Animating a car using 3ds max`s reactor


Hey Iam new to these forums, just want to say hello all, and show you a animation test i made using the Reactor plugin in 3ds max, it is just a lot of “point to point” constraints and springs,

hope you like it, and feedback is welcome,

It was to big to Attach, so her is a link to my gallery


I have now updated my gallery with some more Reactor madness, enjoy.
Comments and crits are welcome.

Reactor is so much fun, all they need to make now is a way to simulate crumpling metal…

Long live Reactor

Maybe i should take this tread to the 3ds max forum, any thoughts.


Hey… pretty impressive. Care to do some tutorials?
I really liked your SUV animation.


i agree with azynkron, please please do some tutorials on this, theyre all excellent and suprisingly realistic, the cars in particular impress me as the movement looks spot on


I saw an image some time ago that had done that with the ClothFX (I think…).


Hey guys, thanks for the kind words, to be honest with out reactor I`ll be nowhere when it comes to car animation, so I owe a lot to reactor.
I have never made a tutorial before, so i dont know where to begin, but i might be able to put togeter a rig you can play with, and if you have any question i be happy to answer them for you.

azynkron: The crumpling with clothfx, I have tryed it, it was okay for a singel part, but for a entire car it got my nowere, it was to “flabby”


That’d be nice of you, sir :slight_smile:
Some of your settings and how you go about it if you have the time.

I just remembered that I saw it and read that he’d done with a cloth modifier…
Didn’t try it myself though.


I maybe have some free time this weekend to put together a max scene for you, by the way

I use 3ds max 8, just so you know.


Cool :smiley:
I use that as well.


Hey her is the rig as promised, fire it up in max and open the reactor preview window.

I tryed to clarify everything in the name of the parts, if there is any questions i try to explane.

Hope you like it, and have a nice weekend all.:thumbsup:


thanks for sharing that. i´ll have a close look at it.

i did only a quick testrun…and the thing that i noticed is that the steering pretty much is completley free so the car does what the terrain tells it to do…
i guess if you add some sort of resetforce and damping to the orientation of the wheels to simulate a driver holding the steering wheel it´ll look much better.

or is it possible to superimpose some keyframed steering input on it?
if you could then wire those steering inputs via a look at constraint to a dummy moving along a path in front of the car…
…just some thoughts


About the steering, you can stiffen the spring that controlls the steering and add more damping and the same goes for the suspention. And i dont know any way to add keyframes to make the rig steer, i just decrease or increase the length of the spring that control the steering to make it steer left or right. For instance if you want the car to steer left after 100frames of simulation you stopp the simulation, adjust the steering spring and start the simulation again at the 97th
frame so it has 3 frames to estimate the momentum (movement) it had. do this enough times and you will have a driving\steering car that react to its environment. Hope this make any sens to you.:slight_smile:


That was really cool!


great stuff,i was about to ask the same question, and saw that you already have answered it. thanks for sharing :thumbsup:


Thank you :slight_smile:
I haven’t had time to play around with it yet but I will.


Hey, me again, glad you all liked my rig

I just wanted to update the rig with a cab and havy box as cargo, i also included a more interesting terrain for it to travle on, enjoy



Hi leif23,

I have a question for u, there is any way that the reactor car follow a spline ( like a path constraint ) ??

Sorry for my english i’m from Spain.



hey alexvs, try make a spline and using the “point path” constraint in the reactor menu

hope this helps…


hey dude thanks for the file.Thank u very much.


hi leif this is kiran i tried the suv rig it woked fine for the environment u created.I just deleted the rough surface u created and tried to simulate but the problem is the car is not moving in straight line though i tweaked the steering parameters and the wheel spin parameters am not getting it right as the one i saw in some of ur simulations.It would be great help if u give us detailed rigging and simulating process.I am not technicaly sound in which is very imp to have a realisic simulation.Thanks once again.