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Overview \ What it is

A tool that allows animator to add secondary motion simulation to any rig or character, in just a few clicks and without expert technical knowledge of how simulations in Maya work. No need to spend months learning Maya's dynamics for rigs, no need to spend days building dynamic systems into your rigs, no need to spend hours keyframing things, that can be easily simulated.

Yes, you can, of course, create a rig with built-in dynamics, and fine-tune it to your needs. However in a lot of cases there is no time for this. Or it will make rig too complex. Or you're just an animator, who's just handed some rigs to animate. In all this cases BroDynamics is there to help.

All you need to do is select a few controls, adjust some settings and click Simulate. It will do all the hard work for you, and you'll immediately see the result.

Animation can try to follow already existing movement. For example you can have a very linear animation of a tail extending, then run the simulation to add some drag and overlap motion to it.

Let's take these 4 cylinders:

Add just a few key poses to them and see what BroDynamics' Chain mode can do for us:

Cool, right?

What it is NOT

BroDynamics is not a rigging tool. It's animation is baked onto controls during simulation, which uses temporary rigs.

Installation

  1. Unpack\Copy BroTools folder into any folder on your computer.*
  2. Open Maya
  3. Locate install.mel file inside BroTools folder. Drag and drop it in Maya's viewport and follow instructions on screen.
  4. Enjoy!

* Using \Program Files\Autodesk* folder is NOT recommended. Also make sure to choose folder which you don't need Administrator's priviliges to access. If you have no preference, just use C:\Users\<user>\Documents\maya\BroTools

After installation you should be able to find my tools under BroTools menu in Maya's top menu bar:

Screenshot

If installation fails...

  • Make sure that you don't have multiple BroTools installations. Especially if one of them is in any of Maya's scripts or plugins folders. Multiple installations may create conflicts. Best approach would be to remove every BroTools folder on your computer, and try installing again.

If installation still fails...

Feel free to contact me if installation fails. Just send me a mail with as much details about the problem you encountered as you can, and I will try to my best to help you. Please include brotool.log and bro_startup.log files.

I'm also interested in improving and simplifying installation process, and it was overhauled since version 2.0 of BroDynamics and BroTools

EMail: contact@michaeldavydov.com

Updating

Automatic

If you have version check enabled in BroDynamics Preferences, you'll get notified if there is an update available. It will check for updates each time you launch the UI, in the background.

If you disabled automatic version check, you can start it manually from Help - About window.

Once you get a notification you can either click Update or Skip. Update will download new version, unpack it, and ask you to restart Maya.

Manual

If, for any reason, automatic update fails, you can use one of the two manual methods.

Using Store

Open BroTools - Store and click on Download next to BroDynamics. This will always download latest version of the tool regardless of your current installed version.

Using Gumroad

You can just download a new version from Gumroad, extract it into the same folder, replacing old files, and restart Maya.

It is recommended to completely remove old files from BroDynamics folder first.

Downgrading

If for any reason you wish to downgrade to an older version (say there's a bug in 2.0.8, and you want to go back to 2.0.7) you can simply download the version you wish to install from Gumroad, remove the whole BroTools folder and extract downloaded archive in there. As long as you keep the same folder structure you won't need to run install.mel again.

Upgrading from 1.x to 2.x

BroDynamics 2.x WILL NOT WORK if you have 1.x installed.

To upgrade from 1.x to 2.x - remove the whole 1.x folder, and optionally remove BRO_TOOLS_PATH from Maya.env file. After that download BroDynamics 2.0 from Gumroad, extract anywhere, and drag and drop install.mel into Maya's viewport. That's it!

Also, if you've bought 1.x from CreativeCrash you can expect a free Gumroad version. For that you'll need to download recepit.pdf file from Highend3D\CreativeCrash and send it to me. Details here: https://michaeldavydov.com/blog/post/brodynamics-leaves-highend3d-creativecrash/

Compatibility

BroDynamics is compatible with:

OS:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac OS

Maya:

  • 2014 (1.x)
  • 2015 (1.x)
  • 2016 (1.x, 2.x)
  • 2017 (1.x, 2.x)
  • 2018 (1.x, 2.x)

Should work with newer versions as well.
Versions prior to 2014 are not supported.

Version 2.x was not tested in Maya versions earlier than 2016. This means that it may or may not work.

Animator-friendly simulation tool for Maya
Documentation

Documented version: 2.0.11

by Michael Davydov
www.michaeldavydov.com