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enter image description hereWell I've created my watch strap, it's made up of stainless steel links. It's a common design, 3 links wide. The centre links are offset to the outer ones.

Currently it's all laid out flat. Each pair of outer links is its own object, and all the central links are seperate objects.

Now, what is the best way to join them at the pivot points so that I can grab one link and the rest will follow at their pivot points properly, without the individual links deforming. Would it be rigging, parenting, or something else?

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  • $\begingroup$ Wow, I made a watch just like this years ago. I went with rigid body simulation, with hinge constraints between each link. It worked well enough for my purposes, but you'll likely get more control with a rig. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 5 '18 at 22:52
  • $\begingroup$ Related: blender.stackexchange.com/q/97862/599 $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 5 '18 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I had a quick look into rigid body sim and it seems its for animation/game engine? I don't want to animate, I just want to be able to position the strap in the viewport $\endgroup$ – user61962 Sep 5 '18 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ You can use the rigid body simulation to pose things to some degree (simulate up to a frame you like then just render that frame). In my case I dropped the watch onto a stand so that the strap draped down properly. If you want to do something like that, rigid body simulation will probably be quicker and easier than rigging. For anything fancier/more controlled, a rig is probably the way to go. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Sep 5 '18 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ Lol! I like your thinking. I'd want to control it in the viewport though ideally, so I'll look into rigging. Just when I google it it all seems to be guides for character rigging where the mesh actually deforms. $\endgroup$ – user61962 Sep 5 '18 at 23:15
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I figured it out. I thought I'd share the solution. It was a lot simpler than I thought. I left the outer pairs as seperate objects, and inner links as seperate objects too. Then, I added an armature, went into edit mode and positioned the ends at either end of the strap. Then I subdivided (W) the armature in edit mode a few times until there was enough bones for each segment. Then I went into pose mode. Selected the left most link, then shift selected the left most bone. Ctrl+P, parent to bone. Then I continued doing that for all the segments of the strap. Then, in pose mode I selected the last bone and went to Add constraint, IK solver. That's it. Now when I move that last bone in pose mode everything follows it sweetly. PS this is in blender 2.49b but it will be very similar in later versions I'm sure.enter image description here

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