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Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up the scene's rigid bodies


From:

Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max

with Steve Nelle

Video: Setting up the scene's rigid bodies

The scene elements for our Soft Body maze project have been set up and are ready to go. The file has been named Soft Body Maze and can be found in the appropriate chapter folder in the exercise files. In this video, we're going to be concentrating on setting up the Object Properties and adding the correct collection type for our rigid body objects. Everything you currently see in view will end up as being part of our simulation, so each object will have to be assigned a certain set of physical properties. Let's switch over to working with the left view full screen, and we'll begin setting things up.
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  1. 4m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. How to use this course
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      2m 26s
  2. 56m 21s
    1. Understanding how Reactor works
      7m 33s
    2. Accessing the Reactor commands and controls
      4m 1s
    3. Working with Reactor's collection types
      7m 51s
    4. Working with Soft Body Modifier types
      5m 56s
    5. Using constraints to limit object movement
      7m 46s
    6. Assigning physical properties using the Property Editor
      7m 45s
    7. Previewing a simulation
      3m 56s
    8. Creating keyframes for a simulation
      4m 58s
    9. Controlling the accuracy of your simulations
      4m 30s
    10. Choosing a physics engine to run your simulations
      2m 5s
  3. 51m 46s
    1. Project overview
      56s
    2. Modeling the broken glass
      13m 17s
    3. Adding the simulation's physical properties
      1m 53s
    4. Animating the breaking object
      5m 4s
    5. Creating the Rigid Body Collection
      1m 32s
    6. Previewing the simulation
      5m 20s
    7. Adding a fracture helper to improve realism
      4m 38s
    8. Building the scene's materials
      5m 36s
    9. Creating the keyframed animation
      4m 41s
    10. Setting up the visibility track for the glass
      8m 49s
  4. 26m 53s
    1. Project overview
      1m 21s
    2. Setting up the scene's rigid bodies
      4m 3s
    3. Adding the soft bodies into the simulation
      9m 18s
    4. Working with the Soft Body Modifier settings
      8m 3s
    5. Making the final adjustments and creating the keyframes
      4m 8s
  5. 27m 39s
    1. Project overview
      1m 17s
    2. Setting up the Reactor cloth elements
      12m 34s
    3. Animating the rigid body curtain clips
      5m 41s
    4. Making adjustments to the curtain cloth modifiers
      6m 5s
    5. Creating keyframes in preparation for rendering
      2m 2s
  6. 20m 18s
    1. Adding the physical properties and collection
      3m 7s
    2. Creating the water helper
      3m 19s
    3. Adjusting the water parameters and creating the keys
      7m 43s
    4. Building a believable water material
      4m 15s
    5. Wrapping things up
      1m 54s
  7. 41s
    1. Goodbye
      41s

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Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max
3h 8m Beginner Mar 10, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max, Steve Nelle shows how to create realistic dynamic simulations that have objects recognize, collide and react to coming into contact with each other in 3ds Max animation projects. This course includes a detailed explanation of both rigid and soft body dynamics, reactor's various collection types, using constraints and soft body modifiers, and how to adjust and control a dynamic simulation's accuracy. Four start-to-finish projects are also included in the course, which show practical techniques for breaking objects apart, creating cloth simulations, adding rippling water effects to a scene, and more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Choosing the appropriate collection type
  • Using the Property Editor to set up an object's physical properties
  • Working with soft body modifiers
  • Accessing and using the Reactor toolbar
  • Making objects appear soft and pliable
  • Using constraints to limit object movement
  • Animating objects breaking apart
  • Creating realistic water using a reactor helper object
  • Previewing simulations
  • Controlling simulation accuracy
  • Creating keyframes for a dynamic simulation
Subjects:
3D + Animation Visual Effects
Software:
3ds Max
Author:
Steve Nelle

Setting up the scene's rigid bodies

The scene elements for our Soft Body maze project have been set up and are ready to go. The file has been named Soft Body Maze and can be found in the appropriate chapter folder in the exercise files. In this video, we're going to be concentrating on setting up the Object Properties and adding the correct collection type for our rigid body objects. Everything you currently see in view will end up as being part of our simulation, so each object will have to be assigned a certain set of physical properties. Let's switch over to working with the left view full screen, and we'll begin setting things up.

We can make that viewport change using the Alt+W keyboard shortcut. The yellow wireframe objects are scene's stationary pegs. Each will look and act the same during the simulation. Because of that, we can set the Properties up for each all at the same time. To select them, let's use a handy selection tool in Max that lets you select things by the wireframe color. You'll find the command in the Edit pulldown menu in the upper left-hand corner. You'll choose Edit > Select By > Color.

We can now position the mouse on top of any yellow object and click. After making your selection, we can access Reactor's Property Editor. This time around, we'll use the Reactor toolbar positioned on the left-hand side of our screen. Because none of the pegs will move during the simulation, we can leave our object's Mass, or weight setting in other words, at the default 0.

For the Simulation Geometry option, because of the peg's shape, we'll leave that set to Mesh Convex Hull. Once verifying those settings, you can go ahead and close the Property Editor. Let's now go to work on the spinning pink paddles. To select those, we'll do it one at a time, holding down the Ctrl key once we make our first selection. This time, to gain access to the Property Editor, we'll use the handy Shift+Alt+Right-click keyboard shortcut.

From the Quad menu in the lower right-hand quadrant, we'll choose Open Property Editor. For the paddles, we'll again leave the Mass setting at 0 and the Simulation Geometry set to Mesh Convex Hull. Because each of the paddles in our scene is animated, we're going to want to make sure to turn on Unyielding. Now, we can go to work on the dark blue floor. We can select that in the view with this time activating the Property Editor over the Utilities column in the Command panel.

For the floor, we'll leave the Mass set to 0 and because of its basic shape, we can change the Simulation Geometry to Bounding Box. The last object we'll need to worry about at this point is the light blue ramp. For this shape, we can leave the Mass set to 0, but we want to change the Simulation Geometry to Concave Mesh. Now, that's going to be a very important step, so make sure you use the correct setting. With the physical property set up, we can now start thinking about a collection for these guys.

Being that they'll serve as our simulation's non-deforming rigid objects, we can through them all into a rigid body collection. We'll select everything in our scene below the bright green ball, and we'll head to the toolbar on the left. Way at the top of the toolbar, we'll find our Rigid Body Collection. When you've located the command, go ahead and click. The objects have now been placed into an RB collection. Let's go ahead and move that Rigid Body icon over to the right.

That will do it for our rigid bodies. Let's save our scene up as Soft Body Maze 01, and we'll move into the next video where we'll start focusing on our soft body surfaces.

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