Development Version 1.1, April 1998
This is a development version, for
use only by sites working closely with Animats. It is distributed at no
charge to certain existing customers.
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY
THIS SOFTWARE AND MANUAL ARE SOLD "AS IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES
AS TO PERFORMANCE OR MERCHANTABILITY. THE SELLER'S SALESPERSONS MAY HAVE
MADE STATEMENTS ABOUT THIS SOFTWARE. ANY SUCH STATEMENTS DO NOT CONSTITUTE
WARRANTIES AND SHALL NOT BE RELIED ON BY THE BUYER IN DECIDING WHETHER
TO PURCHASE THIS PROGRAM.
THIS PROGRAM IS SOLD WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES WHATSOEVER.
BECAUSE OF THE DIVERSITY OF CONDITIONS AND HARDWARE UNDER WHICH THIS PROGRAM
MAY BE USED, NO WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE IS OFFERED.
THE USER IS ADVISED TO TEST THE PROGRAM THOROUGHLY BEFORE RELYING ON IT.
THE USER MUST ASSUME THE ENTIRE RISK OF USING THE PROGRAM. ANY LIABILITY
OF SELLER OR MANUFACTURER WILL BE LIMITED EXCLUSIVELY TO PRODUCT REPLACEMENT
OR REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE.
This product is for use in education and entertainment. It has not been
calibrated for forensic analysis, litigation support, or engineering design
and should NOT be used for such purposes.
Copyright warning and notice
THIS SOFTWARE AND MANUAL ARE BOTH PROTECTED BY U.S. COPYRIGHT
LAW (TITLE 17 UNITED STATES CODE). UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION AND/OR SALE
MAY RESULT IN IMPRISONMENT OF UP TO ONE YEAR AND FINES OF UP TO $100,000
(17 USC 506). COPYRIGHT INFRINGERS MAY ALSO BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL LIABILITY.
Copyright (c) 1997 John Nagle / Animats. All Rights Reserved
Each purchased copy of the software gives you the right
to run this program on ONE machine only. If you need extra copies, please
contact Animats to purchase them.
Quantity discounts are available. Running a single copy of the software
on more than one machine will be considered a copyright violation, and
Animats will take appropriate action.
If you install the software on a file server, so that
it can be used by multiple computers at one time, you must buy as many
copies of the software as could potentially be run simultaneously from
the file server copy. Ordinarily, this number will be equal to the number
of softimage|3D licenses you have purchased from Softimage.
You can make backup copies of the software as part of
your ordinary file backup procedures. Making copies for other purposes
Because of the nature of the animation industry, we make
this exception: you may, in a business emergency, make and use additional
copies of the software provided that you 1) have already paid for at least
one copy of the software, 2) contact Animats within 72 hours of so doing,
and 3) pay the normal retail price + 10% for each additional copy you made.
you with some flexibility in a production crunch.
copies of this software come in a shrink-wrapped box like this. If you
come across a copy not in that form, it is a pirated copy, and we would
like to know about it at email@example.com.
Any copy of Falling Bodies found on the Internet, other than
the limited "demo" version, is pirated. Attempts to sell pirated copies
commercially will be pursued as the criminal offenses they are.
The commercial version of the software is not copy-protected.
softimage and softimage|3D are trademarks of
Animats, Falling Bodies, and www.animats.com are trademarks
What's on the CD-ROM:
The files for the effect Falling Bodies
Several "Anatomy modules".
The effect comes on a CD-ROM. It can only be installed onto an NT/Intel
machine running Softimage 3.7 or later.
Brief installation instructions:
This will install the effect and the "anatomy modules".
Open the CD-ROM in File Manager/Explorer.
Double-click on "FallingBodies.exe"
Follow the instructions given by the setup program.
The documentation and the databases will NOT be automatically installed,
nor will the movies.
Use DB Exchange in Softimage to copy the databases E:\anatomy" and "E:\fallingdemos"
to some convenient place on your hard drive.
Open one of the scenes in one of the new databases, and try "Motion->Effects->Falling
Common installation problems
If you get error messages from the installer, and it's not immediately
obvious what the problem is, please let us know.
Information for system administrators
The installer installs the effect in the directories of the copy of Softimage
you select, It does not alter any Softimage scripts, set any registry variables,
or make any other environment changes. It does not install any DLLs other
than the effect DLL "DynamicActor.DLL". The minimum privileges required
to install the effect are write permission for the "%SI_LOCATION%\3d\custom"
directory and its subdirectories. Installation requires about 5MB.
Installing this version will overwrite the previous version of Falling
Bodies. If you have to go back, you can re-install an older version of
Falling Bodies, and this one will be overwritten.
To "Uninstall", proceed as for "Install", but when presented with "Install"
and "Uninstall" buttons, click on "Uninstall".
Using Falling Bodies
Changes since Falling Bodies One
In Falling Bodies One, everything but the character being simulated is
stationary. In this new version, animated objects in the scene can move.
So you can do, for example, a character in a moving chair or vehicle, or
a character being hit by a truck.Typically, you hand-animate the background
object, and let it hit the character being controlled by Falling Bodies.
The character controlled by Falling Bodies will respond to any collisions
with moving background objects. This is one-way; Falling Bodies won't change
the motion of the background objects.
The user interface is exactly the same as before, but now, Falling Bodies
pays attention to animation in the scene.
Several restrictions apply to background objects animated in the scene:
The root object of a moving background object must be animated with explicit
translation. If you've previously animated something with a path, you can
use the Plot command in Softimage to make the explicit translation keys
Certain types of animation in the scene may cause problems. Animating scale,
or animating rotation at points that aren't IK joints or roots, may confuse
this version of Falling Bodies. Please report problems in
You can create situations where an irresistable force meets an immovable
object. If you animate a car and let it hit a character controlled by Falling
Bodies, that's fine. But if you let the car try to push the character
through a wall, Falling Bodies will quit at the point it
determines you've requested a physical impossibility. It may take a minute
to give up, as it tries to somehow solve an impossible problem.
Characters with skin
This exciting new feature makes it possible to use Falling Bodies
realistic Softimage characters with flexible envelope skin.
Both local and global envelopes are supported.
Internally, Falling Bodies is a rigid body simulator,
so it uses, within Falling Bodies, a set of rigid bodies
that approximate the flexible skin. Each skeleton component (joint, null,
or other model) with attached skin is treated as a rigid body, using the
skin vertices weighted to that skeleton component. The result is a rough
approximation to the skin. This is what you see in the Falling Bodies
window while Falling Bodies is running. When Falling Bodies finishes, the
character's motion in Softimage is updated.
This feature can also be used for some kinds of soft-body dynamics.
Falling Bodies is a rigid body simulator, but models can be built which
look soft, by building an envelope around an IK chain. See our "noodle"
Objects in the scene which have been hidden with Display->Hide are
now invisible to Falling Bodies.