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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 given a name that outlines its most likely usage, the mCloth modifier is capable of creating soft body effects that can go a little beyond creating standard cloth. In this video, we will in fact use mCloth to turn our toy geometry into a soft body object that can be dynamically simulated without looking as though it has had the stuffing knocked out of it. As you can see, if I just select our toy geometry, it is a straightforward editable poly object with an mCloth modifier applied to it.
If I just run the simulation with mCloth default settings, you can see our simulated toy appears to be lacking a little in terms of internal volume. What little volume retention we appear to have at this moment in time is mostly a byproduct of our compression settings. If we just come over to our Physical Fabric Properties rollout and set both of our compression options to 0, you can see, once we resimulate, what we get now looks just like an empty cloth object. Of course, if this is the effect that we want, we are in good shape.
But what if we wanted something that a little more obviously holds its general shape and internal volume? Let's add some stuffing to our toy by making use of mCloth's Balloon Behavior option. To enable this, we need to come into the Volume Properties rollout and put a check in the Enable Balloon Behavior option. We also want to set the Pressure to a value of 2. If we run the simulation now, you can see we do have something that looks a little more substantial in the inside.
Of course, we don't want to stop here, because we can set up other mCloth properties that will contribute to our final effect. Back in the Physical Fabric Properties rollout, let's set our Density to 1.0. Then we need to reset our compression values, so let's set these to 0.5 each. We might even want to make our toy appear to be made of a little heavier material. In this case, remember, rather than increasing the Density, we want to increase the Gravity Scale for our object. Let's set this to a value of 5.
Now, when we simulate, you can see we are closing in on a pretty nice effect. One thing we will probably want to do is capture the state of our object once the Balloon Behavior has taken effect inside the simulation. You will have noticed that it seems to take a few frames before our toy inflates to its final size. To do that, let's just advance the simulation to frame 2. And then coming over to the Capture States rollout in the Command panel, we can hit the Capture Initial State button. We've now set this as the starting point in the simulation for our geometry.
We may also want to just lift our object a little higher closer it to its original starting point. As a final test, I just want to quickly jump over to my main camera view, so I will press C on the keyboard and then select that option from the list. And then I want to select the sphere that we have hidden just out of camera view. This currently has a disabled dynamic rigid body modifier applied to it. And if I just come into the modifier stack, I can enable that, then jump back to my close-up camera, and then run the simulation.
Now, as you can see, our Cloth object interacts pretty nicely with this heavy dynamic rigid body object. All in all, the end result is not looking too bad at all, especially for a quick setup. One final option we may want to enable when working with mCloth, if we have the hardware for it, is the Hardware Acceleration option found down at the bottom of our mCloth modifier properties in the Advanced rollout. This enables GPU computing for our soft body calculations.
And even if we only get a little bit of extra speed from the simulation, certainly every little bit helps.
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