dynamic simulation and vfx

What is this module about?

Dynamic simulations—when created in Maya—are used mainly for cutscenes and special effects. Real-time dynamics are usually set up in video game engines (such as Unity or Unreal).

In this module, we learn how to simulate physical forces interacting with our assets. We create fluid and smoke effects, simulate cloth and use particle systems to drive the animation of models and—surprise—particles.

What are the requirements for this module?

A decent Windows 10 Pro-based PC with a strong video card, or a Mac with a strong AMD card, at least 16 Mb RAM, and a HD or UHD monitor. You will also need a Maya  license.

Whom is it recommended for?

Character and environment artists, animators and character animators, previsualisers, and of course, visual effect artists. Understanding these techniques can also help those who aim to work primarily with game engines, as the principles are very similar in every tool.

Software we use


The Physics of Virtual Space

Gravity, rigid bodies and collisions.


Introducing nDynamics and nParticles. Different kinds of emitters. Particle attributes. The Collision layer.


Understanding different types of Fields.

Thickening the Plot

Using expressions to enhance particle functionality. Per-particle attributes.

Complex Particle Effects

Smoke and dust. Sprite particles. Destruction effects. The nParticle Instancer. Using nParticles with nConstraints.

Cloth Simulation

Using nCloth. The nCloth dynamics. Springs. Cloth collisions. The role of topology. Designing clothing. Using constraints. Freezing and caching.

Hair Simulation

Creating hair using nHair. Initial hair, clump settings and dynamics. Base curves and follicles. Collisions and contraints. Hair styling. Using nCloth to simulate hair.

Maya Fluids

Fluid dynamics 101. The Maya fluid solver. Woring with voxels. Fluid emitters. Density, velocity, and turbulence. Understanding Fuel. Rendering fluids.

Bifröst Fluids

Understanding Bifröst. Emitting liquid. Motion fields. Killplane. Timing. Friction and drag. Alembic cache. Generating foam. Collisions. Rendering Bifröst fluids.


project “storm in a teacup”

Create a miniature stormy sea in a teacup using Bifröst.

project “tornado”

Create a tornado simulation.

project “shattered memories”

Create a complex particle simulation by shattering a glass jar of rice.

project “reptilian: clothes & fur”

Create clothes and fur for the “Reptilian” character.

project “untitled michael bay movie”

Create a realistic atomic blast using Maya Fluids. Create a preview render.


The module ideally takes 24 lessons to finish.

A lesson is 90 minutes long.

It is recommended to take 1 lesson a week.




(paid in 6 installments)

£ 276 ×6 (£ 1656)

FOR duos:

(paid in 6 installments)

£ 138 ×6 (£ 828) /student