Building and animating a CGSnake

Building and animating a CGSnake

Posted on 09. Mar, 2007 by in After Effects

Build your first chain-based rig in After Effects. Find out how flexible this technique is and how you can turn the rig into a snake.


Learn how to create a dynamic animation based on a “chain rig”. Animate one layer using keyframes, expressions, or both, and make other layers follow the leading layer. See how you can texture the rig and find out how flexible it is.

First 9 minutes will show you how to build a basic “chain rig”. The rest of the tutorial is about texturing and making the final look.

Download: Tutorial project file (After Effects CS2)

The idea for this tutorial came from CGTalk forums, where someone who calls himself GetToTheTop asked for a way to create a snake in After Effects. See the oryginal thread.

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18 Responses to “Building and animating a CGSnake”

  1. Suzanne

    15. Mar, 2007

    Great tutorial! I love how you incorporated using expressions and the slider. I will certainly use some of this knowledge for any of my future projects.

  2. Luis Beyles

    07. Jun, 2007

    finally i figure out how to add texture to a stroke, thnks!

  3. Adam

    02. Oct, 2007

    Fantastic tutorial Jerzy, thanks for sharing.
    Plus, I remember Alien Vs. Predator too! Such a scary game, haha.
    Cheers,
    Adam

  4. Maltaannon

    02. Oct, 2007

    Glad you like it. There is a lot of potential in this technique. Snake is just a simple example.

  5. Paul Jones

    18. Oct, 2007

    This is just about the most awesome thing I’ve seen done with expressions to avoid those pesky keyframes. I’m using it along with the looping expression to make a conveyor belt in a factory. Cheers Maltaanon, your tutorials are always enjoyable.

  6. Maltaannon

    18. Oct, 2007

    Sounds so cool. Make sure to pass me a link to a preview or something. I’d love to see how it looks. Cheers!

  7. Joe

    03. Dec, 2007

    For some reason, this video stops at 1:26 on both my work and home computers. The work one is, sadly, a windows machine and the home computers are all Macs.

  8. Maltaannon

    03. Dec, 2007

    Thanks for the tip. It should be working now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  9. rol247

    10. Jan, 2008

    malaannon youre pretty cool man, thanks dude!
    expressions are still a bit compilcated for me… i have to get into that…
    rock on man

  10. Paul Jones

    19. Jan, 2008

    Here’s the factory I did that borrows from this tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_iMqKM8ZO4

    Sorry it took so long to respond, been kinda busy recently.

  11. fredrik olsen

    10. Feb, 2008

    that was pretty amazing :] i really enjoy your tutorials dude…

  12. Fred B.

    08. May, 2008

    Wow. Really cool tutorial. There is a lot of potential in this technique to create some other awesome effects, i think!

    Thank you and keep on blowing my mind :)

    —> Fred

  13. Samantha

    01. Mar, 2010

    First comment in a while, but this tutorial was great! It really helped me out on my animation assignment. Thanks!

  14. Chuck

    01. Oct, 2010

    Phenomenal tutorial, good detail. Gave me everything I needed to create the look required for my animation. Will apply this to many future projects. Thanks!

  15. Tushar

    04. Feb, 2011

    great man thx for

  16. epsilon

    16. Apr, 2011

    Thanks a lot my friend.Its really great that people can learn so many interesting things from videos.Its like i have a teacher always with me and teach me.Thanks a lot.

  17. Bow

    20. Jul, 2011

    Great tutorial! I’ve been trying to find a way to show a traffic jam on large city scape and this did the trick. Any advice on how to make it so that the layers never overlap each other? In this instance, if the snake stopped, how could you make it so all the segments stopped with it?

  18. Brian

    13. Sep, 2012

    Thanks much for this.. helped me out on a project I didn’t really know how to tackle.