3D Simulations

The past week I have been experimenting heavily with dynamic simulations inside of 3D studio Max using Reactor (which is the engine that processes object interactions). The image above is a test for an FX shot I’m working on where a freeway over pass collapses. By using the fracture node, you can group objects together and have them break apart when they collide. What is great about this is this is the object will only break when an impact affects that area.

The truth is I’m somewhat overwhelmed. I have a fair amount of experience with these type of simulations but now that I’m looking at it from a teaching perspective, I have to dig deeper and really understand what is going on so that I can explain it better. By doing this , I’m learning a great deal more than I ever thought I knew. Every time I feel good about teaching one aspect, I come across more new features…

I’ll get my head together and share some more tests. In the meantime do a youtube search for “reactor simulation”. Inspiring stuff.

9 years ago
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I'm excited to see what you come up with.
9 years ago
Hello Andrew,

1st place I want to thank you for all your'e tutorials and the time you took to make them, i wanted to ask if you can explain how fracture node is working. Because I'm working on a project right now, and i need a building to collapse if a tank is driving true it.

Thank you for your time, and sorry for my English (I'm from Holland)
With kind regards,

Aernout Ottens
9 years ago
@Matt in MO:
read entries that are 9, 7 and 5 above your entry.
Matt in MO.
9 years ago
Maybe you could integrate some 3D Models into Advanced Set Extensions? haha. Good work Andrew. Glad to see you expanding your horizons even though I cannot join you for this ride as I cannot afford a 3d app.
9 years ago
Hey Andrew, could you please have a tutorial about texturing & lighting in 3ds max sometime in the future? thanks for all the great tutorials, they are really inspiring!
9 years ago
Since I'm using Cinema4D, I hope to fully understand Maxon's dynamics system one day ;)
9 years ago
I look forward very much to the 3d studio max reactor tutorials!
9 years ago
I love reactor, been playing with it for some months now:)
9 years ago
Have I mentioned Blender has an After Effects exporter script plus built in NLE and compositor that allows you to do color correction, keying, blur n glow effects etc?



http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/features/feature-videos/?video=imaging > Tutorials > Greenscreen
9 years ago
wow, I'm really looking forward to this!

I have always thought Reactor has huge possibilities in regards to media animation. However, trying to find decent training materials on it has been difficult. I really look forward to some tutorials on this.

By the way, I really like your training style. The pace of your tutorials is perfect and your humor throws in a good laugh every now and then! (waaay better than the guys over at TT, if you know what I mean).

Also, you probably already know about the MAX2AE plugin. Matt over at Boomerlabs.com is really cool... You guys should work out a deal if you use it in a tutorial.

I would like to see something like this "kramerized" haha


I'm glad to see you're from socal as well... it would have been cool to meet you at DV Expo but I went on Thurday. Well, keep the great tutorials coming!


9 years ago
blender hair:

blender fluids:

blender particles/ explode node:

particle system has been revamped today (11.Nov). The good thing about blender is that it's constantly being developed by a huge community, it's fun alone to see how it gets better everyday, like coming to videocopilot and see what amazing stuff you can learn here for free!
I love the internet!
9 years ago
Hey Andrew Kramer,

Just a reminder to keep Bobby Hommel on staff, I truly love the fact that you are even considering some 3-D tutorials or whatever but please spend the money needed to make it worth (the viewing audiences) our pleasure, I truly hate short comings when it comes to "Instructions" so make it complete and as "Detailed" as

As usual, Thanks for all your efforts and tutorials!
You make life easy for most of us wanting to learn VFX.
9 years ago
To Happy Camper and everyone who has no 3Dapplication:

Go to youtube and look what blender can do for you. Type:

Blender demolition reel (yes, there's a bridge in too)

Blender physics

Blender array

For everyone who watches this and wants to learn, go to:
www.blendernation.com > videotutorials
ww.blenderunderground.com (great beginner videotutorials)
9 years ago
after effects and 3d max!!!!!!
its like there giving away crack at this site
9 years ago
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you do a 3ds max tutorial, could you show how to import it into after effect then ? That would be great. THANKS for everything.
9 years ago
If you want control over your particles id be moving over to max Particle flow as you have more control over every aspect of your particle system.
Happy camper
9 years ago
nice, looks scary to even scrape the surface with some of these things...

good stuff though, can't wait... if only i had MAX's...
Doogie Howser MD
9 years ago
WOW! Looks like someone really went to town with riot gear ink! http://www.freixenetusa.com/Pages.php?Page=freixenet-television-commercial I think you should  knuckle down and bring us riot gear two! (I hear you have a child now?! How selfish!)
9 years ago
Hey Andrew! Great Work! I was wondering if there is any chance you could show us how to make some cool things with dynamics in 3ds Max and then pass it to AE and finish it adding some final compositing. That would be cool!

Keep up the good work! Thanks!

Adrian S.
9 years ago
YEAH, bring that 3d Stuff on AK!

Im shure you will get a lot of critics from the AE only cracks because this 3d stuff is really hard for an AE User (like me :) )

I am wondering if AE someday can do some real 3d...that would be the real deal!
9 years ago
Crysis is awesome!

