Chain Attached 2 Points Animated Problem

Hello forums.

I’m working on a little project and I’ve come across something that has stumped me. I’m trying to create a chain that’s “pinned” at two points. The problem begins when I try to animate the two points, and have the chain follow.

Essentially what I have is a cloth that acts on it’s on from gravity, and I have a softbody divided into various sections, with chain-links that are vertex parented to each section of the softbody. I also have two vertices at the end of the chain, which are assigned as the Goal. This creates a nice chain effect, without the need for rigid body joints. (see .blend)

The constraint “rigid body joint” would be perfect for such a situation, but unfortunately it seems that I can only use it in the game engine. Although I could bake it into an lpo, I would prefer a more versatile solution.

What I want to be able to do is have the Goal vertices follow a vertex on the cloth, AND be able to keep the cloth constrained (since I can’t have the chain stretching). I tried hooks, but the rest of the chain refused to follow. I’ve been playing with several solutions for a couple days now, but none of them redeem the results I’m looking for.

I attached a cleaned up version of a .blend, so you guys can see where I’m at.

I suspect the final animation of this will be 60+ seconds, so I don’t want to be using armatures and positioning the chains by hand.

Thanks in advanced.

EDIT: I’m using blender version 2.49b


chainproblem.blend (540 KB)