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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.
Now that we have our two curtains safely tucked away in a Cloth Collection, let's animate the six rigid body clips that are controlling the position of those curtains. Using a file named Cloth Curtains01 that we brought with us from the previous video, let's see what we can do. Why don't we start with the clips for the curtain on the left? Let's temporarily hide the curtain itself, so we don't have to worry about working around it. We'll select the curtain, then right-click, choosing Hide Selection. Now, we can zoom in closer to the curtain clips up at the top. The idea here will be to have the clip on the right and the clip on the middle move closer to the clip on the far left over a period of time-- that time frame being let's say 3 seconds.
With the clips controlling the position and look of the curtain, animating those attachments will serve to push the curtain more into a closed, or gathered-up, position. Let's go ahead and activate our Auto Key and it we'll start with the clip in the middle. I'll use the keyframe shortcut N for that keyframe activation. Using a 1-second delay before the curtain begins to close and having each curtain take three seconds to get to its bunched up position, we'll set our start stop here keys at frame 150. Down on the timeline, let's go ahead and move to that 150 frame.
Activating the Move command will now move that middle clip to about one inch away from the clip in the left. Down on the timeline because of using Auto Key, you'll see our first key has been set at frame 0. We're going to want to select that key, moving it back to frame 30. That'll give us that one-second delay before the action starts. Once we've done that, we'll go ahead and start working on the clip on the far right. After making our selection, we'll move that clip to about one inch away from the middle clip. Again, make sure that you're working at frame 150 when you make that transformation.
Now, the spacing of your three clips doesn't have to be perfect. Once you've done that, back down on the timeline we'll take that keyframe at 0 moving it to frame 30. To see how things look, we can now scrub the timeline. Looking good! Now, because we want our clips to move and animate during the sim, we're also going to want to go back in the each clip's Property Editor and make sure to turn on the Unyielding option. We could actually do that for all three clips at the same time. So we'll type H to get to our Select by Name list and from there, select the three left clips.
Once doing that, we can then open up the Property Editor, making sure that Unyielding has been checked. We can then close that dialog. Let's now unhide the curtain and see how our preview looks. The direction I'll go to do that will simply be to right-click. In the Quad menu at the top, I'll choose Unhide by Name. Then I'll unhide that left-side curtain. Back to the preview with the Shift+Alt+Right-Click option. When the window opens, I'll reposition my curtain, then press P. Now, that looks great.
Just as planned, the left-hand curtain bunches up. Now we're going to want to do the same thing with the right-hand curtain, animating its clips, then activating Unyielding on each clip. I'll close the Preview window, then head closer to the right-hand curtain in the view. Just as we did with the left-hand curtain, I'll then select the curtain, get out of Vertex mode if necessary, then hide it using the right-click > Hide Selection. Once that's taken care of, I'll zoom in closer those to right-hand-side clips. Because of the position of the Rigid Body Collection icon, let's go ahead and select that and move it a little out of the way.
Before you do that, make sure to turn off your Auto Key button down below. Once done, we can then go back in activating Auto Key. Down on our timeline, let's return to frame 150. We can then select the clip in the middle, moving it to the right about one inch away from the far right clip. Let's then take its keyframe at 0, moving it to frame 30. We can repeat the process for the far-left clip.
Just to verify the results, let's again scrub the timeline. Once done with that, we can focus our attention to turning on the Unyielding option for each of the three clips. We'll type H for Select by Name. We'll select the right clips: 1, 2, and 3. We can then open up the Property Editor and verify that Unyielding is indeed checked. Once we've got that out of the way, let's go ahead and unhide our curtain, verify that it is indeed in our Cloth Collection, then run another preview.
Now, for adding the curtain back the Cloth Collection, you'll select the Collection icon, then on the right-click Pick, and then select the right-hand side curtain. Once doing so, verify on the right-hand window it reads Curtain left and Curtain right. For this one, let's ahead and return to four views. We'll use the Alt+W shortcut, and then we'll reactivate our Preview window. Why don't we zoom in by rolling our wheel just a tad. Then we can press P. So, there you go.
The curtain is being driven by the animated curtain clips traveling in their opposite directions, bunching up on each side of the glass sliding door. Now in out next video we're going to take a look at some of the settings in the Cloth Modifier that can help us in controlling the look and behavior of our curtains.
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