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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.
In this video, we are going to build and animate the rock object that we'll use to break our glass window pane. We'll be continuing with the file named Breaking Glass02, which has been carried forward from the last video. Our rock object, the geometry we'll use to break the glass, will be made out of a simple sphere. Let's create that sphere in the front view, so we can both properly size and line up what we've made with the breaks in our shard glass pieces. We'll make the conversion of the front view simply using Alt+W. Okay, once in place, we'll get to the Command panel on the right, clicking on the Sphere command.
Positioning our mouse back on the view where the glass shard pieces intersect or come together, we'll then draw out our sphere object. Now why don't we make this somewhere around a Radius of about 100? Once we've got that in place, we'll name it Rock. Okay, let's now go ahead and get ourselves back to our four-view orientation. Once we are there, we'll take our new Rock object positioning to the front side of our glass. Let's now go in for a closer look. We'll do that by first taking your camera view to a perspective window by typing P. We can then use the Zoom Extend Selected command, typing Z. To break up the shape of our rock a little, let's now add a Noise Modifier.
In the Modifier, list we'll drop down to the Ns, choosing Noise. For the settings, let's turn Fractal on and then change the Strength to 35 in all three locations. To change the shape of what's been created with the Noise algorithm, let's now go to Seed changing the value to 3. Once we've done that, we'll right-click on the object, converting it to an editable poly. That will simply bake the Noise Modifier in, getting it out of our way visually. Okay, let's now animate the rock crashing through the glass. We'll take our Perspective view back to Camera by typing C.
Using the Move command, we'll then move the rock so it's outside of the camera view on the right-hand side. Now, this is one of the reasons that I activated the Safe Frame in a previous video. I want to make sure that what I see in the view is what I'll get in my final render. In fact, just for safety's sake, let's click on that Teapot Render icon. Okay, once we are in place, we can then activate the Auto Key. Either click on the button or use the keyboard shortcut, Command+N. Now the speed at which the rock will crash through the window is in large part determined by the number of frames in which we move to and the length that we move our ball. Let's do this.
Let's move to frame 35 on our timeline. I'll then activate the top view, zooming out a ways so I can see the ball in that window. Now, we are at frame 35 with Auto Key on. Let's now move the ball to the opposite side of the window frame. Once I've done that, I'll take my attention back to the Camera view, moving the rock even further, so it's off the screen, as far as what the camera can see. When I do that, I'll want to make sure to lock down to a single axis as I move. When you have it in what you think is the right place, go ahead and render the Camera view to make sure the rock is indeed out of the window.
Okay, let's go ahead and scrub the Timeline between the first 35 frames and see how that looks. Now, we probably ought to add a little roll to the ball to make it look as if it's been thrown. That rotational value will want to be set at the same frame in which we ended our move. That's going to be frame 35. Now to make sure we locked down on frame 35, let's use our Key mode Toggle. You'll find that just the left of where you see the frame number, in the lower right-hand corner of the interface. Go ahead and turn that on, then click the right-hand side arrow on the Time slider. This moves you then not one frame at a time, but one key, having you land directly on frame 35.
Now for our rotation, we probably are going to need to take our Camera view back to Perspective. So with that viewport active, let's again type P. They we'll zoom out of ways by rolling our mouse wheel so we can see our rock. Once we are there, we'll activate the Rotate command, then rotate the rock as if rolling forward, restricting ourselves down at the red ring on our gizmo. Now you don't have to go too far around; we just want to create some gradual, subtle movement to make things look a little more realistic. Once you've done that, again scrub the Timeline to see how that looks. If you are happy with the results, take your Perspective view back to Camera by typing C. Okay with that in place, we can now concentrate on the Physical Properties for our rock during the simulation.
This time around to get to the Property Editor, we'll use Utilities column. We'll activate that, heading down to the Reactor commands. Now, make sure before you do that that you turn the Auto Key button off. In the Properties section, down at the bottom, we'll change the Mass of the rock to 25. Because of the indentations that we made in our rock with the Noise Modifier, we'll change the object's Simulation Geometry to Concave Mesh, just to make sure our surface irregularities are calculated correctly. Several inches above that, we'll also want to make sure Unyielding has been turned on. That'll make sure that the other objects in our scene react to making contact with the rock but that we can still use the original manual key framing movement on the rock during the simulation.
Now if you are a little unsure what I meant by this last statement, be sure to check out the video on the first chapter that deals with assigning physical properties to an object. That will do it for the stuff that we need to hand animate. The rest of our key framing will be automatically generated from the dynamic simulation that will be running shortly. First though, we'll need to get everything into the appropriate type of collection. We'll do that in the next video. Let's go ahead and save our scene up as Breaking Glass03, so we can take it with us.
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