Here's another rig setup. This one's for things moving inside fluids like water or air, such as fish, jellyfish tentacles, wisps of smoke, flags, etc.
It uses a standard particle emitter traced by a MoGraph Tracer, then placed inside a Spline Wrap Deformer. It does a fast way of simulating how bodies tend to bend along the path they move through, but still have enough give to keep it from looking too constrained.
There are some issues with the setup though...
1. On sharp corners/twists the mesh tends to collapse onto itself.
2. The Spline Wrap deformer is ALWAYS applied to the whole mesh.
3. Due to the nature of how particles are emitted per frame and how MoGraph Tracer generates splines, there are some visible distortions/jitters under certain conditions.
On the final version I'd probably bind the Tracers with SplineIK instead. I'm trying to work with Thinking Particles, but for some reason MoGraph crashes every time I try to link it. I might have to create custom spline generators to make it more stable.
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?