View Full Version : Any chain tutorials?

07-09-2003, 11:57 AM
I've been poking around, and found rope tutorials, but nothing yet for chains.

I'm good with modeling the pieces of a link OF the chain (bike chain) and can clone/duplicate but haven't learned how to take all of those links and make them behave the way a chain does (act as though connected).

I'd think this would be like taking all the links and make them adhere to a path?

I hope it's not about making scads of IK links...is it?



07-09-2003, 12:27 PM
You do need to use IK to set up the relationships, and limits to control the rotations. At that point you will need to move to expressions for the rotations.

Use expressions to maintain the position of the links from the center of the gears, along the arc. I understand the idea, but my math skills aren't up for it.

You might also try the new spline control in 7.5c, here's the summary:

New plugin in the Plugins/Animate folder - Splinamate.p: Animate an object in Layout with a spline control. Great for hoses, tentacles, etc. SplineControl does not have a button on the interface by default - you can add the button using the Edit Menus option under the Layout button.

To use Splinecontrol:

- Select the object.
- Activate under deformations, SplineControl.
- Choose how many 'nodes' you want (you can change this later)
- Use the "SplineControl" button you added on the interface to activate and move the nodes around.
- Options include Stretch or not to stretch, and autokey enable for setting keyframes for the moved nodes.

07-09-2003, 12:57 PM
if you are not interested in animating this chain, only making it look beleivable and not take forever to model, take a look at this plug-in:


good for more than just chains.

07-09-2003, 01:27 PM
Try this tutorial:


It describes how to create tank treads, then rail clone and use expressions for movement.

07-09-2003, 07:00 PM
Richard Brak uses morphs in this tutorial:

07-09-2003, 11:12 PM
If you had the chain all modelled, couldn't you then use Motion Designer to animate it? I know it is a weird and time consuming plugin, but couldn't that work? If it was for a bicycle chain, for example, you could keep one link fixed so that it would rotate with an axel and pull all of the link behind it. This would probably be an enormous amount of calculations though.

07-09-2003, 11:21 PM
the Spline-amation tool sounds really promising for something like this, has anyone tried it for anything? I haven't heard thing 1 about it - if you could animate one of those 'nodes' around your sprockets and copy the channels to all the other nodes, and offset the time, that would do it -

07-10-2003, 02:48 AM
I would use motion designer, but on just a strip of polys, then transfer the motion with MD meta to the high poly object. Anyone need a tutorial?

07-10-2003, 02:58 AM
yea, how do you save and transfer MD data?