I have to model, in unity 3D, a chain that is composed of various elements. some flexible, some rigid. The idea is to realize a human-chain where each person is linked to the other by their hands.

I've not tried to implement it yet as i've no idea on what could be a good way to do it. In the game i've to manage a lot of chains of people... maybe also 100 chains composed of 11-15 people. The chain will be pretty simple and there won't be much interaction... Probabily some animation of the people one at time for each chain and some physic reaction (for example pushing a people in a chain should slightle flex the chain)

the very problem of this work is that in the chain each object is composed by flexible parts (arms) and rigid parts (the body) and that the connection should remain firm... just like when people handshake... hands are firm and are the wrists to move.

i can use C4D to model the meshes.

i know this number may cause performance problems, but it's also true i will use low-poly versions of human. (for the real it won't be human, but very simple toonish characters that have harms and legs). So actually i'm trying to find a way to manage this in a way it can work, the performance will be a later problem that i can solve.

If there is not a fast 'best-practiced' solution and you have any link/guide/doc that could help me in finding a way to realize this is, it would be very appreciated anyway if you post it.


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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried to implement your idea yet? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 2, 2013 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ You haven't really described your current method. It's hard to answer what would be "easier" if we don't know what you're currently doing. Currently, this question is very open ended. Please edit the question to include exactly what you're doing now and exactly what the problem is. "Easier" varies from person to person, so please be technically specific when describing your problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Oct 2, 2013 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also how you model something often (and in the case of a chain, definitely) depends on how it will be used in the game. For example, a static chain decoration hanging on the wall is very different from a chain controlled by physics that the character picks up and whirls around. \$\endgroup\$
    – jhocking
    Oct 2, 2013 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are completely right. I will edit the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Oct 2, 2013 at 19:13

1 Answer 1


One approach could be to use a mass spring system, such for dynamic cloth, or a simplification of it. In this case the chain would abstract all other parts of persons except of the arms. With the mass spring system you could calculate the force applied on each arm and move persons accordingly (using a threshold value you could even make an horror movie by letting people be ripped off... gross). To let other parts of a person interact, you could model persons with bones and constraints and use inverse kinematics to let the body respond for the applied forces.


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