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- 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
Skill Level Beginner
Throughout the Getting Started with Reactor title, I'll be working in 3ds Max 2011 using assets that I have created especially for the videos you will be watching. If you're a Premium member of the lynda.com Online Training Library, you have unlimited access to the exercise files used throughout this title. If you're instead a Monthly or Annual subscriber to lynda.com and don't have access to the exercise files, you'll still be able to follow along from scratch or by creating your own assets. As you explore the resource material provided in the Exercise Files folder, you'll find that different chapter folders will contain different types of material.
Some chapters simply provide the beginning file, and, on occasion, the completed file for our lesson, so you can compare your work with what's have been done on screen. You see that, for example, in chapter 1, with the introduction-to-Reactor assets. The other chapters in this title, which are all project based, provide not just the start-from-here scene file, where applicable, but also incrementally saved out versions of the project, where you can jump right in at any point along the creation process. In all cases, make sure to familiarize yourself with what's being provided for your use. And you'll find that in every situation the chapter numbers and the exercise files will correspond with the chapter numbers found in the table of contents, which should make it real easy for you to find the assets that are looking for.
What I'd suggest is copy the entire Exercise Files folder over to your computer's desktop. That will give you quick and easy access without having to track things down. You'll also want make sure to build a map path in 3ds Max over to your exercise files folder on your desktop. You can easily do that by going to the Customize pulldown menu and choosing Configure User Paths. In the dialog, up at the top, click on the tab that reads External Files. You'll then want to click on the Add button on the right-hand side.
From here, you'll navigate the Exercise Files folder on your desktop. Once it's opened, in the lower right-hand corner click on the Add Sub Paths button. Then click Use Path. With the new addresses now listed, you can then click OK. That will simply make sure that when you open a file that's been put together using one or more bitmap images that Max doesn't throw up a warning message saying that it can't find those specific resources. That will get us going. Let's go see what we can do.