HELP with stressing chain

Kinda/sorta new to Blender! I’m creating a background video for a website with a very grungy, edgy feel and, to cut straight to the point-- I need help figuring out how to form a (literal) chain so that it is stressed and doesn’t just fall as programmed to.

I have the chain link created and I’ve gone through the process of linking each chain link, but I’m just not sure how to essentially “stress” the chain. Not sure quite how to put it into words, so here’s a gif of how it looks right now:

It’s easily visible that the chains all fall down, but I want them to seemingly be pulling to hold the object in the center up. Thank you!

I’m using Blender 2.76

Would you need a sim at all to get a stressed chain? Sure, it would still bend slightly, but if you find that important, you could create that without a sim, e.g. with a cage deform.

But if you really want to do it with a sim, you can try to animate the outer mounting objects (outermost chain links?), moving them further out until the chain is stretched. It likely works only to a certainly amount of stretching before the sim will glitch and the chain will break, though. Increasing the Steps Per Second setting helps, but it will quickly get expensive.

I probably don’t need to use a sim but the slight swaying effect is important to me so that’s what I’d need to focus on. I’ve tried extending the outermost chain links so that it will be more stiff but with no success, even after increasing the Steps Per Second.

What happens when you animate the outermost chain links? The chain breaks? If yes, can I see the blend file?

Yeah man sure! Here you go

Okay. 2 things I notice:

  • there a a couple of duplicated links in the middle of the active chain
  • in the initial state the links are stretched more than the sim would allow with the given collision margin

If you fix both, you can get a setup without the chain breaking, but I believe whatever you do, the more you stretch the chain, there will always be a point were it starts breaking again.