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Creating 3D Physics-based effects

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Jack Owens
Creating 3D Physics-based effects
on Jul 23, 2013 at 7:42:19 am

Hi! Sorry if I have posted this in the wrong category.... Please let me know and I will remove it.

I have used After Effects for a while now, and consider myself very familiar with the software overall. However, there is one thing AE can't do well that I find myself needing - 3D Physics. Let me explain... I want to create my own effects for buildings falling, explosions, car crashes, etc. AE doesn't have any good (if any) effects to make 3D animations for destroying stuff. I would like to create a physics-based explosion, then import that into AE so I can do further editing.

Would 3DS Max be the solution?


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Creating 3D Physics-based effects
on Jul 23, 2013 at 3:05:04 pm

It would be one of the options, but the learning curve is steep, and, out of the box, Max usually needs a plugin (more expense) to achieve really good looking building collapses - here's one of them:

http://rayfirestudios.com/promo/showreels

The showreel will give you an idea of what you can do - but you've got a lot of learning ahead. Also, generally speaking, the better looking explosions and dust are also a separate plugin.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Jack Owens
Re: Creating 3D Physics-based effects
on Jul 23, 2013 at 4:06:07 pm

Thanks for your answer! So would you not recommend 3DS Max to a beginner? Is there any good alternatives?

- Jack


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Creating 3D Physics-based effects
on Jul 23, 2013 at 5:00:19 pm

I would recommend 3DS Max to anyone who wants to create high-end 3D animations, from flying titles, to characters and the worlds they live in. I was only saying that it's very complex so that, if you choose to purchase it, you'd be aware of the steep learning curve. It's just got so many features, that it takes time and effort. You don't just open it and start playing around.

That said, there is Blender, a 3D package which has many of the capabilities of 3DS Max (and some plugins you'd have to pay for to get them in Max), but my feeling is that the interface is a bit clunky. Bear in mind, though, that I've been using Max for years, so it may just be that I'm so used to Max that anything different might seem clunky. Blender is free - so you could start learning a 3D package with no investment. There is also Cinema 4D, a 3D package widely used in the broadcast television industry, and claimed to have a shorter learner curve (I have no experience with it - hence no opinion).

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Todd Stopa
Re: Creating 3D Physics-based effects
on Aug 23, 2013 at 4:24:01 am

In short even with max, destroying things is a tough job,

requiring plugins, ie rayfire etc

or complicated scripts and rigid body simulators.

like vorofrag good for prefracturing objects

the simulation aspect would depend on which version of max you are using

2011 had reactor physics
2012 had basic new massfx physics engine which was easier but limited
2013 had the new massfx physics engine which also included a cloth function
2014 has new tools in the particle side of max that used to be called box2 and box3 tools but are now included that allow for very complex physics simulations but you would need to know a good deal about how each of the new tools in pflow work before you would get anywhere.

if you are a beginner I would look up vorofrag a fracturing script that comes free from the internet, and get max 2013 make an object and apply vorofrag to it. then use the massfx toolbar to turn all the fractured pieces into rbodies and hit play.

but that calls into play a lot of max experience.

It is up to you what you do but my advice is to invest the time it takes to learn max as it has a steep learning curve but once you got it down you can go into any other 3d application excluding Houdini and just rock it with minimal effort. :)

I hope that at least kind of helps you along in your decision making process. :)


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