3DS Max Reactor tutorial water - Skin Investigation

3DS Max Reactor tutorial water

Offset Null Entertainment, LLC Software and Graphic Design Solutions


8May/11

With Reactor removed from 3ds Max 2012, users will now need to explore other means of animating physical simulations. This tutorial will cover replacing Reactor's water simulation using Flex, a tool already available in 3ds Max. While you could simulate general water movement or ripples using the Ripple modifier or the Waves Standard Map applied to a Displacement modifier, these options require manual animation and can't be affected by dynamic collisions. Flex, which you may have used to add jiggle to fat characters, simulates soft-body dynamics using springs. It's a very powerful modifier which can be affected by forces and deflectors to simulate cloth, rope, water, and other soft-body dynamics.

Simulating ripples from dropping objects

  1. Create a 150x150 plane, with 20 length and width segments and label it Water Plane. We'll increase the segments later, but for now, 20 segments will provide us with a reasonable estimate of the final product without slowing down your computer too heavily.
  2. Add a simple sphere to the world, give it a radius of 10, and label it Dropped Object.
  3. Now lets animate the sphere dropping through the Water Plane. r this tutorial, we'll just animate it by hand.
    1. Turn on Auto Key and go to frame 0.
    2. Move the Sphere above the plane to a reasonable starting position (say z=80).
    3. Go to frame 20 and move the sphere below the plane.
    4. Turn off Auto Key and click play. The sphere should move through the water plane at a reasonable pace, but the animation doesn't look quite right. This is because the default tangents are likely set to Auto.
    5. Right click the Key Frame at frame 0. Choose Dropped Object: Z Position and change the Out tangent to Slow.
    6. Select the Key Frame at frame 0, and change the Dropped Object: Z Position In tangent to Fast. This will cause the sphere to speed up as it drops as though it were affected by gravity.
  4. Next, add a UDeflector or UOmniFlect to the world and pick the Dropped Object. This Deflector will be what causes the Water plane to ripple. Flex supports all default deflectors that come in 3ds Max 2012.
  5. With the scene fully configured, now the fun happens. Select the Water Plane, go to frame 0, and make the following changes:
      Parameters - Strength: 0.1
    1. Parameters - Sway: 0.1. A low strength and sway make the Flex object act like a liquid.


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