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The dynamic simulation tools in Maya allow animators and visual effects artists to create convincing animations that would be too difficult or time consuming to keyframe by hand. This course covers the basics of the classic dynamics engine, showing how to build a simulation with passive and active rigid bodies, add attributes like bounce and friction, integrate the simulation with keyframes, and apply dynamic constraints. Author Aaron F. Ross shows how to apply these techniques to a realistic scenario, while explaining tools and concepts like the Rigid Body Solver, gravity fields, and dynamic constraints.
Let's take a moment just to understand the basic concepts of Maya's Rigid Body Simulation System. It's a physics-based simulation that's designed to animate objects that are near the scale of the human body. It wouldn't work well for things that are the size of an atom or the size of a planet. It's very useful for calculating collisions and other physics-based simulations that would be too difficult to animate by hand. And when they say, "rigid body," they mean that quite literally. This type of simulation only works with objects that don't change shape over the course of the animation.
So in other words, no deforming surfaces are allowed: only objects that don't change shape. You can use polygons or NURBS to build your R0igid Body Objects, but you will need to keep the level of detail down very low-- in fact, much lower than you're used to. Because in fact this Rigid Body Simulation System within Maya dates back actually to the very earliest days of Maya, and because of that, it has some limitations. We will have to work around those limitations as we go forward, and to actually build and construct our scenes so that we don't overload our system and that we'll actually be able to see a dynamic playback in our viewports in real time.
Again, the polygon count or vertex count in the case of NURBS will need to be kept very, very low. As always your mileage may vary. Attribute values may be different. In other words, I may put in the value of 100 but on your system with your version of Maya and your scene-- even if it's the same scene-- you may actually have to use different attribute values to get a similar result. But I'm here to show you the ropes to lead you through all those difficulties so that hopefully you will have some good results with your dynamic simulations using the Maya Rigid Body Solver.
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