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Flex Modifier

The Flex modifier has seen some big changes since its introduction in Max 3. This modifier, which is primarily used to create simulated soft-body secondary animation, has been beefed up with complex spring-system options and the capability to work in conjunction with space warps and deflector objects. This gives Flex the capability to more accurately maintain object volumes while creating more realistic motions driven by things such as wind and gravity. The capability to also work with deflectors enables the user to simulate collisions between soft-body objects and solid objects.

Flex can be used in two general ways: to add jiggly motion to parts of an object and to simulate soft-body dynamics on an entire object. An important thing to keep in mind for readers unfamiliar with procedural animation tools such as Flex is that getting the desired results often requires quite a bit of experimentation. Working with Flex can often become a “tweak-fest,” with the user trying a seemingly endless combination of parameter values before arriving at acceptable results. This section tries to shed some light on the practical effect of the various parameters, but every case will be different depending on variables such as object scale and relative speed. With this in mind, the next section examines the many parameters of this modifier, as seen in Figure 3.20.


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