Please forgive me in advance if this is too basic a question. (I'm a beginner to Blender and animation).

From a high level perspective, what's the best way to animate a chain unwrapping and sliding out from around/under a treasure chest. Think of the chain wrapping the chest several loops, fastened by a padlock. The padlock is unlocked, and then the chain unwraps itself WHILE sliding out from under the chest (so there's some rotation and translation of individual links at the same time there is translation along the faces of the chest for the entire chain).

I know a bit about armatures and key shapes, having done some basic tutorials.

Many thanks in advance for some advice as to how I should think about setting up the animation!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This question is a bit too broad to answer but I'd suggest you might be best using a Rigid Body simulation for this, creating each 'link' in the chain as a separate mesh and linking them together (using rigid body constraints or mesh collision). Seach for 'rigid body chain' or similar and you should find some examples that should get you started. $\endgroup$ May 9, 2019 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I'll give that a try . . . $\endgroup$ May 9, 2019 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


I would create a curve; animate it along the wanted path, using hooks or the "AnimAll" addon; model two elements of the chain and repeat them with an array modifier; add a curve modifier to the mesh, pointing to the animated curve, then move along the X axis the mesh to have it follow the animated path.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! Looks great, and I'll give that a try! $\endgroup$ May 10, 2019 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ Start both the model and the curve in the center of the scene, without any rot or scale, then use edit mode to modify both:path and mesh. $\endgroup$ May 10, 2019 at 16:30

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