Animate Tail Segments

I’ve been stuck on this animation for upwards of a week. My goal is to make natural movement of tail segments in a flowing wave, but so far everything I’ve made is herky jerky. I’m aiming for having between 8 and 16 segments.

My method that I’ve been trying so far, that hasn’t really been working out is to start with 1 segment and make it do a small rotation, then copy this, and nestle the copy into itself, then offset each waypoint so its doing the same thing as the previous segment just delayed by 1 frame. I do this until I have 16 segments but the small rotation quickly amplifies into a giant herky jerky movement of the tail, when I just want a gentle wave to go through the segments.

Am I going about this all wrong? Should I not nestle the segments?

You can actually implement it in several ways. I can think of three at least:

  1. Using a bunch of outlines with rotations. It’s what you described - split the tail into segments and then rotate them. To make it properly you need some advanced linking.
  2. Using the bone system. Make a single outline/region that looks like a tail and then make a proper bone structure to morph it. Can’t help you with this one, I am not very familiar with bones.
  3. Almost the same as the previous one, but instead of bones you apply a ‘Curve Warp’ transformation. You can find an example in the wiki:

Check out the third option. If you still want to go with the first option, then we will have to go a bit deeper. I can provide an example, but not now. Currently I am at work and don’t have much time to invest in creating a proper example.