I’d like to explain the basics of modeling with MSPhysics, and as an example I will use a model of a container for storing Christmas ornaments that I made last December.
MSPhysics is a SketchUp plugin that allows you to intuitively create physics simulations with an easy to use interface. It works with certain renderers which allows you to create things like promotional videos.
Animations with natural movement can be created, as I have in the video below.
Let’s move on to the main topic about modeling.
If you were to use the Move tool to place the Christmas ornaments within the container the ornaments would overlap and pierce through the container, making the model look unnatural.
When faced with the issue of overlapping models, MSPhysics can be used to simulate natural movement as is the case when trying to place many smaller objects within a bigger object.
First, create a circle with the Circle tool which will form the shape of the container. Use the Push/Pull tool to pull the shape of the circle out to a suitable length, thereby making a short column.
Select the column you’ve created, and with the Move tool active hold the Ctrl (Microsoft Windows) or Option (Mac OS X) key to duplicate your column onto itself. Use the Scale tool to increase the size of the duplicated column on top.
Use the Offset tool on the upper column to create an inner circle.
Push down the inner circle created with Offset using the Push/Pull tool to hollow out the cylinder.
Paint the cylinder using the Paint tool and you’re ready to go. Now we move on to using the MSPhysics plugin.
Install MSPhysics from the ExtensionWarehouse.
After installing MSPhysics, select the cylinders and right-click. Look for the newly added MSPhysics area in the menu and check MSPhysics > Shape > Static Mesh.
By checking Static Mesh the model will become fixed, and will not move during the simulation.
Copy the ornaments you wish to place in the container. Click Toggle Play within the MSPhysics window.
The falling ornament simulation begins.
During the simulation you can grab models and adjust the positioning. Clicking the Reset button will reset the simulation if it didn’t turn out as expected.
When you’re satisfied with the positioning of your ornaments, push the Stop button to end the simulation and fix the ornaments in place.
That’s the end of our work with MSPhysics.
If the change in surface color when the ornaments touch the cylinder bothers you, those surfaces can be removed. Finally, attach the lid and your container is complete.
With MSPhysics it’s easy to create models that involve motion. Try it with more complex models that involve complicated scenarios with models interfering with one another.