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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 static rigid bodies on the launcher assembly taking care of, we need to work now with the nonstatic, or moving, pieces of geometry in our simulation. So let's first of all set up the rigid body modifiers for our spheres. Because we may well want to tweak the properties for each ball individually throughout the simulation, we really need this time to add unique modifiers to each of the geometry pieces. Remember, according to our notes, we do need to initially set these objects up as kinematic rigid bodies.
To add the modifiers, because these are not instanced objects, we will need all of the spheres to be selected. So let's hold down the Ctrl key and then, using the left mouse button, we can click to select each of them. With the selection made, we can use yet another option available for applying rigid body modifiers: this would be 3ds Max's Quad menu system. To access a MassFX-specific set of quad menus, we need to hold down the Shift and Alt modifier keys and then right-click anywhere in the viewport.
Then, from the pop-up quad menu, we can select the Convert to Kinematic Rigid Body option to apply our kinematic rigid body modifiers. Of course as each sphere now has a unique modifier applied, with the object still selecting, we have no access to the modifier parameters inside the Command panel. We can, however, still edit them all in one go, as it were, by making use of the Multi-Object Editor pane in the MassFX Tools dialog. From here, the first thing we will want to do, down in the Physical Mesh rollout, is set the Physical Mesh type to Sphere.
Setting this will really help MassFX perform optimized collision detection on of course spherical shapes. With that done, we now need to create the time drops for each of the spheres into the launcher tubes. This means we need to set them up so that they switch over from kinematic to dynamic rigid bodies at some very specific points in the simulation. To do that, let's select the ball at the head of each queue, as these of course will be the first ones needing to drop into the launcher tubes, and then in the Multi-Object Editor, in the Rigid Body Properties rollout at the top, we can check this Until Frame option.
In this instance setting a value of 8 should work very nicely for us. Of course if you are working through a simulation of your own, you will need to set this value to suit. The idea here is that when we run the simulation, our objects should sit perfectly still until frame eight--at which point, they will switch over to dynamic rigid bodies and hopefully drop nicely into the waiting launcher tubes. We will of course need to repeat this process for each of the spheres, setting the appropriate Until Frame value according to its place in the queue.
So let's select each of the second in-line objects--again using Ctrl and left-mouse click--and then we can set that Until Frame values to 40. These values of course have been set up to coincide with the timing of the animated push discs. We can repeat the process for the third objects in line, this time setting an Until Frame value of 85, and finally, for the fourth in line, an Until Frame value of 120.
The last piece of setup we need to perform on our launcher assemblies would be to include the animated push discs in the simulation. These of course will need kinematic rigid body modifier types applying to them. Okay, as these are not instanced pieces of geometry, we will need to select them all before we can apply the modifiers. To get ourselves into a good position to be able to do that--select them, that is-- let's hit the P key and switch our camera view over to a perspective view, then we can select our countertop and use the orbit selected option found in the bottom right of the user interface to just swing around to a more frontal view.
Now we can use Ctrl and left-mouse- click to select each of the discs, and then using the modifier list in the command panel, we can apply a MassFX rigid body modifier. As before, all of the discs now receive an instanced modifier. This of course means we can access the modifier parameters here in the Command panel. So let's very quickly set our Rigid Body Type to Kinematic. Now that we have the launcher assembly, or projectile system, taken care of, in our next video we need to move on to single up the target objects for the simulation, which of course would be our stacks of cans.
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