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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.
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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