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Creating a moving target with the Slide constraint

From: Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max

Video: Creating a moving target with the Slide constraint

Having seen how we can easily set up a basic rigid constraint in MassFX and make it breakable, we are now going to move on to something a little more visually interesting. One brilliant thing about constraints in MassFX is that they can help us create some very interesting, even complex- looking background or ambient motions as I like to call them, without having to hand-animate everything. In this video we will see how we can take some simple seesaw keyframe animations and use them to create dynamic moving targets.

Creating a moving target with the Slide constraint

Having seen how we can easily set up a basic rigid constraint in MassFX and make it breakable, we are now going to move on to something a little more visually interesting. One brilliant thing about constraints in MassFX is that they can help us create some very interesting, even complex- looking background or ambient motions as I like to call them, without having to hand-animate everything. In this video we will see how we can take some simple seesaw keyframe animations and use them to create dynamic moving targets.

We will also demonstrate an alternative workflow from the ones we have used so far. In fact, what we will do is create our rigid body modifiers, constraints, and set up the proper parent-child relationship in just a few short steps. Let's go ahead then and select the two objects that we want to constrain together. The actual order in which we pick them here is important as the object we select first will become the parent in the constraint relationship, whilst the second object selected becomes the child.

Let's left-mouse-click on one of our board or seesaw object to set it as the parent and then, holding down the Ctrl key, we can left click to select its corresponding target object, setting it as the child. With the selection made, we can come to the Constraint options on the MassFX toolbar, left-mouse-click, and hold until we get the flyout and then select the slide constraint. As with the rigid constraint, we are straight away reminded that our objects need rigid body modifiers applying to them, so let's click Yes to apply them.

Then of course we can set the size of our constraint helper objects in the scene. We do this by sliding our mouse either toward or away from the parent object. Once we have the size set how we want, we can just left-mouse-click to complete the operation. And because of a slight glitch in current MassFX versions, we may have to manually align the constraint slide axis in order for our setup to work correctly. Here our constraint helper is being created at somewhat of an offset angle from the board object itself.

In fact, if I just switch to a top view by using the T keyboard shortcut and then switch to Y frame mode by using F3, you will be able to see just what I mean. This thin white line, or guide, shows us the direct in which our object will currently slide, which is clearly not what we are wanting here. To fix things, I am just going to disable Angle Snap, select our Rotate tool, and then simply rotate our constraint into alignment.

Once this is done, we can hit the C key to switch back to our Targets camera, selecting it from the list, and then use F3 to switch back to a shaded view. Of course we don't want our target to slide too far. We need to set a limit on the constraint to a value that works for our current setup. With the helper still selected then, if we just come over to the Command panel and to the Translation Limits rollout, we can set the Limit Radius value to something around about 22, which should work nicely for our setup.

Again, our constraint guide, our thin white line, is giving you some nice visual feedback regarding just where our constraint or our slide will end. Before we test our simulation, before we run it, we need to set our seesaw's rigid body modifier type to kinematic. These are animated objects. With that done, we can come and run the simulation. As you can see, once our seesaw animation gets going, our slide constraint is working very nicely. Now, as with our rigid constraint, the slide constraint can be made breakable.

If I just select the constraint helper, I could right-click in the Command panel and jump to Advance rollout, where we can enable that option. We need to make certain our Max Force value is set at 100, and we can change our Max Torque settings to 1500. And if we just run the simulation again, you can see that at first, our breakable limits that we have set are not passed, our slide just continues on its way, but then once the tolerances are exceeded, MassFX breaks the constraint and down she comes.

As you can imagine, once we have applied the same setup to all of the target objects in the scene, we will have some complex background motion going on. Hand-keyframing this level of motion and interactivity would certainly take quite a bit more time than the quick MassFX setup that we have used here. In our next video, we will move on to a slightly different type of motion, as we make use of the MassFX hinge constraint.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max
Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max

51 video lessons · 2487 viewers

Brian Bradley
Author

 
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  1. 3m 27s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Working with the exercise files
      46s
    3. Setting up the 3ds Max project structure
      1m 43s
  2. 39m 20s
    1. Why simulate and not animate?
      3m 38s
    2. A look at gravity and drag
      3m 55s
    3. Understanding volume, mass, and density
      3m 45s
    4. What are Newton's laws of motion?
      3m 20s
    5. Finding believable frames per second and substeps
      3m 5s
    6. Understanding the difference between rigid and soft bodies
      3m 28s
    7. More about rigid body types
      3m 32s
    8. How collisions are calculated
      4m 35s
    9. Learning the difference between concave and convex meshes
      6m 24s
    10. What is a constraint and how do we use it?
      3m 38s
  3. 24m 20s
    1. A look at the MassFX and the 3ds Max user interfaces
      5m 52s
    2. Exploring the MassFX workflow
      5m 14s
    3. Discovering ground collision and gravity
      4m 49s
    4. Adjusting substeps and solver iterations
      3m 43s
    5. Using the Multi-Editor and the MassFX Visualizer
      4m 42s
  4. 44m 11s
    1. Breaking down the shot
      4m 51s
    2. Setting up the launchers
      3m 59s
    3. Setting up the drop system
      4m 30s
    4. Prepping the cans
      3m 33s
    5. Refining the simulation on the launchers
      5m 9s
    6. Refining the simulation on the colliders
      6m 5s
    7. Baking out the simulation for rendering
      5m 37s
    8. Reviewing the simulation with an animation sequence
      5m 3s
    9. Adding an animation override
      5m 24s
  5. 33m 32s
    1. Adding a rigid constraint and creating breakability
      8m 3s
    2. Creating a moving target with the Slide constraint
      4m 47s
    3. Creating springy targets with the Hinge constraint
      5m 59s
    4. Spinning targets using the Twist constraint
      4m 57s
    5. Creating crazy targets with the Ball & Socket constraint
      4m 58s
    6. Constructing a MassFX Ragdoll
      4m 48s
  6. 36m 51s
    1. Applying the mCloth modifier and pinning the hammock
      5m 55s
    2. Setting up the hammock's physical properties
      5m 39s
    3. Working with the mCloth interaction controls
      6m 14s
    4. Attaching the hammock to animated objects
      4m 5s
    5. Putting a rip in mCloth
      6m 14s
    6. Using mCloth to create a rope object
      4m 53s
    7. Creating a soft body object
      3m 51s
  7. 14m 47s
    1. Adding forces to a simulation
      5m 27s
    2. Putting forces to practical use
      5m 33s
    3. Using forces with mCloth
      3m 47s
  8. 35m 27s
    1. Walking through mParticles
      4m 38s
    2. Using fracture geometry
      6m 0s
    3. Creating breakable glue: Part 1
      4m 19s
    4. Creating breakable glue: Part 2
      5m 19s
    5. Creating a gloopy fluid: Part 1
      4m 14s
    6. Creating a gloopy fluid: Part 2
      4m 41s
    7. Adding forces to mParticles
      6m 16s
  9. 1m 5s
    1. What's next?
      1m 5s

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