dynamics driven car?


3ds max has some tools for constraining objects together, while allowing them to interact with geometry around them dynamically.

If I wanted to make a vehicle of sorts that could move on it’s own by the spinning of the “tires” causing friction on the “ground” causing it to move forward, how would one do this in Maya?

I tried grouping multiple objects together, and animating one, but it passes through collision objects.

any easy fixes for this?


This works in Maya too…


Thank you, i checked the link out, and it looks very promising. however, I am not in the position to buy any more software, and I was trying to find a way to put a basic proof of concept together in maya my self, and go from there.


Could just use an expression to drive a wheels rotation as its translation is changed.



I don’t think there are any easy solutions for this but there are many. You could go the rigid body route and connect the parts together through constraints and parenting. You could also connect your car node to a distance utility. The distance utility would then be connected to a null that is constrained to the surface. Insert a condition utility to keep the car node a set distance away from the surface. You could then further that with a rigid body suspension of sorts. Sorry these are all rapid thoughts!


thanks bending, that’s the first thing I thought too, why not key a rotation with an expression, would be easy to control wheel speed etc later.

I set up a simple test and gave it a shot, a cube, with a long skinny rectangle, both grouped together. I made an expression to rotate the long skinny cube, thinking it would make the bigger cube flip over or just plain out move. however, it just went through the ground plane, it still highlighted it during sim, so maya knew it was penetrating… just didn’t know what to do.

tpalamar, I like your suggestion too, and I’ll play around with it, I was hoping for a fully dynamic, “un attached, or uncheated” solution if you will, but it may turn out that it may work better with some control elements like you’re talking about with the null.

I need to play around with constraints more, see if any luck will come with that, thanks for your suggestions so far everyone!


so i tried a hinge constraint, and that orients and constrains it right for the most part, but setting spin impulse accelerates the spin, not a constant turning. and that aside, it seems to not spin it locally around it’s axis, but around world space or something like that.

any ideas on this path?


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