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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.
With our simulation now nearing final output, let's see what we can do about adding a few skins. I'll be working with the Breaking Glass06 scene file carried forward from the previous video. Why don't we start with our rock? I'll select that, then head into the Material Editor by typing M. With 3ds Max shipping with a ton of ready-to-go materials right off the shelf, let's activate the Get Material command on the horizontal icons and head to the Material Library. With things being listed in alphabetical order, let's drop down to the Stone Materials and see what we can find.
Why don't we choose the one named Stones_Altaqua? To get the material from the browser back into the Editor, we'll simply double-click on the thumbnail icon. Because we've pre-selected the rock, we can now use the Assign to Selection icon you'll find on the horizontal row of icons third from the left-hand side. For the frame for our glass, why don't we see if we can't find a nice- looking dark rich wood? For that one I'll choose Wood Bubing.
This pre-made selection is designed to make it look like a wood called the Bubinga. With a clean sample slot selected, let's go ahead and double-click on that thumbnail. Once we've done that, we'll type H for the Select by name list, we'll choose the frame little more than halfway down, and we can then again use the Assign to Selection Command. As for the pieces of shard glass, the most realistic representations for glass in Max come from the terrific mental ray materials that ship with the program.
To get to them though, we are going to have to first switch rendering engines, moving from 3ds Max's default Scan Line Renderer over to the Mental Ray engine. To do that, we'll first close our browse, then hit F10-- F10 being the command to open up Render Setup dialog. Now for the changeover, we'll have to drop down to the bottom of our Settings. On arrival, you'll then open up the Assign Render tab. Then using the little button on the right-hand side that looks like three dots, you'll click directly across from Production.
From the Choose Renderer engine, we'll now simply select mental ray Renderer. That not just converts us over to a higher end way of rendering, but it also was the trick we needed to use to open up the mental ray materials. Closing that window, let's go back in the Editor, selecting new sample slide. Once done, we can drop back to the Get Material button, clicking on it. In the browser, let's go over to the top and first close the regular Material Library. Once that's been done, we can drop in the Materials category, specifically the mental ray materials.
From the selections, let's choose Arch & Design. The Arch & Design material has a bunch of really cool templates that we can take advantage of. In the entry that reads Select a template, let's open that up and from there choose Glass (Thin Geometry). Once that's been loaded, let's go back in our scene, selecting all of our glass shard pieces. We can, again, use the handy H shortcut key to make that happen. With those selected, we can then apply our material.
Now, for a little more realism in our glass surface, let's also do this. We'll head a little further down, looking for the Index Of Refraction setting. When you find that, let's type in 0.9. And to crank up the appearance of the material's believability even more, let's drop even further down, opening up a section called Advanced Rendering Options. In there, you'll find a category called Advanced Transparency Options. Where it says Glass/Translucency treat objects as, we'll change that over to Solid.
That will make sure that both sides of our surface render, as opposed to simply one. In the chapter video where we modeled our glass shard objects, you'll remember that we created a second piece of glass that was meant to remain whole. That object, too, will need this new glass material. So back in one of the views, right-click, choosing Unhide by Name. From the list, let's then choose Glass Solid. Now that it's in view, let's go ahead and select that surface.
With it selected, we'll turn our attention back to the Materials Editor, applying that newly created glass surface. Once you've done that, we'll go back in the viewports, hiding, once again, that solid glass object. With the Camera view selected, let's go ahead and render things up. Rendered up against a solid black background, it's very difficult to see any detail whatsoever in our glass shard objects. So let's do this. We are going to change the color of our background to kind of a lighter gray.
To make that change, we'll go to an icon at the top of the Rendered Frame window. It's called Environment and Effects dialog. Go ahead and click there. That color of our background is being controlled by the color swatch in the upper left-hand corner. Let's go ahead and click on that swatch. In the color selector, using the ramps on the right, we'll drop down to Value, typing in 150. Once that's in place, we'll close the window and render again. That'll do it for our materials.
Let's save our file up as Breaking Glass07, and we'll move into the next video, where we'll create the actual keyframes for our simulation.
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