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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
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Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 3

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

Preview

1. Basic Rigid Body Simulation

Step 1

Open Maya.

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

Go to Curves > EP Curve Tool and draw the curve in the side view as shown in the following image.

Curves  EP Curve Tool
Curves > EP Curve Tool

Step 3

With the curve selected, go to Surfaces > Revolve to create the bowl shape in the viewport.

Surfaces  Revolve
Surfaces > Revolve

Step 4

Create some basic shapes beside the bowl as shown in the following image.

Create some basic shapes
Create some basic shapes

Step 5

Put all shapes over the bowl. You can randomize their position and scale also.

Put all shapes over the bowl
Put all shapes over the bowl

Step 6

Draw a plane beneath the bowl.

Draw a plane beneath the bowl
Draw a plane beneath the bowl

Step 7

With all shapes selected (except the ground plane), go to Soft/ Rigid Bodies > Create Active Rigid Body.

Soft Rigid Bodies  Create Active Rigid Body
Soft/ Rigid Bodies > Create Active Rigid Body

Step 8

With the ground plane selected, go to Soft/Rigid Bodies > Create Passive Rigid Body.

Soft Rigid Bodies  Create Passive Rigid Body
Soft/ Rigid Bodies > Create Passive Rigid Body

Step 9

The basic set up is done. The small objects are supposed to fall down and get accumulated in the bowl. But when you hit the play button to see the simulation, nothing happens. 

This is due to the absence of gravity field which is yet to be applied. So, with all small objects selected, go to Fields > Gravity to apply the gravity.

Fields  Gravity
Fields > Gravity

Step 10

Now hit the play button and you will see all small objects falling down and getting accumulated inside the bowl.

Simulate the scene
Simulate the scene

2. Initial Velocity

Step 1

I made a new scene to demonstrate the Initial Velocity effect. This scene contains a ground plane, three blocks on one another and a ball.

Initial Velocity
Initial Velocity 

Step 2

With all shapes selected (except the ground plane), go to Soft/Rigid Bodies > Create Active Rigid Body.

Soft Rigid Bodies  Create Active Rigid Body
Soft/ Rigid Bodies > Create Active Rigid Body

Step 3

With the ground plane selected, go to Soft/Rigid Bodies > Create Passive Rigid Body.

Soft Rigid Bodies  Create Passive Rigid Body
Soft/ Rigid Bodies > Create Passive Rigid Body

Step 4

With the blocks and the ball selected, go to Fields > Gravity to apply the gravity.

Fields  Gravity
Fields > Gravity

Step 5

Hit the play button to simulate the dynamics and wait for all objects to settle down on the ground.

Settle down the objects
Settle down the objects

Step 6

When all objects get settled on the ground plane, just stop the simulation. At that very frame, select all objects and go to Solvers > Initial State > Set for Selected.

Solvers  Initial State  Set for Selected
Solvers > Initial State > Set for Selected

Step 7

With the ball selected, go to Channel Box/Layer Editor and set the Initial Velocity Z value to 25.

Initial Velocity Z
Initial Velocity Z

Step 8

Press the play button and you'll see the ball is colliding with the blocks.

Simulation
Simulation

3. Impulse

Step 1

Impulse is like a push. You can push the object at a specific point of time and it will act accordingly. But you need to stop the object too otherwise it will keep moving infinitely until you stop it.

I have taken the previous scene for example. Here I have to push the ball and stop it too. I have set the Initial Velocity Z value to 0 again, so that there is no motion in the ball.

Initial Velocity Z
Initial Velocity Z

Step 2

With the sphere ball selected, set the Impulse Z value to 5. Hit the play button and you will see the ball breaks the blocks in a rapid motion and doesn’t stop.

Impulse Z
Impulse Z

Step 3

To stop the ball, you need to do certain key framing. With the ball selected, go to 48th frame and set the Impulse Z value to 0 and with the right click, select Key Selected option. It will add a key frame at the 48th frame.

Key Selected
Key Selected

Step 4

Now, go to 50th frame and set the Impulse Z value to 25 and with the right click, select Key Selected option.

Key Selected
Key Selected

Step 5

Now, go to 52nd frame and set the Impulse Z value to 0 again, and with the right click, select Key Selected option.

Key Selected
Key Selected

Step 6

Now hit the play button and you will see the ball is colliding with the blocks and stops after some time.

Simulation
Simulation

4. Key Framing Active

Step 1

You can also animate the ball manually for some time and then let the dynamics take over. In this case, set the Active value of the sphere ball to 0 to make it off.

Active value
Active value

Step 2

Animate the Translate Z value from 0 to 20th frame. 

Translate Z value
Translate Z value

Step 3

Go to 17th frame and key frame the Active value to 1 to make it on. 

Active value
Active value

Step 4

Press the play button and you'll see the combination of manual key frame animation and dynamics taking over after a certain frame.

Simulation
Simulation

Conclusion

In the next part of the tutorial, I'll show how to delve into more deeper in Dynamics in Maya.

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