How do I position a long chain of rigid bodies so they drape naturally?

How do I position a long chain of rigid bodies so they drape naturally?

Setting up complicated initial states is difficult in general. In this case, however, the solution is fairly simple. First, create your "chain" of ball-and-socket connected rigid bodies. Then, using "Interactive" or "Live" mode (available under Explorer->Environments->Simulation Time Control) hit play and begin manipulating the scene using the SRT controls. For example, you could select the bottom-most object in this chain and drag (translate) it up and to the right, and create a hanging chain shape. Stop playback (down arrow) when you're satisfied with the configuration of the objects, select all the rigid bodies and constraints and set the initial state.

The pseudo-spring we currently use for manipulating rigid bodies during playback isn't perfect, so I recommend using a fair number of substeps (15 or more for a medium-sized chain) and try to manipulate slowly. Fast, jerky motions of the mouse may cause the system to gain too much energy and become unstable.


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