I am working on a heavy Industrial Model, and as a part of its operation there is a set of chains that are fixed at two end points. During the machine's operation, these two endpoints come closer together and the chain that is connected dangles in between the two endpoints. Then when the machine is ending its operation, the two points space apart and the chain is pulled until it is almost taut between the end points.
I am looking to mimic this behavior when I animate these chains. I've done some digging around on Spline IK, however I don't think it is truly an IK Chain. Sure, I can manipulate the control points, but I can't pull the end of the chain close to the beginning of the chain and get the results I want without a load of manual key framing.
I looked at using an HI IK Solver and while it gets the opposite behavior that I want, it does not allow me to pull the center of the chain downward to get the shape that I want.
I attempted to combine both of the above and while I think I am closer, it's still not right.
I am looking for any help, advice, references, etc. from anyone out there as to how to get something close to this behavior. I want to rule out the use of Dynamics as I want to be able to interact with the chain as I animate the machine, but I want something that I can control with a few Control curves.
I am using 3DS Max Design 2012. Any and all help would be appreciated. THank you very much in advance.