Jason contacted us asking this:
“I’m creating a marble run scene using Newton 3 in AE. I’ve seen an example of what I’m after, but can’t seem to figure out how to make it nor can I find any assistance online for my problem. I want a marble to interact with ‘spinners’ as per the video link below : https://youtu.be/6XvEmLjaPdc?t=6 I’d also like the ‘marbles’ to interact with a ‘switch’ when they land. See video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeDDw… Are these scenarios workable in Newton please? If so, how should I be setting these up? Please refer to the image attached as reference. Kind regards, Jason”
And here’s our answer… 🙂
I’ll show you how to quickly set up a simple simulation in Adobe After Effects, send it to Newton3, use fixed objects to only rotate switch and spinners, tweak your scene to have the best result.
Get Newton 3: http://aescripts.com/newton/
Get Rift: https://aescripts.com/rift/
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Create soft bodies that react to a predefined animation using Newton2 and Connect Layers.
Motion Designer Lok Fu show us how he rigged the head and the neck of his horse using Newton2 and Connect Layers.
The final product:
Some animation tests:
02. Launch Newton, use the pivot joint to connect the body, neck and face (all the boxes). And tick the “Enable Limit” box, set the lower and upper angle to control the amplitude of those elements. Then tick out the same group from the “Collide With” box to make sure the boxes won’t affect each other.
01. First, animate the BODY (the boxes will follow the animated shape)
03. Turn the BODY to Kinematic to use the animation done in After Effects in step 1.
04. And let the neck and face Rock the world…
05. Finally simply just use Connect Layers to connect the boxes to create the smooth neck and the face.
About the deformed circles.
1. We began by breaking the machine down into smaller sections and designed them using vector graphics, mostly in After Effects
2. Then to prepare for Newton, we dramatically simplified the composition, creating proxy version of the objects used in the animation.
This made it possible to for Newton to calculate our simulations in real time with no errors or glitches.
We also created new dummy objects that we hand animation, these wouldn’t be seen in the final composition but they helped ‘guide’ the physics simulation.
Ultimately we were creating a something that had to look good, not something that actually functioned, so a lot of little tweaks were made by hand that broke the laws of physics.
3. The project in Newton.
The vast majority of the animation and 100% of the ball animation was created by Newton simulations.
There was a lot of back and forth between After Effects and Newton to get the design right.
We found it very easy to ‘test’ a design in Newton, make modifications where needed and then re-test to see if it worked.
4. Once the simulation was exported from Newton we replaced all the proxy objects with the complex machine elements.
This was done by linking the complex objects to the proxy objects and then turning the proxy objects off.
The smaller sections were then all re-timed in the master composition so the animation would flow from one section to the next and time with the voice over.
5. We also found Newton extremely useful when animating cogs and pistons.
Constant motion of interlinking cogs is easy to animate in AE, but realistic acceleration from a standstill was almost impossible.
The same goes for animating a piston or any rigid body machine with a number of moving parts.
AE is just not set up for it.
We essentially used Newton as an Inverse Kinematics (IK) solver and our workflow was very similar to if we’d been using 3D software.
6. Once again we used proxy and dummy objects.
We found the ‘Star’ shape tool in AE very useful for creating proxy objects for the cogs that allowed for much tighter interlocking teeth.
We then set up links between in the piston and gave them limits just like an IK solution.
Note: We did not use a spring joint in out piston like the Newton tutorial, we had more moving parts and wanted more control.
Thanks to Stuart van Eysden & Jason McFadyen at Resolution Media