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Blender For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Jason van Gumster

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Chapter 13

Letting Blender Do the Work for You

When animating, some actions are difficult or very time consuming to get right, such as explosions, fire, hair, cloth, and physics-related actions like moving fluids and bouncing objects. In order to get these actions to look right, one solution is to let the computer do the work and create a simulation of that action. You use variables like gravity and mass to define the environment, and the computer calculates how the objects in the scene behave based on the values you set. Using the computer is a great way to get nearly accurate motion without the need to key everything by hand.

That said, don't make the mistake of thinking simulations always give you a huge time savings in animation. This assumption isn't necessarily true, as some highly detailed simulations can take hours, or even days, to complete. Instead, think of simulations as a way to more reliably animate detailed, physically accurate motion better than you might be able to do by hand alone. If you look at the process while wearing your “business hat,” paying for a computer to crunch through a simulation is cheaper than paying for an artist to create it manually.

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