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NEWS • Sep. 24, 2001
Maxon Releases Dynamics Engine for Cinema 4D XL
Plugin supports physics, soft body dynamics

by David Nagel
Executive Producer

Maxon has released Cinema 4D Dynamics, a real-time physics simulation plugin for Cinema 4D XL R7.2. The plugin works with Mac and Windows systems. However, because of North American shipping delays, it might not be available to users until early October.

The physics supported by the new system include mass, rotational mass, gravity, friction, springs, elasticity, wind and soft bodies. Maxon says the simulations operate "often" in real time. The resulting animation can be baked into traditional keyframes.

Other features, according to Maxon, include:

  • Preview the dynamic behavior of a scene.
  • Fully integrated in CINEMA 4D XL R7.
  • HyperNURBs for smoothing coarse meshes for faster previews in the editor.
  • Generate natural forces like gravity and wind.
  • Static and dynamic friction.
  • Collision detection and reaction.
  • Display proxies can be used to simplify the geometry used in simulation.
  • Collision detection settings on a per-object basis.
  • Keyframed objects can interact with dynamically controlled objects.
  • Select from multiple ODE solvers (Midpoint, Runge-Kutta, Adaptive).
  • Create soft bodies from any mesh
  • Any polygon object can be identified as soft with full control over its mass, friction and deformation properties. Selected vertices may be tagged as non-soft.
  • Stiffness, damping and friction parameters.
  • Generation of secondary motion with soft bodies.
  • Two core methods for simulating soft objects: SBD modifiers and FFD modifiers.
  • Soft Body Dynamics modifiers work directly on the objectís geometry with full polygon accurate collision detection.
  • Ropes and Chains: any spline can behave like rope to create effects such as hair, ribbon or tassels etc.
  • Complex spring system with stiffness, damping, plastic (more then 40 individual parameters per spring).
  • Angular springs.
  • Springs can break under stress.
  • Visual tools for drawing, selecting and deleting springs.
  • Visual manager for organizing springs.
  • Mix any keyframed object with simulated objects.
  • Constrain cloth, soft bodies or rope to other simulated bodies or keyframed objects.
  • Objects in the system can be attached to one another.
  • Connect objects via springs, with full control over the springís rest length, compression/extension and damping.
  • A motor with arbitrary rotation can be attached to an object.
  • Turn any mesh into a cloth object.
  • Choose stiffness and damping parameters to simulate anything from wool to plastic.
  • Wind can be applied with control over magnitude and variance. Cloth fully interacts with wind dynamics including cloth air impact, drag and lift resistance for floating effects.
  • Access the individual settings of each spring of a cloth object or edit as a complete set.
  • Unlimited number of cloth layers for organizing seams, pockets, etc.
  • Control the mass of object points with vertex maps and restriction tags.
  • Visual manager for organizing spring sets (layers) and changing them.
  • Self-intersection avoidance.
  • Cloth object can be applied to arbitrary geometry or a subset of faces using the vertex selection methods.
  • Full control over common cloth parameters to control stretchiness, bend flexibility, shear flexibility, cloth motion damping, friction, mass and density.

Cinema 4D Dynamics runs $495 and requires Cinema 4D XL version 7.2. For more information, visit http://www.maxon.net.

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