Your next project is an exploration of Maya Physics. Maya uses a soft/rigid body system and different fields that can modify the interactions of these simulated objects, these fields are things like gravity and wind....
Maya Physics Experiment:
Objective: Learn how to use physics engines for complex 3D animations, repeat and experiment for visually interesting interactions. Render with Mental Ray and Image Based Lighting and Layered Shaders for your demo reel.
Your assignment is to follow the simple tutorial below, then create a fun physics experiment and then render it. Don't get too elaborate or your computer will take weeks to complete the calculations in your simulation, keep the number of objects under 20, more will slow down the calculation speed potentially. Use all the skills you have developed up to now to set up your 3D file with a proper project folder, render settings, materials, image based lighting etc.... just as we did in the cornell box project.
Part 1: Basic Physics Simulation
- Launch maya and make a new file
- Give your timeline at least 500 frames and zoom out the timeline so all frames are visible in the timeline
- Create a cube and shape it into a flat surface like a table
- Create another cube, along with a sphere and a third shape of your choice
- Arrange the new shapes in a column that is positioned over your first flat table shape that you made
- Select the table shape and press down on the spacebar to bring up your marking menu, select "Soft/Rigid Bodies" and choose "Create Passive Rigid Body"
- Now Select the column of objects, the cube, sphere and third object of your choice and then press the spacebar to bring up your marking menu again and choose "Soft/Rigid Bodies" and select "Create Active Rigid Body"
- With your 3 objects still selected go back to your marking menu... this time select "Fields" and choose "Gravity"
- Press the play button to see your objects fall from the gravity and bounce on the tabletop
- Congratulations! You just made a physics simulation in 3D!
Part 2: Make Something Awesome
With a little ingenuity and some basic knowledge you can make a really cool simulation, try using more shapes or different types of platforms and passive solid bodies for interesting results. You can give passive objects a pivot point so they spin when hit. You can add a few keyframes to an active rigid body to launch it in a certain direction. Here are some ideas you can do with just basic knowledge:
- Make a wheel or sphere roll down a ramp and into a jump
- Create a Newtons Cradle
- Make a wheel or sphere roll on a track
- Make an obstacle course for a sphere to roll down
- Make bowling pins and knock them down with a sphere
- Make a brick wall and knock it over
- Make a tower of bricks and blow it over with a wind field (or sideways gravity!)
Part 3: Render Your Simulation
- Once your simulation is perfect make some materials for your objects, make some shiny, some glassy and some have a matte surface
- Set up a project folder for this simulation file, make sure you create the file directory first then "set" the project to that new directory
- Turn on Mental Ray and load up your best settings, use an image based lighting setup to add some good realism to your scene
- Render your scene and turn it in as a video file to mad max when it is ready