Oh, how wonderful the feel of a digital explosion across your screen. Am I right? YES. How’s it happen? Exocortex Technologies. They’ve released Momentum 3, a slick multiphysics engine for Autodesk Softimage. While it’s not useful for anything mildly related to the usual cadre of CAD apps we talk about on SolidSmack, it does give us a chance to complain that this technology is still not used in any of them… sad. to. say. First take a look at what Exocortex and others are bringing to the wonderful world of physical simulation.
So, Softimage is a polygonal/NURBS modeler that allows you to create animations and visual effects. Momentum 3 plugs right in (as does the Lagoa multiphysics engine – sweet videos here) and allows you to blast the open-source Bullet multiphysics technology into your rigs with new cracking, fracturing and breaking features, force sculpting to control your explosions and new ways to copy motion from one object to another. Individual and floating license both start at $499. Take a look.
Sorry CAD, Multiphysics not for you
Before you say NVIDIA PhysX is in this or that CAD software, wait… it’s not the same – not presented the same. CAD companies tout the capabilities and visuals of their physical simulation software, but we’re not seeing visuals like this, not even on the animation side. Can you imagine setting up a motion study or simulation for a bag of grass seed falling off a truck that tips over? Sweet corn biscuits, that would kill YOU. The problem is, this type of motion just can’t be applied to the heavy geometry in the solid models of today’s CAD platforms with all the parametrics, constraints and associativities. They’ll have to be whittled down to simple rigs and meshes or, more likely, polygonal modelers will need some ability to add dimensional relations, assembly structure and meta data to their independent parts. Hello modo and Blender?
Could you use these visuals in your design? Why not?