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Dynamic retractable snake tongue

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Hi everyone, 


I'm working on a lizard rig and need to add a suitably reptilian forked tongue to the set up. something like this video but with slower, more dynamic motion:


I have already added some IK dynamics to the tail so could use something similar to that, or sweep a dynamic spline which is set to collide with the rest of the lizard mesh, but my questions are: 


1. How to make the tongue retractable so that it can shot back into the lizards body

2. How to set up collisions in a way that doesn't cause horrible glitches 

3. How to model the forked end of the tongue. 

4. How to make the tongue follow the movement of the head. 


Any advice is very much appreciated,





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I can help you with the modelling bit. The forked tongue could be made as follows...




1. Start with a box 2 x 3 x 1. Make that editable, delete all polys on right hand side, place in Symmetry. (Use Clamp to Centerline, but NOT the second option)

2. Select end poly and Extrude it (no caps) obliquely, and scale it down a bit to make first part of fork. This will leave an empty space on the inside...

3... that we can close using the Bridge Tool in Edge Mode. Extrude the end poly again, scale down again to make the end of the tongue.

4. Points mode, and start moving points around to make the overall shape more organic.


Lastly place under a Level 2 Subdivision Surface, and you're pretty much finished with modelling unless you plan to join that to the main mesh or need to make it more detailed.

If you do need additional detail, apply only L1 subdivision ( this time via smooth subdivide command which nails in that subdivision), which will give you more points for editing.


I think I would animate it with Pose Morph.



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Thanks very much @Cerbera, Pose morph could be a solution i suppose but hoping I can figure something out using dynamics to have a kind of exagerated undulating motion. Kind of shooting for something pretty over the top like the tongue in the Venom movie...




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Maybe something like this could work for you.  It's rough but it could be a decent starting point.  I'd probably add more sub divisions and bones on the base mesh to smooth out the movement more.  Adding another vibrate tag to the goal gives the tip of the tongue some extra life and control too.....


Lizard Tongue.c4d

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i would stay away from dynamics all together. just rig the tongue with spline IK and animate it by hand. parent your spline IK handles to each other so that you get an FK behaviour, then it's easy to get a nice undulating motion by offsetting the keyframes down the chain.


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