Bones in animal meshes learning materials

I’ve not build a model yet, and I’m having trouble finding good tutorials that’ll help me build a “floppy” mesh. I.e. one with bone joints in it that will flop around.

What I’m trying to achieve is getting a mesh of a whale to fall on a surface and flop down in a way that will make the whale bend while the mesh moves to accommodate the joints.

I’ve attached a drawing to show what I mean. I want my whale to bend as per FIG A, not as per FIG B.

Can anyone help point me in the right direction?

Yeah, that should work fine with vertex blending. Basically, you add a simple skeleton, and each vertex would have bone weights in them that tells the GPU how much of each bone should be used for each vert. Then you animate the bones and the mesh will deform correctly around them. Even if you do it in 2D, standard mesh rigging should work.