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Hinting at Coins in a Bag with simulation

Updated: Jan 25, 2019

After 3D modeling and texturing my newest character, Gizmoduck, I put together a small digital set of Scrooge McDuck‘s money bin/office for a bit of a story. However, the environment felt a bit empty with too much negative space on the left side of the room, so I decided to create a couple of money bags to fill the void and help balance the composition.

Now with the task of creating the bags, I thought it would be nice to add some subtle details to hint at there being a bunch of coins in them, but the question was, what method would create a natural look that wouldn't take forever?

So with the plan ready, I decided to use a blend of simulation methods to achieve the desired look. In Maya, I turned on Bullet, which, for all new to the plugin, Bullet is a physics simulation plugin. Setup is quick, and it's super accurate. If you want a bunch of items to rest naturally on each other, then simulation will be a great option.

The method with Bullet was simple. Create a few low-poly money bag shapes with sphere primitives. Then with a cone primitive, create a funnel shape to funnel all the coins and finally make a whole lot of coins using cylinder primitives! Once all assets were created, I ran Bullet to simulate the coins falling into the funnel which poured into each bag for completely random outcomes.

With the coins settled in simulation, I combined them into one object in Maya, I then exported that single bunch of coins to Marvelous Designer and then used that as my avatar/prop to sew a bag around, and just like that, I got terrific and unique details in each bag prop.

Finally here is the shot of Gizmoduck in Scrooge's money bin with the money bags.

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