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File: tumbleweed.jpg (173 KB, 1280x960)
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I've been tasked with creating a rolling tumbleweed animation but have no clue where to start. How would you even model something like this?
File: 694750.gif (84 KB, 550x366)
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You look at tumble weed refrences on YouTube babygurl
I don't understand the problem here.

The tumbleweed can be a simple irregular sphere, the texure is important and would have be a stick-like affair with alpha channel,

Animation is just moving and rotating the sphere , whilst recording it.
Fucking seriously? Just model a tumbleweed using some splines, give it a sphere collider, then use wind forces to animate it.
make a really thin and long plane duplicate it 50 times and start arranging it, even use a sphere to make sure you have enough to make a ball

then make do quad uv prjection so all stripts will have the same UV then place a single weed texture there(with alpha transparency channel)

the lazy way is make bunch of curves entangling eachother or use the edges of a sphere and thicken them with a modifier
What program are you using?

In Blender you could draw a tumbleweed with the Grease Pencil. You can convert it to mesh or curves and probably even export the result into another program if you wanted.

Here's an example of someone doing something similar to that: http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/83783

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