Is there a way to view live colloision and deformation as you're animating?

For some reason, deformations and physics like a block running into another block only appear when I press “play” in the timeline. But, that’s really not helpful because I want to see how meshes are moved, repelled and deformed as I am trying to animate them before I add any keyframes. Is there a way to do that?

You can bake the physics, then it would be real frames in real time

I barely know how to bake a picture, how can you bake a series of mathematical equations?