem is and what solution I was looking for. I did search youtube.. i did ask for suggestions from users in blender IRC channel too, with no satisfactory answer so far, which is why I posted my question here, too. :) $\endgroup$ – DolphinDream Apr 24 '14 at 14:46
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure how, but it is possible. See this video, specifically around 1:45. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Apr 26 '14 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ I think that for more difficult topics like this, it can take a very long time just to sort out what's what and where what is. Although a detailed tutorial on how to replicate commercial package features is out of scope, it would be useful to present some general features that relate to this topic so any users will have useful information that helps them more with targeted searches. $\endgroup$ – MarcClintDion Oct 22 '14 at 22:08
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In order to help refine your searches for how to do simulations/animations, here are a few tips and key-words to help you on your way.

For sea-weed, you could start by adding a plane and then also adding a particle system to the plane. Here I used mostly default settings with the few differences visible in the attached image.
enter image description here

Then I added a Force Field-> Turbulance and animated it's position using two keyframes.

enter image description here

You can also substitute each 'Hair' with a model that is on a separate layer using the following setting.

enter image description here

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