Texture-based vertex weights for use with soft body modifier


I’ve been working with the soft body modifier to create thick blanket-type objects. One of my goals has been to model stiff folds / creases using vertex weights and I’ve had some amount of success. However, in order to really model the level of detail I need, I’ve had to subdivide my volume so much that manual painting in vertex paint mode is very slow. As a result, I was thinking it might be easier if I could work on a texture and just refresh it in Blender.

So the question is, can I apply texture intensity / color values as vertex weights? I’ve tried the vertex weight edit modifier, but have had no success. I suspect it needs to be above the soft body modifier in the vertex stack to work, but the soft body modifier won’t allow for that - it must have the top spot on the stack. Applying the vertex weight edit modifier didn’t help either.

Any suggestions?