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modo gets new Bullet physics rigid body plug-in

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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Developer Eric Soulvie has created a new rigid body plug-in for modo based on the Bullet physics library.

recoil, which is available via the Luxology website, is one of the first fruits of modo’s new SDK, introduced with version 501 last year. At the time, Luxology predicted that the move would help accelerate development of new features, particularly outside core areas of the software: something that seems to be proving correct.

As you’d expect of Luxology, there is a set of attractive demo videos on the software home page, many of which look like they were a lot of fun to create. In particular, check out the one showing the ragdoll in the office chair falling down the stairs. Ouch indeed.

PRESS RELEASE (Excerpts)
Luxology® LLC today announced the availability of recoil™, a new plug-in for modo® 501 that accurately simulates dynamic rigid body interactions. Based on the popular open source Bullet physics engine, which is used extensively within the games and film industries, recoil realistically simulates dynamic forces and calculates accurate collisions between objects, allowing users to quickly create incredibly complex animations or automatically stack vast numbers of objects. The plug-in was developed independently by Eric Soulvie using the modo Plug-in Software Development Kit (SDK) and runs on both the PC and Mac versions of modo 501.

Utilizing version 2.77 of the Bullet physics engine, recoil simplifies the setup and execution of complex physical simulations by combining robust collision detection with a variety of constraints, forces and controls. By simply tagging any mesh item to be dynamic, the object is ready to respond to forces like gravity or collisions from other objects in a modo scene.

“The integration of the Bullet rigid body dynamics into modo went very smoothly and the resulting animations are astonishingly realistic,” said Eric Soulvie, the Seattle-based developer of the recoil plug-in. “The recoil plug-in supports the option of collision detection directly with the Subdivision Surfaces, not just the cage geometry, which provides for more detailed simulation results.”

The recoil plug-in is a seamless extension to modo and offers a wealth of new functionality for modo 501 users:

  • Any mesh item can be made dynamic with recoil, making it subject to forces like gravity or collisions with other objects in the scene
  • Objects can be given “wake-up” conditions and an initial “impulse” behavior. A common wake-up event would be a collision, perhaps with an impulse behavior to jump up slightly and then respond to the force of gravity.
  • A system of connectors, including springs and motors enables complex linked behaviors like spinning gears, elastic coils or swinging chains
  • Dynamic simulation can be combined with traditional keyframe animation so that a swinging bat can collide with a tower of pins that scatter and fall to the ground
  • recoil is also useful for stacking objects so that they come to a resting position naturally, such as cubes of sugar in a dish or gumballs in a vending machine

“recoil is a fast, powerful and fun-to-use product that will be attractive to our large community of modo users,” said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “This is the most extensive use of the modo Plug-in SDK to date and represents a significant milestone for modo as a 3D platform.”

Pricing and Availability
The recoil plug-in is available immediately at a price of USD $199. recoil is designed for use with the modo 501 software that, along with recoil, can be obtained from Authorized Luxology resellers or from the Luxology website.

Read the full feature list for recoil

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  • Mike

    Looks Good!!

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