Luxology releases new modo plug-in

Luxology releases new modo plug-in
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

April 28th 2011 at 10:46AM

Recoil to offer users integration of the Bullet engine rigid body dynamics

Luxology has made available a new dynamic forces plug-in for modo, the company's 3D modeling, painting and rendering tool.

Called recoil, the plug-in is based on the open source Bullet physics engine, which has found favour within both the games and film industries.

Developed independently by Seattle-based Eric Soulvie using the modo Plug-in SDK, recoil promises to realistically simulate dynamic forces and calculate accurate object collisions, meaning users to rapidly craft complex animations or automatically stack vast numbers of objects.

Recoil has been designed to simplify both the setup and execution of complex physical simulations, and offers robust collision detection with a variety of constraints, forces and controls. Users can tag any mesh item to be dynamic, so the object is ready to respond to forces like gravity or collisions from other objects in a given modo scene.

"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." 

"The integration of the Bullet rigid body dynamics into modo went very smoothly and the resulting animations are astonishingly realistic," added Soulvie. "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."

Priced at $199 USD, recoil offers, according to a statement to the press, the following features:

• 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