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Dynamic Chain

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Eric Sanderson
Dynamic Chain
on Aug 10, 2011 at 10:18:08 pm

I just wasted almost a full day of work trying to get this simulation and im pulling my hair out over it lol. Ive put together many much more complicated dynamic scenes in my day and im just baffled at my inability to get this to work. I just want the chain, to fall and dangle from the ring, something you would think youd learn on your first day in c4d dynamics 101. The chain is reacting fine, its getting it to hang from the loop where im losing it. Ive been on this for MANY hours and have exhausted many options such as:

- obviously making ring Static Mesh
- making a proxy ring with cloners and using Another Object collider, as well as ellipsoid.
- making the ring fully dynamic but attaching it to a fixed connector, which included a trial of ellipsoid, Static Mesh, the proxy, as well as moving mesh.
- in all of these methods ive adjusted the step calculator in a range from 1 all the way up to 150.
- Ive tried many different typed of geometry from a sweep or a polygonal ring, and also tried not a fully enclosed circle.
- as well as every variation of mass,density and other dynamic parameters under the sun.

At my closest point i got the connected chain link to kind of get stuck on the ring which made it dangle correctly but when i needed to adjust the position and rot damping it fell through the ring again. I feel i have a pretty good handle on dynamics but also feel i get stuck on such elementary tasks in c4d that im thinking about joining my co workers in Maya for that kind of stuff, unless R13 shows any improvement in the area, has anyone heard? Well if anyone can see what im doing wrong here you would be a life saver, thanks in advance. File scene attached.

2771_chain.c4d.zip


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Brian Jones
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:33:46 am

--the chain links are touching (or are very close) so I made them a bit thinner - slimmed the ring down a bit too - the Dynamics/Expert settings had a Collision Margin of 1 cm and everything was way closer than that so I took that down to 0.1 cm but then had to increase Steps/Frame to 50 and Max Iterations/Step to 20 to keep the chain together - just doubled the defaults
--reduced the friction on the chain links (it was 100%)
--reduced the number of polys (it was taking too long)
--made the chain editable only because I wanted fewer variables

2772_chaintrial.c4d.zip


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Brian Jones
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 2:02:52 am

I just tried replacing the big ring with a torus and made it a bit slimmer yet and the chain is sliding better along the ring


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Eric Sanderson
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 2:15:28 pm

Man thats great thanks. Im guessing my initial problem was stemming from the collision margin? You know whats funny is intuitively i "know" increasing steps per frame = better. But ive actually run into situations before that i got more accurate results decreasing it under 5, which was the case in one of my trials in this project.

thanks again.


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Brian Jones
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 2:52:12 pm

collision margin mostly, yes. Everything was just jammed together - tighter than a dynamics system can deal with anyway


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Eric Sanderson
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 3:11:20 pm

This is ultimately a chain to a pendant that will drop down and swing, now already putting just a little bitty ring on the end of the chain that ill connect the pendant with i feel like im starting all over lol. constantly adjusting settings and im getting variations on two results, one everything is bouncing around in chaos, or the little ring end is falling out of the chain. Shouldnt it be as simple as duplicating the ring holding it, making it a little smaller, turning dynamics on and change collision to moving mesh? Im worried im going to have to scrap this idea altogether with all the problems im running into, worried that even when i get this ring on, i then have to attach the pendant, and in the end im actually using 2 chains as its going to be a necklace that connects at opposite ends of the pendant (the top of chains will be out of frame). I hate to give up on the idea but i cant be taking 50 steps back for every step forward, dont want to take up much more of anyones time but any additional suggestions to accomplish this would be great.

planned on making the pendant dynamic and connecting it to the ring on the end of the chain with a fixed connector. should all work in theory right? lol


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Brian Jones
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 4:34:33 pm

2779_chainwatchtrial.c4d.zip

I made a 'watch' and attached it and the chain wants to blow up a lot… but this file may be ok (I'm rendering a test right now but in the interface it hung together through the first swing). I upped the Steps per Frame but the big trick was to reduce the Density on the watch. Because my watch is solid (one piece anyway) it's density is way higher than a watch's density should be. - my test render just finished and it held together for the whole time -


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Eric Sanderson
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 5:46:47 pm

Cool thanks, ya it was the density i was changing on my small ring that was affecting whether it broke free from the chains, or fell with the chains but became erratic upon first contact, and seemed like all values were just getting me some variation of the two even with step upped to 100. Ive moved on on the project for now and going to come back to it when i have some other elements blocked out so hopefully i can apply your fix to my scene without a hitch. fingers crossed. Thanks so much.


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Eric Sanderson
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 5:50:56 pm

ultimately what im going for...



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Eric Sanderson
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 8:06:34 pm

update: the project was getting heavy and just plain nasty so i took a different approach that isnt quite as "accurate" but working beautifully and very fast, using spline dynamics and cloning the links along the spline, belting the pendant. Maybe a good alternative for people struggling with a chain simulation like me.


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Brian Jones
Re: Dynamic Chain
on Aug 11, 2011 at 8:29:28 pm

good one


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