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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.
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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