Best method to animate a rope? Advice for a novice

Hi, fairly new to Unreal here and looking for some advice.

I’m creating a cinematic short film and I need to animate some rope swaying back and forth in the background in several places in the environment.
The rope will be tied down at both ends, and it just needs to sway gently in the middle where the slack is from “wind” (image attached below for reference). A simple bit of random motion that I can loop or keep going for a while is all I need.

These ropes don’t have to react to anything dynamically, they don’t have to be physics objects, they just need to “wobble” back and forth to help give the scene a bit more life. What’s the best method to do this?

I’m aware that I can connect animation from Maya to Unreal through LiveLink, is that necessary for something simple like this? Or is there an inbuilt tool in Unreal that could do the job?

I’ve made a couple different rope assets, one that’s just a low-poly cylinder with a displacement map to give the impression of rope, and one that’s a high-poly, properly modelled rope. Am I better off sticking with the low-poly asset for the purpose of animating it, or would I be able to use the high-poly asset?

I’ll be rendering it out through the movie render queue so while decent performance is important, I don’t need it to be as optimised as an actual game environment.

Any advice, suggestions or recommendations for certain resources would be amazing if anyone has any, thank you!

Nothing fancy, just a material shader with vertex distortion.

You can look into any foliage shader.

And you can use vertex paint to increase the sway progressively through the rope while keeping the sides bolted.

The “downside” as far as cinematics go is that you need to have the engine playing for it to work.
Well not entirely. You can set the viewport to real time too.

The downside is every take will be different. That’s what I meant.

If you need a precise start/end you have to code that into the material as well…

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