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

Working with Soft Body Modifier types


From:

Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max

with Steve Nelle

Video: Working with Soft Body Modifier types

When wanting to include a deformable- type object in a dynamic simulation, Reactor, before allowing that object in as a legitimate member of a deformable body collection, will insist that that object first have one of three specific types of modifiers applied to it-- that modifier type being determined by the way in which we are wanting the object to react or specifically respond during the simulation. In this video, we'll take a look at those three special modifier options. In the scene that I have on the screen named Soft Body Modifiers, I have created three different objects wanting each to respond in a different way as they deform during a dynamic simulation.
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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

Working with Soft Body Modifier types

When wanting to include a deformable- type object in a dynamic simulation, Reactor, before allowing that object in as a legitimate member of a deformable body collection, will insist that that object first have one of three specific types of modifiers applied to it-- that modifier type being determined by the way in which we are wanting the object to react or specifically respond during the simulation. In this video, we'll take a look at those three special modifier options. In the scene that I have on the screen named Soft Body Modifiers, I have created three different objects wanting each to respond in a different way as they deform during a dynamic simulation.

There's a curtain on the left, a rope in the middle, and a foam toy over on the right-hand side. Starting with the curtain, if we create a cloth collection and attempt to add the object to it, you'll notice that Reactor won't allow it to happen. Now in a previous video, we discovered that if an object is first selected when a collection is added, that object will be included in that collection. So let's see how this will work. We'll select our curtain, then head over to the Reactor toolbar on the left. You will find the Cloth Collection second one down. Let's go ahead and click on that.

Now, something's wrong here. In the past when we had an object selected, then added the collection, the Collection icon would rest directly on top of whatever we had selected. You don't see that in our situation here. The Cloth Collection is basically saying, "I'll accept your curtain geometry, but before I do so, I am going to first need you to apply the appropriate modifier." So let's go ahead and do that. In the Reactor toolbar, a little further down, we'll find the Cloth Modifier. The icon will look like a shirt with a M in its middle. Once we find that button, with the curtain still selected, we'll go ahead and click.

If we now focus our attention over in the Modify settings, you'll see, indeed, in the stack, the Reactor cloth has been added in. Now that we have the needed modifier in place on our curtain, we can now go back and try to add that Cloth Collection one more time. Back up to the icon and we'll click. Okay, there is the Cloth Collection icon that I was expecting. Why don't we now go back and select the Curtain and we'll check out the Modifier Settings over on the right? Looking at the Cloth Modifier controls, you'll see that we've got a setting for the weight of the Curtain. Reactor calls that Mass.

Directly below that, Friction would determine how the Curtain would respond if it rubbed up against something else in the scene. The Air Resistance setting would control how the Curtain would respond if coming into contact with a wind force. In the sections called Force model and Fold Stiffness, these are going to be your controls that would control how the Curtain would stretch and fold when moving. And a little further down below, you've got a series of attachment or constraining methods if you wanted to secure your curtain to something else in the scene.

So basically, a handful of controls that would allow our curtain geometry to specifically react during an animation as if it was made of cloth. For things like ropes or chains, we've got another modifier type to work with, something Reactor calls a Rope Modifier. Let's see if we can't apply that to our rope geometry, then throw the object into our rope collection. Now I've been using the Reactor toolbar over in the right. This time I am going to change gears using the Quad menu. For that, I'll simply hold down the Shift+Alt keys and right-click. With the rope object selected, I'll select Rope Modifier up at the upper left-hand quadrant.

Now that we have our modifier in place, let's also add the Rope Collection. That again can be done using the Shift+Alt+Right-click. With the Rope Modifier, we have settings for the geometry's weight, thickness, and friction. There is also a Stiffness control and something called Damping, which determines how quickly an object settles back into its original position when bent or twisted around. Also, like we saw with the Cloth Modifier, a little further down in the controls, we've got several different methods to constrain our rope to another object in our scene.

We'll be looking at the specific options for gluing things together when we get to our projects. Lastly, for the foam toy, it, too, before making its way into the appropriate soft body collection, we'll need a special modifier-- in this case something referred to as a Soft Body Modifier. With that toy selected, I'll again Shift+Alt+Right-click. Up in the menu on the top left, you'll see the Soft Body Modifier. Let's go ahead and apply that. Then to get into a collection, again, we'll use the Quad menu. Staying up on the top left, but a little further down, let's click on, this time, Soft Body Collection.

Okay, back to selecting the foam toy. With the Soft Body Modifier, you've got similar settings for measuring and simulating an object's mass, stiffness and friction. You also have a couple of different options, or methods, as to how Reactor will go about actually deforming the object's geometry, using either a mesh-based calculation--which works well when changing the shape of an object that isn't extremely heavy as far as its mesh weight-- or use instead a type of free-form deformation lattice control to direct the movement of the underlying mesh.

As a rule of thumb, the FFD-based way of going about doing things will typically be your best option when working with objects having 200 or more faces. And as with the two modifiers we saw just prior, the Soft Body Modifier also offers the same constraining controls when wanting your object locking onto something else in your scene--those controls being found a little further down. So those are your three soft body modifiers and a few other things you need to be aware of when wanting to include deforming mesh surfaces in a simulation.

Remember, unlike rigid body objects, soft body geometry will always need a special modifier applied to it before being allowed in the game.

There are currently no FAQs about Getting Started with Reactor in 3ds Max.

 
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