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Refining the simulation on the launchers

From: Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max

Video: Refining the simulation on the launchers

Unfortunately, our initial simulation run has revealed that we have a number of issues that need to be resolved, not least of which is the fact that our dynamic spheres are not only failing to reach their targets, but they are in fact not even being caught by, nor--it would seem--even rolling properly into our launcher tube geometry. This obviously puts seriously kink in our simulation plans, as none of the required interaction between dynamic objects can occur unless each step in the process works correctly. For this reason then, it seems sensible to start our refinement work on getting the spheres into the launcher tubes themselves.

Refining the simulation on the launchers

Unfortunately, our initial simulation run has revealed that we have a number of issues that need to be resolved, not least of which is the fact that our dynamic spheres are not only failing to reach their targets, but they are in fact not even being caught by, nor--it would seem--even rolling properly into our launcher tube geometry. This obviously puts seriously kink in our simulation plans, as none of the required interaction between dynamic objects can occur unless each step in the process works correctly. For this reason then, it seems sensible to start our refinement work on getting the spheres into the launcher tubes themselves.

To refresh our minds as to just what is happening at the moment, let's quickly run the simulation for a recap. As we can see, rather rolling nicely into the waiting launcher tubes, the first spheres in line simply drop straight through the holding racks themselves. If we just select one of the holding racks and make a quick inspection of the static rigid body modifier's properties, it would seem that everything is set up as it should be. In truth though, it actually isn't. The mistake we've made--albeit an honest and understandable one--is in the physical shape option we've chosen.

Because this is obviously a concave piece of geometry, we've set our physical shape option to Concave, which seems to be entirely appropriate, but it really isn't. When dealing with static rigid bodies that have concave graphical meshes the option we need to use from the dropdown list is Original, not Concave. In fact, this particular physical shape type-- Original, that is--is only available for static rigid bodies, which in itself gives us a big clue as to when it ought to be used.

If we select that option, as you can see, we have no parameters with which we need to work. Instead, MassFX simply uses our object's actual or graphical mesh to create the physical shape it will use in the simulation. Now remember, these are instanced modifies so changing this on one launcher will apply the same modification to all of them. With that change made, when the run the simulation again our spheres roll nicely off the holding racks and drop straight into to launcher tubes--well, almost. If we just hit the P key to switch to our perspective view, select our counter- top, and then again use orbit selected it to swing around to a front view, if we just reset and rerun the simulation, we could see that the launcher tubes themselves are the next issue we need to tackle, because at this moment in time they are simply letting our dynamic sphere objects pass straight through them.

The solution, you may guess, is very straightforward. As the launcher tubes, like the holding racks, are set up to be static rigid bodies, switching their physical shape over to Original ought to sort things out nicely. So, let's do that. As with the holding racks, we do only need to alter one of the modifiers here, because we are again working with instances. With the change made, let's run the simulation again, just to check that things are working as expected-- which they clearly are not.

The problem we are running into now essentially comes down to simulation accuracy or rather, a lack of it. To remedy this we can come over to the global controls found in the MassFX Tools dialog and simply increase our number of substeps. I'm going to go from 0 to a value of 1. If we run the simulation again, you can see that that's simple change now gives us a higher level of accuracy inside the simulation, which of course means that our geometry is now caught inside the launcher tubes. However, another problem we clearly need to address as we look at our simulation is the fact that our spheres are not really launching with much gusto at all.

These would never reach that target objects. To add a little punch to the launch animation let's select all of the animated discs and come down to the animation timeline. The first thing we need to do here is select a group of keyframes. Now, having made the selection, if we don't see a selection range bar, we can just right-click, go to Configure, and then Show Selection Range. Now we can just speed our timing up by scaling these keys down to around about 60% or so of their original values.

We will need to repeat this of course for each group of keyframes found on the timeline. With all of those tweaks in place, if we just take a look at the simulation now, we can see that our launchers are behaving in a much more expected manner. If we do still run into some calculation collision errors due to the fact that we have now increased the speed of our animated discs, we can simply go and increase our Substep value a little more. In fact, what I'm going to do is increase this to a value of 6, just to ensure that we don't get anymore collision calculation errors for the duration of our simulation.

Up to this point then, things are definitely shaping up slowly, but surly. However, if we just hit the C key and switch over to our main camera, running the simulation from this point of view shows that our collider objects also have a number of issues that need to be dealt with. This is what we will tackle in our next video.

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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 · 2527 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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