Hi, I’m having trouble with a chain I need to setup for a machine I’m animating. It’s going to be a short animation showing the function of the machine for our marketing department. Bear with me while I do my best to explain the scene requirements and the issue I’ve come across.
I have two sprockets (about 20” in diameter and ½” thick) these sprockets are spaced about 7’ apart and a large chain is runs between them. (think a bicycle chain but much bigger). Now each link in this chain has a hole and on the entire chain there will be 16 bolts, nuts, sleeves and 16 mechanical hooks.
Engineering provided me with an obj model that has everything except the chain. I placed a curve along where the path of the chain needs to be. Next I modeled a single link connection of this chain and used an array and curve modifiers to wrap the chain around the two sprockets.
This is where I am running my issue, my issue is one of performance. There are 112 chain links, 16 bolts, nuts, sleeves and hooks for the chain setup. It ends up being a massive amount of vertices for a single chain setup, making it very very dificcult to rotate and animate it. I have a fairly beefy system (i7, 16GB, GTX680 and ect…) Not to mention the final scene calls for two of these chains to face each other and a roller hanging between them off the previously mention hook.
My question is: Are there better, more efficient ways to model and rotate a chain setup like this instead of using the array? Using the array on items that are copied so many times seems to kill performance. I’m still rather new to blender and I can’t help but feel my model setup is a bit noobish and needless complicated, but can’t think of a better way to setup it up.
I should note that the chain links, bolts, nuts, sleeve and hook have to be somewhat detailed as the scene calls for the camera to zoom in on a section while rotating.
Any feedback, insight or questions would be greatly appreciated
For some reason the blend file won’t upload so I’ll provide screenshots. Here you can see the chain setup:
Closeup of the links and the bolt (I haven’t yet added the nuts, sleeve and hooks. With just the chain and bolt the vertices count is already getting very high)
The modifier for the chain link