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This course introduces basic physics simulation principles in Autodesk 3ds Max using MassFX, a system that makes it cost effective to animate rigid body objects, cloth, and particle systems. Author Brian Bradley introduces basic concepts such as gravity, drag, volume, and density, and how Newton's Laws of Motion can help you understand the interaction of objects with these unseen forces. Using the purpose built scene, Brian walks through the tools and features of the MassFX (PhysX) system, applying the principles discussed as he goes. Along the way, discover how to combine rigid bodies and constraints, mCloth fabrics, and mParticles geometry to create fairground-style effects.
Although there will never be any danger of mParticles being thought of as a genuine fluid simulator, they can nevertheless still be used to create some interesting fluid-like effects that might just be what we need for a particular effect or shot. In this video we are going to put together a quick gloop system that could easily be refined and built on to create a polished final effect. To do that let's press 6 to bring up Particle view and add a MassFX flow by dragging from the depot into the Event Display Area.
The effect we're looking to create here will call for a constant stream of particles to be birthed. The first thing we want to do then in our flow is replace or Birth Grid operator with a Birth Stream. From the depot let's left-click and drag a Birth Stream operator into the flow. If we hover over our existing grid operator, we get a red line that tells us we will be replacing our current operator if we release the mouse at this point. As this is exactly what we want to do, I am just going to release the mouse button.
Now we do need to reposition the Birth Stream helper that we have just created in our scene. Let's press the H key to bring up the Select From Scene dialog. Now, if I just make sure that only our helpers filter is set to show, I can easily select the Birth Stream helper and then click OK. To move the helper to its required location let's choose the Align tool from the main toolbar and then click on the hopper geometry. In the dialog we can set Pivot to Pivot as our Alignment options and make certain that the X, Y, and Z axes are all checked.
Then of course we can click OK and finally just manually move our helper up a little in the scene to sit in its final position. With that done, let's select the Birth Stream operator in Particle view as we want to set up some of its required parameters. Now, we do want our particles to continue being birthed up to frame 200, so let's set the Emit Stop time to that value. We can also set a Rate of 500. Moving down, I want to set our Speed to a value of 6000.
Do keep in mind though, that the duration and rate of particles will become quite intensive as this simulation progresses, so if we are unsure as to just what our computer may be able to handle, it might be wise to start with lower values than the ones we're using and then work upward as you are able. As a final tweak in this section, I do want to resize the Stream Source Icon, setting it to a value of 70 and 70. Now, in this particular simulation, we're using our particles to create the general motion of our gloopy fluid, not the final surface geometry that will be used at render time.
To help us with that goal let's select the Shape operator and in the 3D dropdown let's make certain that we are using 20-sided Spheres. While we are here we can also change our size to a value of 45 mm. As we will need our particles to collide smoothly inside the simulation, next let's select the MassFX Shape operator and set the Collide As option to Sphere. While we are thinking about collisions we will need our particles to collide with the stand geometry.
Hopefully, we can get them sliding in a suitably gloopy fashion, slipping over the edge of the geometry as they reach it. To do that of course we need to select the geometry, come into the Modifier tab, and then add a PFlow Collision Shape from the Modifier list. To finish with of course we do need to click the Activate button. Our mParticles will of course need to recognize the stand as collision geometry, so let's go back into Particle view and from the depot, drag a MassFX collision test into the flow. We need to place it here below our MassFX world.
To finalize setting up the collision geometry, with the MassFX Collision operator selected, let's click the By List button and select the stand geometry. If we run the simulation now, you can see we do indeed have particle and geometry collisions occurring. We've reached the point here where all of the basics of our gloop simulation are in place. What we need to do now is create the actual gloop part of the effect, which is exactly what we will do in our next video.
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