About thinkinetic

Interested in computer graphics and visual FX.

Introducing Vertex Colors Shatter


We are glad to introduce Vertex Color Shatter, this new feature allows users to shatter a 3d model based on a black & white vertex color map, as you can see in the demo videos below it is a very interactive tool and you get lot of control when generating small fragments over the surface of an object. Vertex Color Shatter is available in Pulldownit 3.8.6 for 3d Max and Maya, for users of Pro version only.

Video Tutorial: Vertex Color Shatter in 3D Max

Video Tutorial: Vertex Color Shatter in MAYA

As far as we are concern this feature is completely new in the VFX field, if you find it useful let us known your experience with vertex color shatter, we have done our best and we are willing to continue improving it according to users feedback.

This time we have prefered to make it available as an extension of current version 3.8 but as any update it counts with other enhancements and some annoying bugs fixed , you can read below the brief improvements list.

Version 3.8.6 Enhancements:

  • Shatter Support for Vertex Colors.
  • New Vertex Colors Shatter Style.
  • Modify Jaggy Strength is now a fast operation.
  • All Basic Fracture params are now saved after deleting a fracture body, in this way you can reshatter an object and all your fracture params are restored after creating the fracture body again.
  • New “Set All Values to Default” Basic Fractures Option: Useful new option when you want to reset all values to solver defaults without having to delete the Fracture body.

You can read list of bugs fixed in the Pulldownit versions log pages.


Pulldownit 20% OFF


Merry Christmas and best wishes for next Year from the Thinkinetic team.

To celebrate the end of the year Thinkinetic is offering a 20% discount for all Pulldownit Pro licenses, either single or floating ones.

To get your discount applied just visit the Thinkinetic shop and input the code xmas2016 in the product box.

This special offer is valid until January 15th 2017, dont miss it!


Tips & Tricks: Using Hidden Objects As Barriers

When planning to destroy large buildings or structures you usually want some parts to stand, however other objects may eventually collide with them, that’s why those parts should be set as static bodies in dynamics, sadly if these static parts have complex shapes,  that will increase significantly the computation time despite they doesn’t move. For example in the image bellow we want to destroy only the main tower on the right but when falling it will surely collide with the rest of the castle so we must set the whole thing in dynamics.


A way to speed up the simulation in cases like this is using simple objects as barriers, so flying fragments cannot pass through them. The idea is those barriers separate the real geometry from the fragments, you can use simple shapes as boxes or cylinders to enclose the area where fragments can move, taking care they approximate the shape behind in case the real geometry is very close to the barrier. In our example we can surround all standing parts with simple boxes and some cylinders,


Modifying  the barriers shape if necessary to approximate correctly the geometry behind, the important thing is keeping always the low poly count. It doesn’t mind if the barriers interpenetrate each other as they are static objects.

At this point you have just to set the barriers as static bodies , you can even hide them from the viewport and PDi will take them in account for collisions anyway. After the barriers are hidden the result can be better than using the real geometry as you are avoiding its complexity and for sure you will save important computation time. See the image at the bottom once the barriers are hidden for our example.




Evermotion Challenge 2016: The Secret Garden

challenge2016mediumThinkinetic is proud sponsor of this year “The Secret Garden” challenge by Evermotion.

Welcome to Evermotion Challenge 2016 – the annual arch-viz contest! This year we invite you to make a visualization with greenery. We will reward great ideas and creativity among technical quality of the image. “The Secret Garden” means something different for everyone, so we count on various approaches to this theme.

You can summit your work until 17th of January, 2017

Pulldownit Pro license is one of the valuable prizes and there are plenty of them, those interested can check rules and prizes here:



Dragon Flight towards the Castle by Andres de Mingo

Andres de Mingo give some insights into the making of  this nice video, specially he explain how  the castle was destroyed using Pulldownit plugin in 3d Max.

Modeling the Environment

For modeling the terrain I started with a high tessellated plane, in order to create hills and valleys I used the soft selection tool to raise different areas, finally applying a noise modifier to get a rough look on the surface. The Lake is done with another large plane with an animated displacement, and of course a water-like blend material for rendering it translucent.  I populated the terrain with some trees,  I used a little MCG scheme to place the trees in groups and changing ramdomly its size and  number of branches so they didn’t look the same, MCG is a great tool for scattering objects ramdomly over a terrain.

