Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

A look at the MassFX and the 3ds Max user interfaces

From: Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max

Video: A look at the MassFX and the 3ds Max user interfaces

As with all feature sets in 3ds Max, understanding how to locate and work with the various user interface elements that make up our MassFX toolset is going to be a critical factor with regard to our ability to work quickly, efficiently, and to a high standard in our MassFX simulations. In this video we are going to take a few minutes to become familiar with the variety of ways that we can access MassFX tools inside the 3ds Max UI. The first interface element that we want to take a look at is the MassFX toolbar.

A look at the MassFX and the 3ds Max user interfaces

As with all feature sets in 3ds Max, understanding how to locate and work with the various user interface elements that make up our MassFX toolset is going to be a critical factor with regard to our ability to work quickly, efficiently, and to a high standard in our MassFX simulations. In this video we are going to take a few minutes to become familiar with the variety of ways that we can access MassFX tools inside the 3ds Max UI. The first interface element that we want to take a look at is the MassFX toolbar.

By default, this toolbar may be turned off in 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design, so our first goal will be to make it visible. We can do this by coming up to the main toolbar at the top of the 3ds Max user interface and then in an empty area of the toolbar--so not on the bottom or the UI element-- we want to right-mouse-click and then select the MassFX toolbar option from the dropdown list. This brings up a floating toolbar that we can now dock anyplace in the user interface.

We can go to the top, bottom, left, or right. I am just going to place it here underneath the main toolbar. From this toolbar we can perform a number of important tasks, such as setting up scene geometry as rigid body or mCloth objects, we can set up Constraints and Ragdolls, as well as run, step through, and reset our simulations. You will notice that a number of icons on the toolbar have a little downward- pointing triangle in the lower-right corner. As it does elsewhere in the 3ds Max UI, this denotes a flyout as opposed to just a single clickable button.

This will appear if we left-mouse-click and hold. The very first button found on the MassFX toolbar can itself be used to access a much more extensive and much deeper set of MassFX tools. If we simply left-mouse-click on the button, you'll see that we launched the MassFX Tools dialog. This, as with the MassFX toolbar, comes up as a floating window that, again, can easily be docked in the 3ds Max UI. The difference here is that we have to keep this dialog in a vertical alignment.

So unlike the toolbox, we can only dock to the right or left of the user interface. In the Tools dialog, as you can see, we have four tabs, each housing controls that govern particular aspects of a MassFX simulation. Just note the name of each tab as I hover over them. Because if I just close this dialog for a second and then go back to the MassFX toolbar, you'll see, if we access the flyout, that we actually have the ability to open the Tools dialog straight to any one of those four tabs.

Our first tab, World Parameters, provides a number of important global settings and controls that will affect all objects inside the MassFX simulation. The Simulation tools tab houses options and buttons that not only control the simulations themselves, but that also provide access to utilities such as the MassFX Explorer. The MassFX Explorer itself is an interface element that gives us the ability to quickly review and, in a limited and yet still extremely useful way, edit MassFX elements in our scenes.

The Multi-Object Editor tab lets us specify local dynamic settings for objects-- that is, rigid bodies and constraints--found in the simulation. The main difference between editing here and over in the Modify panel is that the Multi-Object Editor lets us set properties for a group of selected objects simultaneously, regardless of whether or not we are working with Instance modifiers. Whereas over in the Modify panel, we only get to work on a single object's properties at a time, unless of course we are working with Instance modifiers.

Now do note that although we can alter the settings for any number of selected rigid bodies or constraints in the Multi-Object Editor, we cannot edit both object types at the same time. If a selection consists of different types of objects or even no objects at all, then an appropriate message will appear in the Multi-Object Editor panel. The Display options tab includes controls for toggling viewport display of physical meshes, as well as for enabling and working with the MassFX Visualizer.

This is a very powerful tool that can help us visually debug our simulations. In fact, this particular tool is one we would do well to develop a habit of using each time we set up and work with a new simulation scene. As always, the 3ds Max menu system found at the top of the user interface provides an alternative method for accessing tools available when working with the MassFX system. To get to these we need to go come up to our Animation menu, down to the Simulation - MassFX section, and then as you can see from the flyouts, we gain access to a wide range off MassFX tools.

Alternatively, if we just need to quickly access some of the more commonly used tools when working with our MassFX simulations then 3ds Max's Quad menu system could be a great help to us. To access a MassFX-specific Quad menu set, all we need to do is hold down the Shift and Alt modifier keys on the keyboard whilst right-clicking anywhere in the 3ds Max viewport. Clearly then, as with all major tool sets, 3ds Max gives us plenty of options when it comes to accessing and working with MassFX.

So now that we are somewhat familiar with the user interface elements, let's move on to understanding the actual workflow, or steps involved in creating a MassFX simulation in 3ds Max.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

51 video lessons · 2470 viewers

Brian Bradley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Creating Simulations in MassFX and 3ds Max.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.