Cinema 4D 12.0 Dynamics – stiff Bodies, Creating A Ball and Hammer

The first step to using the new dynamics in Cinema 4D 12.0 is the use of the stiff bodies tag. past releases of Cinema did offer a stiff tag but already the simplest application with the new version highlights some of the differences.

For starters if you simply add a stiff tag to an object it will characterize dynamic similarities. It will drop to the floor! If you produced the same object without adding this tag, it would simply hang in midair. Just this single addition begins to breathe real life physics into your object’s turn up and behavior. You will probably define a floor object. As your objects fall, bounce, and roll, you need a true plane of shared resistance to create accuracy.

Why don’t we create a hammer and ball? Visualize a swinging hammer which strikes a ball. It’s easy to construct your hammer using a cylinder and cube. form a hammer shape with your cylinder and a square manager to attach to it. Let your manager be the child of the hammer. This will let you use the manager end as the pivot point for it’s swing.

With your manager attached to your hammer you now have a single object. If you highlight either and say, move up or down on the Y (green) axis, they move together as one. Now its time to apply a stiff body tag to your hammer. Under ‘Simulation->Dynamics->Create stiff Body’ click on stiff body and this tag will be additional to your new hammer. Play what you have produced so far and you will see your new hammer simply fall to the ground.

We need to give our hammer the ability to swing and strike and using a ‘Null’ object will let us create this union. Null objects are not visible but they do let us ‘connect’ other objects and group other objects so we can treat them as one. There is some subtlety here. We haven’t moved anything in our construction so when you create a ‘Null’ all these objects should be in line in all directions. When you create your ‘Null’ object, pull its pivot point to the top so when we attach our hammer, this will be its focal point.

Set the pivot point, drag your cylinder construct into the ‘Null’ making it a child and try rotating the ‘Null’. At this point you might want to rename your ‘Null’ object ‘hammer’, something meaningful for your stage. Choose rotation and drag a bit in each direction to see how your new creation not only swings but pivots on the end of the manager as if you were holding it. Your hammer swings properly now if you push play, it will nevertheless drop to the floor. We need a ‘Connector’.

A ‘Connector’ is a stiff body’s companion so to speak. stiff body tags open an object to dynamics. It will fall if not supported, it will bounce if it hits a surface with a collision tag. To prevent it from falling it needs to be ‘connected’. Here we want to ‘connect’ our hammer and it is a bit disinctive to me because it will work already though the connector itself, isn’t connected to anything. It is a concept that takes getting used to.

If you have your hammer constructed with a pivot that let’s you swing from the manager end properly, we’re ready to move on to the completion of our ‘ball and hammer creation’.

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