View Full Version : Hard FX

04-03-2007, 01:18 PM
Did anybody try to tumble a building of blocks by throwing a ball at its base with the help of Hard FX dynamics?

It seems to be so tedious. I might as well animate each block by hand.

04-04-2007, 03:12 AM
HardFX in LW is not capable of such tasks in my opinion, but with some smart tricks and workarounds you surely can get it to work. Not a fun thing to do in LW with the current dynamics engine.

04-04-2007, 03:29 AM
You should test the novodox rocket demo, that's some really amazing hardFX in almost realtime. Ageia bought it and now you can't test the rocket demo anymore. :(

04-04-2007, 03:42 AM
Here's a demo I captured when playing with the rocket demo, it's so cool. Try to do things like this in LW. This is in almost realtime and no pieces is jittering or pentrating eachother, this is the best dynamics engine I ever seen and it also support soft and ragdoll/joints dynamics. XSI has integrated this engine in their product and it's tempting to buy it just because of it. Newtek please do something to the dynamics engine in LW.

04-04-2007, 07:49 AM
LW is perfectly capable of doing those kind of dynamics. Here's an example. While it would be nice to have those kind of dynamics real time, I wouldn't say LW's dynamics are useless. Someone on this forum even won a CG competition of a catapult crashing into a wall with LW's dynamics vs other package's own dynamics. There are certainly some things I can't do in LW's own system, which I could do in others, but there are some things I could do in LW which are only just becoming possible in maya for example.

04-04-2007, 08:12 AM
I hoped to be proven wrong, but this just shows how bad the dynamics engine in LW is. OK, it works if you hide it behind some smoke and stuff but it's not near as good as the PhysX engine.

Ok, I went a bit off topic, because of my own disappointment for LW's dynamics engine. So for simpfendoerfer if this is good enough you can do as Dodgy showed in his scene.

04-04-2007, 09:00 AM
I think I must have uploaded the wrong scene. I did get a lot of penetration but then I was using quite a low res, so I bumped up the resolution.

04-04-2007, 09:09 AM
Thank you ztreem and dodgy.
Dodgy, off course starting with your sample one could tweek it with key framed animation after one has a basis created by Hard FX.

My task was to shoot away the base of a building and then have all the blocks above come tumbling down. I could not find a solution with HardFX. In the end I keyframed it all. Pure fantasy physics has its own poetry.

It took me 5 hours. But before I noodled Hard FX for 12 hours without success. Hard FX calculated the shooting away of blocks ok. But it could not do the falling down of the blocks above in the same process.

After it was clear that it can't be done in one Dynamics calculation I tried to break it up in several. Should each block be its own object with its own Hard FX applied? But how will it create collisions with the other blocks which need also Hard FX applied instead of Collission FX? I did not figure it out.

Some settings took so long to calculate that I wanted to abort it. That was not possible either with the escape key. I had to crash the program.

04-04-2007, 09:10 AM
Dodgy: Have you tested the Novodox/PhysX Rocket demo or did you see my video. It just shows how it supposed to work and how fast.
I know if you set the resolution in LW high enough you can get quite good result, but the calculation times is so slow that it's not usable. I don't say that LW is useless, but it could be alot better.

04-04-2007, 09:16 AM
simpfendoerfer, (that was a tricky alias :) )
You can have alot of bricks in one layer and in hardfx you choose parts instead of 1 piece and it will handle the object as several bricks.
When you want to abort a dynamics calculation you don't press escape you press ctrl :), logical isn't it.

04-04-2007, 09:17 AM
ztreem, I saw your video. If LW could do that, it is probably what I needed.

When I had all bricks in one layer it could not figure out blowing away the bricks at the bottom and have the others come tumbling down. Maybe I didn't get it right. Do you think LW could do it?

04-04-2007, 09:28 AM
I just tried cancelling the calculation with the control key. It did not do it either.
That is LW 9.2 OB20.

04-04-2007, 09:32 AM
I may be possible with a lot of tweaking and workarounds, but it would not be a walk in the park.
If you use the FXBrowser when you calculate dynamics it works alot better in canceling the calculation. just a tip! :)

04-04-2007, 09:37 AM
I saw your pics now, and that looks like quite simple object. I was thinking about thousends of bricks falling down. This may actually work in LW with a workaround.

04-04-2007, 09:39 AM
Oh I agree it could be a lot better. We had a guy here with a realtime shower of thousands of skulls all colliding correctly. Certainly shows LW's dynamics up. I just think they're capable of a lot more than most people think.

With a little trickery, you can do some useful stuff.

If you look carefully at things like the Phantom menace's pod race, you'll see lots of dodgy things going on, but no one notices..

04-04-2007, 10:08 AM
Thank you dodgy. That towerfall works really well. To have the scatter plane is a greate trick too. Mmmh, it probably could not do the deflection of the ball in the same time. I wonder how complex can the building get?

Ztreem I indeed can cancel from the FX browser.

I really appreciate the help from you both.

04-04-2007, 10:24 AM
What do you mean the deflection of the ball? Do you mean just shoot the ball and have hard fx take care of the rest? You could. Apply HardFX to the ball, and in the Force Tab, give it an initial impulse.

04-04-2007, 12:20 PM
I just think they're capable of a lot more than most people think.

Absolutly, it's like the rigging tools in LW it's also alot better than a lot of people will give them credits for. Both of them is capable of a lot with some work, the thing is that they could be both better and easier to use. :D

04-07-2007, 04:05 PM
you should check out the ODE plugin kmacphail (http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24732&highlight=ode) has been working on, its current version would handle this easily

04-07-2007, 05:34 PM
Yep, ODEflow is nice and easy to set up.


Yet, is it capable of custom shapes yet? That is the part I need alot. :D

But for what you guys are doing I think it will suffice.