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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. 3D Studio Max
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Creating a Dynamic Wrecking Ball Simulation Using Mass FX and Constraints in 3ds Max

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:


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1. Creating the Chain

Step 1

Open 3ds Max. Go to Shapes > Splines > Ellipse and draw an oval shape in the front viewport. 

Draw an oval shape
Draw an oval shape

Step 2

With the oval shape selected, open the Rendering rollout tab. Turn on Enable In Renderer and Enable In Viewport options. Increase the Thickness value to 7.

Rendering rollout
Rendering rollout

Step 3

Right click on the oval shape and turn it into Editable Poly.

Editable Poly
Editable Poly

Step 4

With the oval poly shape selected, click on Hierarchy panel. Enable Affect Pivot Only option and drag the pivot of the oval poly shape to the extreme right. 

Don’t forget to turn off the Affect Pivot Only option after that.

Hierarchy
Hierarchy 

Step 5

Make a copy of the oval poly shape and rotate it. Both objects must not intersect each other.

Make a copy of the oval poly shape
Make a copy of the oval poly shape

Step 6

Make several copies of the oval shapes to form a chain link.

Make several copies
Make several copies

2. Creating Constraint

Step 1

With the chain selected, go to Mass FX toolbar and select Set Selected as Dynamic Rigid Body option.

Set Selected as Dynamic Rigid Body
Set Selected as Dynamic Rigid Body 

Step 2

With the first oval poly shape from the left side selected, go to Constrains > Create Universal Constraint.

Constrains  Create Universal Constraint
Constrains > Create Universal Constraint

Step 3

It creates a UConstraint at the pivot point of the oval poly shape.

UConstraint
UConstraint

Step 4

For the first oval poly object, its parent would be the next oval poly object.

Click on Parent tab and select the next oval poly object as the parent of the first oval poly object. Turn on Free radio buttons of Swing Y, Swing Z and Twist properties. 

Swing Y Swing Z and Twist properties
Swing Y, Swing Z and Twist properties

Step 5

You can lower the UConstraint icon size also. Put a smaller value in Icon Size.

UConstraint
UConstraint

Step 6

Following the same way, with the next oval poly object selected, go to Constraints > Create Universal Constraint.

Constraints  Create Universal Constraint
Constraints > Create Universal Constraint

Step 7

It creates a UConstraint at the pivot point of the oval poly shape.

UConstraint
UConstraint 

Step 8

For this oval poly object, its parent would be the next oval poly object. So, click on Parent tab and select the next oval poly object as the parent of the selected oval poly object. Turn on Free radio buttons of Swing Y, Swing Z and Twist properties. 

Swing Y Swing Z and Twist properties
Swing Y, Swing Z and Twist properties

Step 9

Following the same way, keep making constraints for each oval poly object one by one. After a couple of minutes, you will have the completed chain.

The completed chain
The completed chain

Step 10

Create a sphere. Put it at the end of the chain link. This will act as the wrecking ball.

Create a sphere
Create a sphere

Step 11

Put the pivot of the sphere at the edge of the sphere as shown in the following image.

Put the pivot of the sphere at the edge
Put the pivot of the sphere at the edge 

Step 12

Make this sphere as a dynamic rigid body.

Make this sphere as a dynamic rigid body
Make this sphere as a dynamic rigid body

Step 13

Apply Universal Constraint to the sphere.

Universal Constraint
Universal Constraint

Step 14

For this sphere object, its parent would be the first oval poly object. Click on Parent tab and select the first oval poly object as the parent of the selected sphere object. Turn on Free radio buttons of Swing Y, Swing Z and Twist properties.

Swing Y Swing Z and Twist properties
Swing Y, Swing Z and Twist properties

Step 15

Create a small low poly sphere at the extreme right end of the chain.

Create a small low poly sphere
Create a small low poly sphere

Step 16

This time, make this sphere as a Kinematic Rigid Body.

Kinematic Rigid Body
Kinematic Rigid Body

Step 17

With the indicated oval poly object selected, apply Universal Constraint to it.

Universal Constraint
Universal Constraint 

Step 18

Select the low poly sphere as the parent of it. Turn on Free radio buttons of Swing Y and Swing Z. Keep the radio button of Twist turned off.

Turn off Twist button
Turn off Twist button

Step 19

With the wrecking ball sphere selected, click on Mass FX Tool icon. Inside the Mass FX Tool window, go to Multi-Object Editor tab and put the Mass value as 5.

Multi-Object Editor
Multi-Object Editor

Step 20

Click on Start Simulation icon. You will see a fine simulation of chained wrecking ball in the viewport. 

Start Simulation
Start Simulation

3. Installing Fracture Voronoi Script

Step 1

Go to scriptspot.com and download Fracture Voronoi script. 

Fracture Voronoi
Fracture Voronoi 

Step 2

Save the script in the 3ds Max Scripts folder.

Scripts folder
Scripts folder

4. Fracture the Wall

Step 1

Create a box in the viewport to make a wall. 

Create a box
Create a box 

Step 2

With the wall selected, go to Max Script > Run Script.

Max Script  Run Script
Max Script > Run Script

Step 3

It opens the Choose Editor file window. Select the Fracture Voronoi script and click on Open.

Fracture Voronoi run
Fracture Voronoi run

Step 4

It opens the Fracture Voronoi script window. Click on Pick Object button and then select the wall in the viewport.

Fracture Voronoi script window
Fracture Voronoi script window

Step 5

I have set the Nb parts as 40 since I want the wall to be broken into forty different chunks. I've selected the Uniform color option as I want all the chunks in a same color.  

Nb parts as 40
Nb parts as 40

Step 6

Click on Break in 40 button. It breaks the box wall into 40 pieces.

Break in 40
Break in 40

Step 7

You can further break each broken piece into several more chunks. Select a broken piece and then repeat the process from Steps 2 to 6.

repeat the process from Step 2 to 6
repeat the process from Step 2 to 6

5. Fracture Simulation

Step 1

With all wall chunks selected, make them as Dynamic Rigid Body.

Dynamic Rigid Body
Dynamic Rigid Body

Step 2

With all wall chunks selected, go to Multi-Object Editor tab and put the Mass value as 5. Turn on Start in Sleep Mode option. 

Multi-Object Editor
Multi-Object Editor

Step 3

Click on Start Simulation button. You will see the wall shattering simulation in the viewport.

Start Simulation
Start Simulation

Step 4

Once you are satisfied with the simulation result, click on Bake All tab to bake all simulation.

Bake All
Bake All

Conclusion

Mass FX is a great dynamics tool in 3ds Max. It has replaced Reactor and has more controls over the dynamic simulation than ever. 

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