Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 Posted by Jim Thacker

Sneak peek: 3ds Max’s new MassFX physics system

Autodesk has released another sneak peek of its R&D work for 3ds Max, this time of work done in collaboration with Nvidia on the new MassFX physics system.

Although these videos are starting to seem less like sneak peeks and more like weekly updates, we did think this one was particularly cute: the four-minute clip shows a simulation of a simple machine designed to lift up ball bearings and send them running down rollercoaster tracks, running in real time in the viewport.

On a BOXX Technologies 3DBOXX-W4880 workstation with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480, the simulation – for which no keyframes are baked – runs at a healthy 60+ fps.

A small piece of cloth is then added to the machine, showing the workflow for the new mCloth simulation system revealed in a previous video in more detail. This time, frame rate dips a little, but only to 50fps, before recovering to its previous levels.

The fact that Autodesk notes the GPU used in the workstation is also interesting: in 3ds Max 2012, MassFX is not GPU-accelerated – something that seems ripe for a change.

As ever, the technology is likely but not guaranteed to arrive in 3ds Max 2013.

Previous 3ds Max sneak peeks

‘Send To’ workflow with Maya and MotionBuilder

MediaSync interoperability with After Effects

Deformable Poly object type

mCloth cloth simulation

Fixes for ‘Small Annoying Things’