Choosing Leaning Direction before Breaking

This post is an extension of the “Cracking an Ancient Statue “ tutorial you can find here:

Some users has asked if it is possible to decide the leaning direction of a model before breaking it completely with Pulldownit; the answer is yes, you can do it  and very easily.

For choosing the leaning direction you have simply to select the fracture object in PDI Basic Fractures tab,  then go to Fractures->Dynamic Properties tab and set initial velocity according to your desired leaning direction, that’s all.

If your initial velocity parameter is greyed out you have to set Basic Fractures->Activation to “at frame” or “At first hit” to enable it. Here a demo video of the effect:

Notice the bigger initial velocity, the leaning will be faster, so better to set it to small values to get a natural motion of the model.

Pulldownit for Maya 2024

Pulldownit , the destruction plugin, is already available for Maya 2024, you can review latest features of PDI for Maya in this post:

Pulldownit 5.5 for Maya released

Maya 2024 itself brings a number of updates in animation, modeling and performance, and native support for Apple Silicon chips in Macos systems. This new version introduces a novel Graph Editor Sculpting feature, allowing to drag or smooth animation curves in brush-like style to make adjustments on the fly. In addition, animators con now display all skin weights values directly in the viewport and multiple Skin Clusters are supported. Besides the Time Slider has been redesigned for better handling of keys selection ranges and audio waves visulaization. Finally Autodesk claims of significant performance improvements, especially when playing back animation on complex rigs.

Regarding modeling, Retopology tool has got a number of updates,a new symmetry option allows to get the same exact topology at both sides of the model, and there is new options for preserving edges by angle or component tag, also user can now display both input mesh and retopologized one simultaneously, allowing to compare result and adjust areas visually and there is a new option to pre-check mesh during Retopologize to quickly identify and fix mesh issues.

An there is a new unsmooth option which lets you simplify a smoothed mesh, useful for creating low resolution versions of 3D models, although currently only works with meshes subdivided by the Catmull-Clark method.

The old good Make Live tool has got an useful improvement aswell, now It supports multiple objects, speeding up the drawing of splines or quads over existing geometry.

USD support introduces LookdevX, a new material editor for creating USD shaders inside Maya. It is independent of the classic Maya Hypershade tool therefore counts with its own editor, according to Autodesk it is intended to work seamlessly across multiple DCC tools in the pipeline.

In the simulation field Bifrost updates to version 2.7 introducing a new MPM solver able to simulate snow and high viscous matter like toothpaste, ketchup or ice-cream along with improved volume rendering in the viewport.

AntCgi review and test many of Maya 2024 new features in this nice video:

Pulldownit for 3ds Max 2024

Pulldownit , the destruction plugin, is already available for 3d Max 2024 , you can learn more about latest features of PDI in this great tutorial by Esteban Cuesta:

Oneiric temple destruction in 3ds Max

3d Max 2024 itself brings quite a lot of new features for modeling, animation and rendering and a high performance boost when working with STL models.

In the modelling field introduces a brand new boolean modifier, contrary to classic compound objects,  boolean operations are now managed in the modifiers stack so user can remove or re-order them seamlessly, in addition it can convert the model to an OpenVDB version making the boolean operation more robust and independent of the source topology. Array Modifier introduced in previous version gets a new Phyllotaxis distribution mode for generating spiral pattern as seeing in many natural structures like flowers. The whole Modifiers tab has been ported to QT making it faster navigation and includes a handy search filter for fast selection on the long modifiers list.

The slate material editor has been rewritten using QT making it much more customizable, and besides user can now package several nodes into one single compound for better legibility when working with complex graphs. In addition there is a new Material Switcher node allowing to quickly change the material of an object for fast look-dev workflow

Animation has got also an important update, a new “Transform List” controller allows to add multiple controllers to an object and blend them together, in addition motion paths can now be displayed and adjusted in viewport for all controllers types.

Max 2024 introduces support for the OCIO colour-management broadly used in the animation industry although Gamma workflow is still the default mode, MaxToA now supports OCIO standard as well.

So a noticiable amount of improvements, Autodesk continues strengthen 3ds Max for polygonal modelling and visualization task, though there are some important enhancements for animation this time, hope it continues in the following updates this year.

Eloy Andaluz introduces all of these new features in a great demo video you can review here:

Sci-Fi Industrial Zone 3D Competition

Hum3D “Sci-Fi Industrial Zone” Challenge has started!

“Your goal is to design and create a highly detailed and atmospheric environment, rich with elements of science fiction and industrial design”

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

Visit Challenge Home Page

Remember you can submit your work until June 3rd, 2023.

