CHAPTER 43

Simulating Physics-Based Motion with MassFX

IN THIS CHAPTER

Exploring the MassFX tools

Setting object type and running simulations

Assigning object properties

Setting collision mesh type

Using constraints

Baking animation keys

When you speak of MassFX in Max, you really are speaking of physics. Physics is one of the coolest arms of science because it deals with the science of matter and energy and includes laws that govern the motions and interactions between objects. For animators, this is great news because what you are trying to do is to animate the motions and interactions between objects.

So, should all animators study physics? The answer is absolutely. Understanding these laws through study and experience will sharpen your animating skills. But you can also take advantage of the work that other animators have done in understanding the laws of physics and turning them into a product that ships with Max. The other animators are the PhysX group at NVIDIA, and the product is MassFX.

The MassFX physics engine included in Max is the same engine commonly used in games to simulate game-world physics.

Using MassFX, you can simulate many physical properties like density, mass, and friction and automatically capture keyframes as the objects interact. It's like getting a physics degree for free.

The MassFX tools include everything you need to access the MassFX physics simulation engine. After physical properties are defined, you can define physical forces to act on these ...

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