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In Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max, Steve Nelle shows how to create realistic dynamic simulations that have objects recognize, collide and react to coming into contact with each other in 3ds Max animation projects. This course includes a detailed explanation of both rigid and soft body dynamics, reactor's various collection types, using constraints and soft body modifiers, and how to adjust and control a dynamic simulation's accuracy. Four start-to-finish projects are also included in the course, which show practical techniques for breaking objects apart, creating cloth simulations, adding rippling water effects to a scene, and more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Our rippling water project will have us using a file named Rippling Water. With the majority of the elements that we'll be needing for a scene having already been built, we'll be able to concentrate our efforts on creating our Reactor simulation. Let's start with the red-and-yellow checkerboard ball situated above the ramp. After selecting the ball, we can go in to add its physical properties. I'll make that selection, then go over to the toolbar on the left, activating the Property Editor. For the values, let's give the ball a Mass of 65, then we'll take the Friction amount to let's say 0.2. Because of its shape, we will also change its Simulation Geometry type to Bounding Sphere.
Now for the rail, which was created by lofting an outline U shape along the helix, the only thing we really need to worry about is its property editor geometry type for simulation. Because of its negative space, in other words, the area inside the rail, we're going to want to change its Simulation Geometry type to Concave Mesh. In fact, before we do that, let's leave the Simulation type as it is, and we'll go ahead and add both objects--the ball and the rail--to a Rigid Body Collection. That will give us a chance to see when running a preview just exactly why the Concave Mesh method of calculation on the ramp is necessary.
We'll select the ball and ramp. Then in the toolbar on the left, we will add a Rigid Body Collection. Okay, let's run a preview and see how things work. To activate the preview, I'll simply use the Shift+Alt+Right-click shortcut. Then once the window is open, I can type P for play. Well, as you can see, we've got the ball falling right through the ramp that it is supposed to ride down. Let's close the Preview window and see what changing the simulation type on the ramp to Concave Mesh will do to correct that. We'll select the rail, then activate the Property Editor, again using the Shift+Alt+Right-click shortcut.
Now on the Simulation Geometry, we'll change it from Mesh Convex Hull down to Concave Mesh. Okay, let's run another preview. Well, the ball now at least sees the ramp, but with the way it's riding above the ramp groove, it leads me to believe that our simulation's collision tolerance is probably a little too high. Let's again close the Preview window, and we'll head into the Utilities panel and take that down a bit. Why don't we set the Collision Tolerance value to one? Okay, let's now run another preview and see how that looks.
Now, because of where our ball is ending up, let's also add the pool frame into our collection. Over on the right-hand side of the view, you'll see the Rigid Body icon. Let's select that, move to the Modify column. Then down below the Property window, we'll click the Pick button on the left and then select the pool frame in our scene. Now once you do that, go back to the right-hand side, verifying the name pool frame. Okay, now that we've got that stuff taken care of, let's get to creating our Reactor water. We'll do that in the next video. Let's go ahead and save our file up as Rippled Water01, so we can take it with us.
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