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

Creating the water helper


From:

Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max

with Steve Nelle

Video: Creating the water helper

In this video, we're going to create the Water Helper that's needed in order to generate our project's rippling effect. We'll do that using the Rippling Water01 scene file that we saved up at the end of our last video. To create our water object, let's first return our orientation to four views. Then we'll activate the top view, taking it full screen. Because our water object will fit directly inside our pool frame, let's select that frame, then right-click, activating the Isolate tool. Now the pool frame is going to be those two light blue squares you see just on the left.
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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 water helper

In this video, we're going to create the Water Helper that's needed in order to generate our project's rippling effect. We'll do that using the Rippling Water01 scene file that we saved up at the end of our last video. To create our water object, let's first return our orientation to four views. Then we'll activate the top view, taking it full screen. Because our water object will fit directly inside our pool frame, let's select that frame, then right-click, activating the Isolate tool. Now the pool frame is going to be those two light blue squares you see just on the left.

To lock the extents of our Water Helper to the exact measurements of the inside frame of our pool, before we make that Water Helper, let's first activate our Snap command up in the toolbar, making sure the Snapping option has been set to Vertex. Now you can activate the settings once you get on top of the button by simply right-clicking. We'll change from Grid Points to Vertex. Okay, we can find our Water Object over in the Reactor toolbar on the left. Its icon is going to look like three wavy horizontal lines. Once we find that button, we can click, then draw the Water Helper inside the pool frame.

Once we have that in place, we can go ahead and turn off our Snap. For that, I'll simply use the keyboard shortcut, S. Now we should probably add a few extra segments to our water object to improve the way it deforms. Over in the Modify column, let's change its Segment Values to 60 and 60. By segments, I mean subdivisions. Once we've done that, we can turn off our Isolate tool, taking our viewports back to four. If we now activate the front view, taking it full screen, you'll notice the water object is resting directly on top of the pool frame. We're going to want to move that down just a tad.

Right-clicking to activate the Move command, I'll pull the water object down probably a 16th to an 8th of an inch. Once doing that, I can return to four views. Now the Water Helper doesn't have to be added to a collection in order for it to affect the simulation. So let's go ahead and run our preview. Why don't we close the Preview window and get a little closer in, so we can see exactly what's going on? I'm going to activate my Camera view, then change it to a perspective orientation by typing P. Once I've done that, I can use the navigation controls in my lower right-hand corner to zoom in.

My scroll wheel can also help me with that task. Okay. Let's go ahead and run another preview. Again, I'll simply use the Shift+Alt+Right-click shortcut. Now, let's watch that again. I'll hit R for Reset, then play again. Now, from closer up, we can see how the ball is just passing right over the top of our pool. It's the same thing we pretty much saw with the ball on the ramp--the ball riding on top of the ramp and not in it, until the correct adjustment was made.

The solution here is going to be to set the Pools Frame Simulation Geometry Type to Concave Mesh. Let's go ahead and do that. I'll close my Preview Window, selecting the pool frame. With its Property Editor open, I'll change the Simulation Geometry to Concave Mesh. Okay, let's see what that's done now to improve our preview. Okay. That will do it for setting up our water. In the next video, we'll start making a few adjustments.

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