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Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating the keyframed animation


From:

Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max

with Steve Nelle

Video: Creating the keyframed animation

With the movement of our simulated objects now in place, let's go ahead and create the actual keys for our sim. We'll do that using the Breaking Glass07 file that we saved up at the end of our last video. Before creating our keys, let's check out some of the numbers that we've been using for our animation over in the Command panel's Utilities column. Let's do this. Why don't we start by adding a couple of extra frames to the end of our file? We've been running things using simply the default 100 frames. In the Previews & Animation section, let's change our in End Frame time to 125.
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  1. 4m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. How to use this course
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 26s
  2. 56m 21s
    1. Understanding how Reactor works
      7m 33s
    2. Accessing the Reactor commands and controls
      4m 1s
    3. Working with Reactor's collection types
      7m 51s
    4. Working with Soft Body Modifier types
      5m 56s
    5. Using constraints to limit object movement
      7m 46s
    6. Assigning physical properties using the Property Editor
      7m 45s
    7. Previewing a simulation
      3m 56s
    8. Creating keyframes for a simulation
      4m 58s
    9. Controlling the accuracy of your simulations
      4m 30s
    10. Choosing a physics engine to run your simulations
      2m 5s
  3. 51m 46s
    1. Project overview
      56s
    2. Modeling the broken glass
      13m 17s
    3. Adding the simulation's physical properties
      1m 53s
    4. Animating the breaking object
      5m 4s
    5. Creating the Rigid Body Collection
      1m 32s
    6. Previewing the simulation
      5m 20s
    7. Adding a fracture helper to improve realism
      4m 38s
    8. Building the scene's materials
      5m 36s
    9. Creating the keyframed animation
      4m 41s
    10. Setting up the visibility track for the glass
      8m 49s
  4. 26m 53s
    1. Project overview
      1m 21s
    2. Setting up the scene's rigid bodies
      4m 3s
    3. Adding the soft bodies into the simulation
      9m 18s
    4. Working with the Soft Body Modifier settings
      8m 3s
    5. Making the final adjustments and creating the keyframes
      4m 8s
  5. 27m 39s
    1. Project overview
      1m 17s
    2. Setting up the Reactor cloth elements
      12m 34s
    3. Animating the rigid body curtain clips
      5m 41s
    4. Making adjustments to the curtain cloth modifiers
      6m 5s
    5. Creating keyframes in preparation for rendering
      2m 2s
  6. 20m 18s
    1. Adding the physical properties and collection
      3m 7s
    2. Creating the water helper
      3m 19s
    3. Adjusting the water parameters and creating the keys
      7m 43s
    4. Building a believable water material
      4m 15s
    5. Wrapping things up
      1m 54s
  7. 41s
    1. Goodbye
      41s

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Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max
3h 8m Beginner Mar 10, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Choosing the appropriate collection type
  • Using the Property Editor to set up an object's physical properties
  • Working with soft body modifiers
  • Accessing and using the Reactor toolbar
  • Making objects appear soft and pliable
  • Using constraints to limit object movement
  • Animating objects breaking apart
  • Creating realistic water using a reactor helper object
  • Previewing simulations
  • Controlling simulation accuracy
  • Creating keyframes for a dynamic simulation
Subjects:
3D + Animation Visual Effects
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Steve Nelle

Creating the keyframed animation

With the movement of our simulated objects now in place, let's go ahead and create the actual keys for our sim. We'll do that using the Breaking Glass07 file that we saved up at the end of our last video. Before creating our keys, let's check out some of the numbers that we've been using for our animation over in the Command panel's Utilities column. Let's do this. Why don't we start by adding a couple of extra frames to the end of our file? We've been running things using simply the default 100 frames. In the Previews & Animation section, let's change our in End Frame time to 125.

Once we've done that, we're also going to want to change our total length time down in our timeline. Couple of ways we could do this. We could always simply right-click on any of the playback arrows down on the lower-right corner, from the dialog about halfway down on the left changing the End Time. But instead, let's do this. Hold down the Ctrl+Alt and right mouse buttons. Then position your mouse on the right-hand side of the Timeline. When you're in that position with the keys down and the right mouse button depressed, drag your mouse to the left until you see the number 125 on the Timeline.

This is simply a shortcut way of being able to expand your length of time. Back in the Utilities column, just so we can ratchet up the level of our precision or accuracy a little bit higher, let's change our Substeps/Key to let's say 13. During our previews, we were getting pretty darn good results using a value of 10. Taking things up to 13, we'll just fine-tune things just a little bit more. I think that gets us ready to go. Now, like in all circumstances, before creating keys--keys being pretty permanent in nature--we want to go ahead and hold at this point in time.

We'll go to the Edit pulldown menu, choosing Hold. You could have also easily used the Ctrl+8 shortcut. That gets us ready to go. Let's use the Quad menu this time to create our keys. We'll Shift+Alt+Right-click. Then in the menu, we'll drop to the lower right-hand quadrant, choosing Create Animation. When Max's warning comes up saying are you sure this is exactly what you want to do, creating those keys, we'll simply say OK. Once the calculations have been made, we can close any open boxes and play things through.

Now when you do, you are going to want to make sure that Camera view is active before beginning your play. When you play things back, just so you know, that little bobbling-around blue box that you see was that disabled fracture that we took out of play. You could always, if it's kind of gets in your way, select that fracture and right-click > hide it. I'll do that, then play things again. Now I am kind of interested to see how the glass turned out.

Let's move to a frame where things have kind of broken apart and render our Camera view. Seeing things for the first time, I think it was a good idea the way we changed both the Index Of Refraction and the two-sided option on that glass material. Let's try a different frame.

Why don't we take that Camera view full screen so we can get a closer look? Okay, that's looking pretty good, but there's one more thing that we are going to need to do.

Our glass pane doesn't start off as being broken when the animation begins, or at least it shouldn't. So as a final step we are going to have to set up a visibility track where we can unhide that original second box that we created and flip, at the point of contact, rock to window, one object out for another--actually several objects, those being the individual shards of broken glass. So let's do this. We'll save our scene out as Breaking Glass08, and we'll move into the final video for our project, where we'll set up that all-important visibility track.

Let's go ahead and do that. I'll see you in the next video.

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