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# 1 18-10-2011 , 09:44 PM
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Mythbusters Inspired Newtons Cradle

Hey All,

If any of you are Mythbusters fans and have been watching the current series then you will have seen the Newton's Cradle episode (https://dsc.discovery.com/videos/myth...h-speed-2.html).

They scaled up a Newton's Cradle to extreme measures to Bust, Comfirm or make Plausable this video from the current Kit Kat advert.
Kit Kat crane advert - YouTube
Where bored crane drivers create a Newton's Cradle from 5 demolishion balls. I am unsure if you guys 'n' galls in the US get Kit kats or have even seen the Ad, but it airs here in the UK. Anyway I digress...

The inspiration from this is to model, create and render out a dynamic desktop version of a Newton's Cradle into video. So far I have spent about 2 and 1/2 hours modelling, UVing (there was not a lot of it to be done tbh) and rendering.

The arches were created from NURBS Objects and Curves and then converted into Polygons, for that smooooooooth feel.

So here is the initial wireframe:
user added image

And here is the test render:
user added image

I have rendered out:
  1. An envSphere for reflections
  2. A DGS_Material for the chrome arches
  3. Image based lighting using the same hdr image as the env sphere
  4. a phonge for the wood base with a modified mahonany texture from The Area
  5. a flat very dark grey lambert for the rubber holders
  6. Rendered in MR with FG on

I need to touch up the base to smooth it out, I did convert it to a Sub-D, keeping UV layout from the poly object, but it messed up the texture placement, so any tips would be cool.

This is the reference image. I took some artistic licence as I only have this one view. Let me know what you think!

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Last edited by publicFunction; 18-10-2011 at 09:49 PM.
# 2 19-10-2011 , 03:13 AM
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cool man....not bad at all...I only work with polys...maybe the odd curve for an extrusion so I am completely in the dark with the sub-D.

Cheers bullet


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# 3 19-10-2011 , 07:35 AM
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# 4 19-10-2011 , 08:18 PM
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This is a much nicer render and with the balls too.

I plan to copy this model and work on the dynamics now. but I am totaly unsure of how to approach the catgut/wires holding onto the balls...

Time to ponder and research, I'll get back to you user added image

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# 5 19-10-2011 , 08:43 PM
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Since I have very little Maya knowledge I will simply tell you how I would do this in C4D. I imagine it is the same. In C4D you would create a spline by either edge selection or drawing out and putting hair constraints on each end to be the holders. The spline would then be given Spline IK and you would use the hair dynamics system to solve the physics. I imagine it is the same just different buttons to press...

# 6 19-10-2011 , 09:07 PM
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Looking good, look like its hovering a little, try a joint chain for your animation........dave




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# 7 19-10-2011 , 09:50 PM
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I am not keyframe animating... I am using Maya Dynamics to process the animation. I found the solution by using hinge contraints. Working on a very basic test model, will post it as soon as I get it out of Maya into a useable format user added image


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# 8 19-10-2011 , 09:55 PM
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There is no keyframing with spline IK. It is a dynamic chain... Think you are confused...

Iron Shackles Dynamic Chain Rig - Maya - YouTube

That is a video of the same thing I do in C4D. The geo is simply bound to the spline so the chain itself is not the driving force in this video. Much like how you would make a dynamic animal tail. You could use a hinge connector as well through traditional dynamics but I am thinking it will create a force that is constricted and not realistic. However even with the Spline IK it will be tough to show the transference of energy from the most outer balls... Many ways my friend...


Last edited by Chavfister; 19-10-2011 at 10:00 PM.
# 9 19-10-2011 , 10:12 PM
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I think you might be confused as to what I am doing...

I need to use dynamics for a couple of reasons.

1) The Newtons Cradle is an experiment that shows how energy is transfered from one object to another
2) I need passive and rigid bodies to allow the dynamic transfer of enery from one object to another and foor those objects to be effected by forces like gravity
3) The transulcent wires that hold the ball bearings in place need to show mass and weight whilst they animate, this in turn would make the transulcent wires appear stiffer than they are

The best solution to make sure all these are adhered to is to use dymanics, I do not disagree with the approach you have suggested, I just do not believe that it is the right approach to take for this small project.

Here is an initial test on a single ball bearing...
Newtons Cradle Dynamics Testing and Solutioning - YouTube

At the time of posting the video was being post-processed by you tube


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# 10 20-10-2011 , 12:42 AM
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You are right. Works better on this end as well with the hinge constraint.

Was actually able to get even better results when constructing a ring dropline and fastening it with a cylinder hinge. Gave it a BtCollisionShape so to have all my components solve simultaneously without a merge. Hmmm interesting how much the Maya engine is now like C4D's since it is now "the same." Bullet ftw....


Last edited by Chavfister; 20-10-2011 at 03:22 AM.
# 11 29-10-2011 , 02:04 AM
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Bullet ftw.... ......I would like to Chav in more ways than one but it isnt possible ATM LOL


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# 12 01-11-2011 , 08:10 AM
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Hey Mate,

Hows things?

Like the idea and the plan, looking forward to seeing it all going with the dynamics applied!


"No pressure, no diamonds" Thomas Carlyle
# 13 01-11-2011 , 09:48 AM
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Hey Steve...

Big changes in my personal life, other than that life doesnt really change that much.

Looking forward to get this right, big task for one of my second projects back after soooo long user added image


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