Modeling the Dragon

Strictly speaking I modeled a Wyvern, this is a kind of Dragon without arms,  it was modeled in several stages. First I did was  a raw low poly version of it using just edit poly and turbo smooth in 3D Max, once I was happy with the result, unwrapped it and sent it to ZBrush for modeling the HiRes shape, I did it in two separate layers, one for the dragon body and another for the independent parts:  claws, horns, teeth and thorns. I added also surface details to the body like wrinkles and scales, finally I applied a projection mapping to texture the model. I reduced the poly count of the model by passing some of the detail to a displacement map and send it back to 3d Max where I added a SSS shader to get a translucent look on the wings,  finally I  built a basic rig with bones so I could animate it later.

Animating the Dragon

First I had to drive the overall trajectory of the dragon towards the castle, for this I used a dummy and linking the Dragon skeleton as child of it, then I did the dummy to approach the castle in a smooth way, from side to side, like the flight of a seagull. In order to refine the motion, I edited the dummy trajectory in Motion>Trajectories>Sub-Object>Keys, in this way I was able to handle it as a spline, displacing the keys in a smooth way. For beating the wings and leaning its body I did a classic “Pose to pose” animation while it was approaching the castle, finally to get a cloth-like feeling of the wings I added a Flex modifier in the rear part of them.

Impact with the Stone

The stones thrown from the catapult are modeled as simple spheres with turbosmooth and a noise modifier to add roughness.  The stones were animated so two of them almost collide with the dragon body, and the last one impact its head.

Making the third stone breaking when colliding with the dragon was very easy using Pulldownit, Esteban Cuesta shows it in this great video tutorial,

When playing the simulation the stone got broken perfectly when colliding with  the dragon, finally I just added some jagginess to the fragments to improve the look of the flying fragments.

Destroying the Castle

The castle model was purchased on Internet, it looked very nice but when shattering the tower with Pulldownit, I got strange artifacts on the arcs, checking the model I found that it had several open edges, adding a cap holes modifier fixed the issues but made it completely solid and I wanted the tower to be holed inside, so I had to edit the mesh and adding a cylindrical wall on the inside, then applying a cap holes I got the holed solid shape  that I wanted. I created a fracture body for the tower and set the dragon as kinematic with animated mesh to collide with it, in place of including the rest of the castle as static in dynamics I made some boxes and cylinders around it to act as barriers in dynamics to save computation time.

I destroyed also the roof of the tower below and the front porch, I did it in second step after baking keys for the fragments of the tower, I hadn’t any trouble to shatter those parts. For the few fragments falling into the pit in front of the Castle, I added a simple ripple effect to create some waves on the water  when the fragments touched the water plane.

This project was pretty complex for just one person, lots of modeling and animating the dragon took time aswell, but I enjoyed doing it, and Pulldownit plugin made the destruction work easy and funny.

CAR RENDER Challenge 2016 by Humster3D


Thinkinetic is proud sponsor of annual “Car Render” challenge by Humster3D.

It is the largest awards event for the car 3d modeling and visualization industry. The winning entries will be published in magazines and get maximum attention from the community. The competition, held in partnership with leading companies and 3d software manufacturers.

There are no limits for creativity: you can choose any automobile you like whether it is racing or imaginary vehicle. Think out and create your car in any 3D software and create also a nice environment around it, finally render it as beautiful as you can using your prefered renderer.

You can summit your work until November 29, 2016.

Pulldownit Pro license is one of the valuable prizes and there are plenty of them, those interested can check rules and prizes here:



Pulldownit 3.8 for Maya 2017

Pulldownit , the destruction plugin,  is already available for Maya 2017,  you can review latest festures and demos of Pulldownit 3.8 here:


When Autodesk delayed the release of the new Maya in April, many users thought something special was coming and now after a few months indeed it is; Maya 2017 is an important landmark of this 3D application, not only because the outstanding Arnold render replaces Mental ray which has been the default of Maya for years, or the addition of MASH, a full motion graphics suite, which makes procedural modeling and animation easier than ever, but also because the number of enhancements in many areas of the application: several UI enhancements specially the new workspaces for different specialized tasks, useful character animation improvements like the new Time Editor or the Quick Rig tool or, in the field of fluids ,  the new Bifrost Ocean System to generate big volumes of water  while you can make it interact with floating objects locally and fast computing, and some other useful improvements you can read in the Autodesk official Maya site. All of this confirm the aim of Autodesk to continue pushing Maya as the first application for 3D artists in the Animation and VFX fields,  and this new Maya is a good milestone for it.

You can see some of the new features of Maya 2017 in this official video,