Office Towers Collapsing by Boris Bruchhaus

Boris Bruchhaus did this impressive clip with Pulldownit in Maya, he kindly shares some details with us.

I did this as a personal project to test out Pulldownit for future work. Firstly, I modeled the tower based on and matching the plate I shot myself a while ago (I used to work in that building). I then fractured the model into about 4000 pieces, grouped together in sections.

The rbd-simulation itself was split up into layers (top windows/first explosion, main building etc.).After several versions the sim was finally cached.

I combined all the animated pieces together with history on (keeps the animation curves), so that I just had one big poly shape to use as an emitter for particles. Based on their velocities the particles are emitting into a fluid-container (resolution 400x100x100) to create the main dust/smoke. Additionally I also emitted particles from the debris to use as instanced small-debris (about 45.000 pieces).

After a while the scene, looked through the shotcam, got a
bit messy, so I just added another cam to capture the simulation from a more total-perspective.

I rendered the smoke (with holdout from the debris), the debris and the instanced particles independently and comped everything back together in Nuke (very rough)

Pulldownit is already a great destruction tool. I miss the ability to add more complex edges, believe me Pdi is “solid rock” stable computing, I think  adding some more scripting/event-based possibilities would be very useful in production.

Boris  currently works at MPC in London as a FX Lead TD

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