Light fixture animation

What would be the best method to animate a fluorescent light fixture hanging by a chain on each end with slight air turbulence?

It depends your needs. I’d use either physics on the entire thing (cool thing there are lots of tutorials on physical chains and force fields) or I would make a rig, probably one controler for the light, and IK chains or spline IKs for the… Chains…

I’d use rigid body physics.

Animated rigid body for ceiling, rigid bodies for where the chain attaches to the light fixture, rigid body for the light fixture itself. For each attachment, point constraints from ceiling->attachment, attachment->light. Chains are parented to light and damped track the ceiling attachment point. Then, make a turbulence force field and adjust settings to taste.

That’s assuming the turbulence isn’t enough to lift the light fixture, that the chains are always taut. Could address that, but it makes it more complicated. Also, doesn’t deal with chain twist; if I needed that, I suppose first thing I’d try is an armature with rotation enabled IK.

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Oh boy, sounds like a lot of work haha. Any way you could demonstrate it? I know when I try to use the physics function my chain explodes. From the research I have done, the physics engine doesn’t like small objects (which makes no sense) because i scale the chain links roughly to scale of what a real chain would be in size.

Right. That’s why I’m not saying to use individual rigid bodies for each link. (Although 2.91 rigid body changes can improve that.) I’m saying, use abstractions of your physics.

rbabstraction.blend (293.8 KB)

There are all of five rigid bodies there. 14 chain links, and you can make as many as you want, because they’re not directly physical, they’re controlled by parenting and constraints.

Awesome, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Thanks for your help