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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.
With the launcher assemblies taken care of, it's time now to look at setting up the target objects for our simulation-- that is, our stacks of cans. Essentially, we need to get them ready to be knocked down. To do this let's hit the C key on the keyboard and in the Select Camera dialog we want to switch over to our Targets camera. Now, according to my notes, as well as adding modifier to our cans, we need to set up our stand and shelf objects as a static rigid bodies--of course so that the cans can collide with them once they're knocked over. As this should be a fairly simple task, let's tackle these static rigid bodies first.
To add the required object to a selection I'm just going to hold down the Ctrl key and then click on the stand itself, our backdrop object, and then each of the shelves in turn. If we want to be certain that we have selected the relevant objects here, we can quickly use the F3 key to switch over to a wireframe view, do a quick check, and then F3 to toggle us back to realistic mode. With that done, we can come up to the MassFX toolbar and apply the static rigid body modifier from the flyout. We now have unique modifiers applied to each object in our selection.
Now, we'll see why it's important that these are unique as we work with our cans. Now our can objects are not just identical in looks, but are in fact instanced geometry. With any one of them selected, we can come up to the Animation menu for instance, drop down the list, and then from the flyouts, find the MassFX Dynamic Rigid modifier option and then just click to quickly apply it. Because the geometry is instanced, we now get a single instanced modifier applied to all of the cans.
In this particular scenario this workflow works perfectly for us, but it is worth noting that had that had our cans been unique geometry--perhaps having different size cans in each stack, just as our stand backdrop and shelve objects for all different sizes-- well, in such a case adding an instance modifier to the selection would not work well at all. You see, whenever we apply an instanced rigid body modifier only a single collision mesh or physical shape is generated. This is taken from the size and shape of the graphical mesh that is the first object in the selection that the system analyzes.
The single collision mesh is then used in all instances of the rigid body modifier, irrespective of the actual size and shape of the geometry the modifier is applied to. As you can imagine, with a variety of object shapes and sizes in a selection, this approach would produce a very poor, indeed, a very inaccurate, simulation. Well, even though it has taken us a little while up to this point to get all our modifiers in place, we are now actually ready to see how our simulation is shaping up.
So let's switch to our main camera, this time by coming up to the POV menu label, left-mouse-clicking on it, and choosing the Camera Main option from the camera's flyout, and then we can come to the MassFX toolbar and hit the Start Simulation button. As you can see, things appear not to be working quite as we perhaps we would want or maybe even expect them to. Let's just switch to our Launches camera by pressing the C key and selecting that option from the list. Let's also reset the simulation so we can take another look at just what is going on.
If we again press the Run Simulation button from our up-close perspective now, we can definitely see we have a number of issues that need to be dealt with, which is exactly what we'll do in our next video.
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