God of War Ragnarok Art Blast

Sony Santa Monica has published a nice article and video  about Art Blast in latest God of War game showing destruction effects and beautiful environments that can be cracked and damaged during the game.

You can review the whole article here:

Visit God of War Ragnarok Art Blast

Aside in-game physics they have used baked simulations with Pulldownit in Maya adding hand key modifications to get the look they wanted,  indeed Pulldownit plugin allows to fix or modify baked simulation easily by editing animation keys for fragments or rigid bodies.

Besides Cynthia Fenton, breakable artist at Sony Santa Monica Studio, has posted a stunning video showing his work in God of War Ragnarok using Pulldownit plugin for destructions effects, you can see it here:

Amazing job Cynthia, thank you for sharing!

Pulldownit 5.5 for Maya released

Pulldownit 5.5 is here and comes with useful updates, Shatter it tool has been multithreaded and highly optimized, getting up to 8x faster shattering with regards to previous release. Chipping areas of the model is also faster and you can discard shatter centers directly in the viewport just by clicking the mouse over it.

Bounded Cracks introduced in version 5.0 has been enhanced with the ability to turn them dynamic at the desired frame, allowing to create easily stress cracks that ends up tearing the surface completely at some moment.

Working in complex destruction scenes is easier and more intuitive, in cases of many objects colliding, dynamic solver has been adjusted to get nice fracture results with default parameters and when two objects impact each other you can decide which one will break in first place simply by reducing its hardness value.

Maya Cache Playback is now supported after baking simulation keys for the whole scene, this allows user to play the simulation at a fast, sustained rate and recover dynamic data afterwards to make changes if needed.

There are also useful improvements to the UI, you can modify parameters for several fractures at once and create several crackers at once or toggle display of all crackers paths with one click.

Last but not least we have fixed quite a few annoying issues from previous version, making the tool more predictable and reliable than ever.

You can review below all performance and usability improvements and you can check the whole list of fixes in the Pulldownit version logs page:

Read the full list of fixes in the Pulldownit web site version logs

Licensed users can access already Pulldownit 5.5 from his account and there is a demo version for Maya 2023 in the Thinkinetic web site.

Shatter New Features        

Shatter it multithreaded along with other performance improvements that makes shatter an object in hundreds and thousands of pieces around 8x faster than in previous release.

New ability to remove shatter centers directly in the viewport, when in Shatter it draft mode simply by clicking mouse + ctrl key, the selected shatter center is deleted.

Dynamics New Features 

New ability to generate Bounded Cracks until frame , stress crack propagation can be set to last until desired frame, after that it continues as an usual dynamic crack.

Initial velocity can be set for “activation at frame” fracture bodies, linear and angular velocity can be added to static fractures bodies, setting in this way the initial motion direction when the object becomes dynamic.

More intuitive behaviour in collision between fracture bodies, user can decide which of them will break in first place simply by reducing its hardness value. Besides small fragments collisions don’t trigger fracture anymore, therefore fracture activation starts always at the exact impact moment between the two objects.

UI Enhancements           

Maya Cache Playback supported after baking PDI keys for the whole scene, deleting PDI data before using Maya Cache Playback is no longer needed, allowing to recover simulation afterwards to make changes if needed.

New option to auto clean all PDI data after baking simulation, this new option allows to use Maya Cache Playback at the fastest speed right after baking PDI keys.

New ability to set parameters for several fracture bodies at once.
New ability to edit name of selected Cracker.
New ability to show/hide all Crackers paths at once.
New ability to set parameters for several Crackers at once.
New ability to create Crackers for all selected curves at once.




Black Friday 2022: VFX Software Deals

Black Friday/Cyber Monday is here!,  at Thinkinetic we are offering 20% Off in all our licenses for Autodesk 3ds Max or Maya, including one year of support and updates.

If you think our destruction tools can be useful for your Cg projects next year, that’s a good deal!, just visit thinkinetic shop when you are ready, discount is already applied in the final cost,  no special code needed.

Actually many companies in the CG  market are offering important discounts up to 50% Off in useful VFX and 3D tools, you can find them listed nicely in these great sites,

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happy shopping!

Tutorial: Oneiric temple destruction in 3ds Max

In this great tutorial Esteban Cuesta show us how to crack and destroy an oneiric temple using Pulldownit 5 in 3ds Max , he explains step by step how to create long cracks over the surface before destroying the whole model to get a nice crumbling effect, worth to review it.

Bounded cracks is a new feature introduced in Pulldownit 5.0
allowing to create cracks over the surface of 3d models and controlling the strenght and extent of the crack easilly.

Final shot here:

Thank you Esteban for this great tutorial !