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Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up the launchers


From:

Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max

with Brian Bradley

Video: Setting up the launchers

Having already spend some time reconnoitering our scene, determining which modifiers need applying to our geometry, it's time now to get into the nitty-gritty of applying MassFX modifiers and then setting up their basic parameters so as to get our what simulation moving in the right direction. Once again I'm going to switch to our Launcher camera. I'm going to do this by using the C keyword shortcut and then selecting that particular camera from the list. This really puts us in a good position from which we can select most of the required pieces of geometry for the simulation of the launchers themselves.
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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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Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max
3h 53m Intermediate Feb 26, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Setting up your 3ds Max project
  • Understanding volume, mass, and density
  • Learning the difference between concave and convex meshes
  • Discovering Ground Collision and Gravity
  • Baking out a simulation for rendering
  • Adding an animation override
  • Adding Rigid constraints and creating breakability
  • Creating springy targets with the Hinge constraint
  • Spinning targets with Twist
  • Working with mCloth
  • Putting a rip in mCloth
  • Adding forces to a simulation
  • Using fracture geometry in mParticles
Subjects:
3D + Animation Particles Visual Effects
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Brian Bradley

Setting up the launchers

Having already spend some time reconnoitering our scene, determining which modifiers need applying to our geometry, it's time now to get into the nitty-gritty of applying MassFX modifiers and then setting up their basic parameters so as to get our what simulation moving in the right direction. Once again I'm going to switch to our Launcher camera. I'm going to do this by using the C keyword shortcut and then selecting that particular camera from the list. This really puts us in a good position from which we can select most of the required pieces of geometry for the simulation of the launchers themselves.

Now just checking the notes we've made, I'm thinking the launcher tubes would probably make a good place to start. As these can be selected without orbiting the view, I'm just going to left- mouse-click to select the first in line and then holding down the Ctrl key, I'm just going to click to add the other three to my selection. If you remember, we noted that as the launchers are going to be just static pieces of geometry in the scene, and because the graphical meshes we see here are clearly concave or hollowed, the static rigid body type is going to be perfect for them.

Now, there are a few ways that we could go about adding the static rigid body modifiers to our geometry. We could, for instance, come up to the Animation menu, come down to Simulation MassFX, into Rigid Bodies, and then choose Set Selected as Static Rigid Bodies. We could also add the modifiers from the Modifier List itself in the Command panel, or we could use the MassFX tool bar and add then from the rigid bodies flyout, choosing the Static option.

In this particular case we can actually save a little processing power in the scene by using the same, or an instance, modifier on each version of the launcher tubes. In order to do this, we do need to add the modifiers from the Modifier List in the Command panel. Any of the other methods mentioned will apply a unique modifier to each piece of geometry. So let's do just that. With our launcher tube selected, we can come over into the Command panel, make certain we are in the Modify tab, and then from the dropdown Modifier List, we just need to scroll until we find the MassFX RBody modifier and then click to apply it.

With that done, as you can see, if I just select each of the launcher tubes in turn, you can see the modifier has been added to the top of the stack and also the name of the modifier appears italicized. This is 3ds Max's way of letting us know that this is an instanced modifier. As we need to set a rigid body type, we do of course want to reselect each of our launcher tubes. And then either in the modify stack itself or we could use the Multi-Object Editor in the MassFX tool dialog, we need to just come into the Rigid Body Property rollout and set our Rigid Body Type to be Static.

We do also need to scroll down a little way to the Physical Shapes rollout and set our physical mesh type to be concave. As we've already determined that we're going to be adding the same modify type to our holding racks, now would probably be a good time to follow through on that procedure. So again, holding down the Ctrl key, let's select each of our holding rack geometries, and then from the Modifier List in the Command panel we can again add the MassFX Rigid Body modifier.

The Rigid Body Type of course needs to be set to Static, and we do want to set our Physical Shape type to be Concave. So with our launcher tubes and holding racks taken care of, let's, in our next video, move on to setting up the rest of our launcher assembly, including setting up a timed drop system for our spheres.

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