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Walking through mParticles

From: Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max

Video: Walking through mParticles

With the release of the Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2013, simulation and particle effects artists have received an extremely powerful set of physics-based simulation tools that are collectively known as mParticles. Because mParticles offer up such a vast array of tools and open up such a vast array of options, we will in this chapter only be able to touch on a tiny fraction of what is possible with this impressive and powerful set of tools. In this video we want to take a look at the MassFX flow preset and point out to you the new mParticle operators that have been added to particle flow.

Walking through mParticles

With the release of the Subscription Advantage Pack for 3ds Max 2013, simulation and particle effects artists have received an extremely powerful set of physics-based simulation tools that are collectively known as mParticles. Because mParticles offer up such a vast array of tools and open up such a vast array of options, we will in this chapter only be able to touch on a tiny fraction of what is possible with this impressive and powerful set of tools. In this video we want to take a look at the MassFX flow preset and point out to you the new mParticle operators that have been added to particle flow.

Naturally, the first thing we want to do is open up Particle view. To do that we can just hit the 6 key on our keyboard. The first piece of the mParticle toolset we come across down in the depot is the MassFX Flow. This is basically a quick-start preset that can get us up and running with mParticles very quickly indeed. If I just left-click and drag, I can add a MassFX Flow to the event display area. Instantly, not only does this basic flow show up in the display area, but we also get a working mParticle system in our scene.

The cubes we can now see are of course as a result of the standard particle flow shape operator. The particles we now see as ticks are as a result of a standard particle flow Grid Birth operator, and of course, ultimately both of these only show up in the viewport courtesy of the Display operator. All standard particle flow stuff. The cool thing here is that with everything enabled, if I just press play in our animation controls, you see we actually have a self-contained MassFX dynamic simulation working not with scene geometry, but with particles.

The simulation part of this set up is being handles by the MassFX-specific operators present in the flow: the MassFX shape and the MassFX world operators. If I just disabled each of them in turn and press play in the animation controls, you can see that the simulation needs both of them present and enabled in order to work. Not of course that we need to disable and enable our operators in order to figure out which of them are MassFX-specific. If we take a look down in the depot, the fact that all of the MassFX operators have the words MassFX in their title and a big green X in their icons does make them rather hard to miss.

Going back to our MassFX Flow, let's take a quick look at the two essential MassFX operators found there. The MassFX shape operator performs a function in mParticles very much along the lines of the modifies, both rigid body and mCloth, that we've been working with in the MassFX dynamic system. If I just click to select it, you see we have the ability to set the collision shape for our particles, and we can of course set up physical properties that the particles will make use of inside the simulation.

This operator is very much akin to a MassFX modifier. The MassFX world operator actually has no real parameters with which to work, as it really is just the connection between particle flow and the dynamics driver, or MassFX world, that we see in our scene. If I just select the MassFX world icon in the viewport, you can see, over in the Command panel we get a wealth of per-event parameters that essentially control how the dynamic simulation in that event will behave.

In essence, the MassFX world and its associated parameters can be thought of as the mParticle equivalent of the MassFX Tools dialog, housing, as it does, parameters that will affect every aspect of the simulation. The difference here of course, as we have stated, is that these parameters control the simulation dynamics on a per-event, rather than completely global, basis. The MassFX Flow preset is of course just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating and working with dynamic particle simulations in the mParticle system.

As well as working with a wealth of MassFX-specific operators such as Glue, Collision, and Buoyancy, to name just a few, we can also make use of standard particle flow operators to both augment and influence our dynamic particle simulations. In our next video, we will start to explore some of the possibilities that open up to us when using the mParticle system.

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This video is part of

Image for Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max
Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max

51 video lessons · 2513 viewers

Brian Bradley
Author

 
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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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