Join Joel Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting ready to use the Bullet engine, part of Blender: Creating Rigid Body Simulations (2013).
If you have some point in the past, used blender to create rigid body simulations. You will definitely need to be aware of the fact that as a version 2.6 the way we go about creating these has quite drastically changed. In versions prior to 2.6 the creation of rigid body simulations required that we work inside the blender game engine, make everything out to key frames and once don't. Switch to one of the other render modes to maybe work a little more with the key frame data, and then eventually render out the finished animation.
Well, that somewhat restrictive workflow is no longer necessary. Now, we can create dynamic rigid body simulations right here in the blender view port. Using any of the render modes we want. In our case we will work with cycles for the most part. The old blender game approach is, of course, still available to us should we have the need of it. But as this new method opens up so many more simulation opportunities, for the duration of this course, this is the approach that we will focus on. In this particular video, as you can see, we're working with the star scene that already has a number of rigid body objects present.
These are just here to help us take a whirlwind tour of just where in the blender UI the rigid body simulation tools and controls that we will work with in this course can be found. The more familiar we are with tool locations in the UI of course, the easier and more enjoyable our blender simulation work both in and outside of this course will be. To start our exploration, then, let's go ahead and right-click to select one of our wooden block objects. And first of all, come across to our properties panels.
Here, as you can see, we have a number of tabs that give us control over various elements of our blender scene, such as rendering, objects materials and right at the end we have a physics tab. Now if it is that we have altered the sizing of our properties panel at some point, and so can't really see all of the tabs as we see them here. All we need to do with out mouse cursor hovering over the icons is middle click to scroll backwards and forwards through them. Or, we could, of course, just resize the properties panel until we can see everything.
If I just click to jump inside the physics tab, you can see we have a number of controls that allow us to enable physics for a whole range of blender simulation tools. Including, of course, rigid bodies and rigid body constraints. Below the enabled options, we also have parameters for controlling rigid body types, collisions, and dynamics. Now these particular options are only visible because, we already have some rigid bodies set up in the scene. If this were a fresh scene, this whole UI area would simply be blank, until, of course, we created a rigid body of our own.
Besides having a physics specific tab, if we just come back across the icons here, and select the scene tab. You can see if we scroll down a way, that we also have a number of important rigid body simulation controls that can be found here. Options such as gravity, along with rigid body world, cash, and field weights. The rigid body world controls being especially important in this bunch, as it is from here that we get to control, if you like, the quality, or more specifically the accuracy, of our rigid body simulations.
Another area of the UI where rigid body tools can be found would be in the tools panel or tools bar to the left of our 3D view. If I just scroll down here, getting past the object tools, you can see we have a novice set of simulation controls available. Only this time there are rigid body specific. From here we can add, and remove rigid bodies, as well as work with a number of important control options, such as shape and mass. Now, don't worry that we are not really explaining what all of these rigid body controls are for or what they do, as we will be covering these as we work through our course.
For now, the important thing is that we become especially familiar with the three areas of the blender UI that we have looked at here. Getting used to just where in the blender these different controls are situated, so that we can quickly and easily jump between them as we work through our examples, before we go ahead and create rigid bodies in a scene though. There are a number of extremely important set up issues that we need to be aware of, which is exactly what we will be taking a look at next.
- Setting up objects for simulation
- Setting up the physics world
- Choosing a collision type
- Applying a collision shape
- Creating an animated rigid body
- Baking to keyframes
- Working with the mesh collision shape
- Adding a force field to the mix
- Understanding constraints
- Creating fracture patterns