I just have a little question. You said something about AME2 a few weeks ago. Will it contain wounds, like bullet wounds and such? That would really help ;)
9 years ago
Hey, have you heard of DMM? Digital Molecular Matter? It's by Pixelux. It's being used in the upcoming Star Wars game, but there is also a plugin for 3ds max and Maya i believe. It looks extremely powerful, even more so than reactor or maya's new physics engine in maya 2008. i cant seem to find a download for it anywhere, even though sites say that a plugin is now available, even their own site. ive been dying to try this out as it realistically simulates different materials on a near molecular level very realistically. wood splintering with the grain in thousands of shards, cutting wood in half and seeing the grain texture realistically blend from one side to the other. but back on topic, the physics simulations in maya and 3ds max are simply stunning now. i love simply spending hours making flags that blow in the wind and cloths that fall and crumple on the ground for no reason.
Dustin James
9 years ago
Looks real good.
9 years ago
Off topic Andrew... but have you seen the new Indiana Jones poster?

Looking nice :) !!
9 years ago
Wow! that's brilliant.
I would love to see a tutorial about this 3D stuff! and it would be nice to step further. Like interpolating some 3D objects into a video.


Bye K.K
9 years ago
It does take a long time, but not that long. Especially not in a simple scene like a glass filling up. The thing is, it doesn't render, it only simulates, then you take the simulation back to your 3d program (Maya, Cinema 4d, MAX, Lightwave, etc.) and render it from there. Simulation time depends on the speed of your computer and the complexity of the scene. But if you spend the time, the results are amazingly realistic.
9 years ago
the pic looks great, i saw many of reactor vids on youtube before and also watched tutorials, but i dindt understood. I hope you can explain it better ( i really think u can)

ah... and i heard that liquid animation take a lot time to render (i read somewhere 5 sek vid. took 6 hours of rendering. it showed a glass full of water that was flowing in.

does it really take so long?
9 years ago
Have you ever used Realflow? It's mainly for liquid and gas simulation, but it does solid simulation well also.


Its not that hard to use either. At least not for basic things like whats in the picture at the top
yeah, more max tuts!

I'm starting now with max, too, & your tutorials are very innovative & easy to understand... great training for me!
9 years ago
Looks awesome! This is exactly the type of stuff I want to see. Is it going to be semi-photorealistic? Or is it just a physics simulation?

Crysis IS amazing, but the single player is weak. I hear that they are going to release the "real" storyline sometime next year. Still though, there is nothing that even comes close to the Crytech engine. You just can't beat killing your opponent by shooting a palm tree and having it fall and crush them. Lots of fun.

I cant wait to see the collision detection tutorial, and hopefully it will incorporate that tutorial I have always been asking for; to matchmove the 3d-models into live action footage. That would make my day.
9 years ago
i hope we will see a very nice tutorial about that soon

or even a tutorial in 3d studio max
Brian M
9 years ago
Sounds like a cool shot. Makes me wonder about something in your 'About Me' section. It says you taught yourself how to do effects to support your own filmmaking.

Can we see some of your films? Are you still making some?
9 years ago
HELL FIRES!!! I am a gasp with excitement of this one...

Roll on Mr Kramer, roll on....
morten enoksen
9 years ago
Hey. Andrew, if u like CoD4 you should definately try Crysis! The multiplayer is kinda like the Battlefield series. Cars, tanks, helicopters, planes

But it has also one of the best physics engines in the world so far.

Oh, and the simulation thing you've got going=nice ;) keep it up with! And dont forget to update the viewers!
9 years ago
9 years ago
Thats awesome! Would love a tutorial combining video with 3d.. a freeway over pass collapse tutorial would be amazing :D
9 years ago
sounds cool Mr.K. the studio I work at does a heap of 3D dynamics stuff... prepare for long render times people, but always worth the result
9 years ago
Hey *James Price * that is amazing!! good on you!!
9 years ago
Great stuff, can't wait for a tutorial.
9 years ago
Hi Andrew...so far so good.

I was looking at your videos several times, all of them are quite good but I thin that your knowledge about 3d graphic need more improvements.

If we're talking about your work in 3D..
This are some basics stuff, moves and tips - come one, creating text in 3dsmax take 30sec, text + shell modificator, some edge chamfer and a bit of turbosmooth and its done, playing with reactor is quite simple ass well. Btw from version 7.0 of 3dsmax (where the reactor wass really good one) its start being sucks, so I dont thin you can create some good physics there, also collision parametr is not too good there.

You should take a walk over the net and learn look for something.

Go and try maybe with Nextlimit RealFlow - its really nice app that allow you to play with collision ang physics in 3dsmax, its give better possiblities and better results.

Theres a lot of better software then the reactor - belive me - I work in this indrusty from 5years and I know whats better.

So I dont think that the using default reactor from 3ds give you so good results like the realflow (or any other one)

Wish you my best.
9 years ago
I saw that crysis engine, amazing!
9 years ago
You think thats good!

Check out what Crysis can do.

James Price
9 years ago
Glad that I am not the only one...I have been trying to get my head around that and Fume FX for a while now.

It would be cool for you to convey your style of teaching to this and other 3ds max techniques...then I may stick with it longer!

(3d camera tracking and 3ds max reactor could make for an awsome tutorial on "how to destroy a wall/building"...that would be matched to live action footage.)

Checkout my first proper test with PFtrack/3ds max:


I would love how to get some realistic reactor 3d elements going for a collapsing wall for a short film idea that I have. :)
9 years ago
Wow, this is great! I love 3ds max!
Mr Aponso
9 years ago
Cool. will look forward to some tutorials
9 years ago
WOW...I am wondering if Andrew now will gave us some tutorials with 3D Studio... Fantastic! You are a guy with impressive skills... Keep the good work! (Portugal)
9 years ago
Thanks Andrew I look foward to read about your tests!
9 years ago
have a look at this..
pretty cool