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.

Thank you Esteban for this great tutorial!

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Cracking an Ancient Statue in Maya

In this polished tutorial, Esteban Cuesta shows us how to create long cracks over
an ancient statue and shatter it using Pulldownit plugin in Maya,

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.

Thank you Esteban for this great tutorial!

Pulldownit for Maya 2023

Pulldownit , the destruction plugin, is already available for Maya 2023 an brings an important enhancement, Shatter it tool is now 4 times faster. This new update v 5.3 will be available for the rest of supported Maya versions in the following weeks.

Maya 2023 itself brings quite a lot of improvements in animation, modeling, and performance.  Boolean operations have been revamped with new modes, more intuitive visualization in the viewport and a new Boolean Stack editor for easily manage your changes. Retopology tool has been boosted with a new auto remesh option allowing to get quickly good results with less preparation of the scanned model. There are more deformer options and important performance improvements when modifying hi-poly meshes, besides you can now control the transparency level of the wireframe on shaded, which is very useful working with dense meshes.   

Regarding Animation Autodesk has introduced a new Blue Pencil tool allowing to create 2D drawings and annotations directly in the Maya viewport which are saved with the scene.

There are also usability improvements to the Sweep mesh tool and Arnold render has been updated, besides Bifrost now support USD assets.

Since several years ago Autodesk is focused in strengthen Maya for animation tasks, and probably it counts with the most powerful toolset on this area, this new version includes also important enhancements for modeling, that’s good, however making Bifrost supporting USD assets isn’t the most appealing update for those working in VFX , hope Autodesk moves forward and devotes time to improve seriously Bifrost aswell.  

AntCgi review and test many of Maya 2023 new features in this nice video:

Pulldownit for 3D Max 2023

Pulldownit , the destruction plugin, is already available for 3ds Max 2023 an brings an important enhancement, Shatter it tool is now 4 times faster. This new update v 5.3 will be available for the rest of supported 3ds Max versions in the following weeks.

Max 2023 itself brings several useful improvements, Retopology tool has been boosted with a new auto remesh option allowing to get quickly good results with less preparation of the scanned model, besides Retopology now preserves important mesh features like uvs, vertex colors and such, which is a huge time saver when the model involved is already mapped.

In the modelling field Smart Extrude, introduced first in Max 2022, has been enhanced with the ability to cut partially through an editable poly, besides it can be used along with the new working pivots feature allowing to modify a polygonal surface quickly or merging other elements into it.

Other interesting features are the new glTF exporter for those working in 3d models for web visualization and a revamped autobackup behaviour that can be tracked and controlled easily in the UI.

Since several years ago Autodesk is focused in strengthen 3ds Max for polygonal modelling and visualization tasks, that’s good, however 3ds Max is being increasingly used for visual effects due to its power to handle large scenes smoothly and specially the bunch of third party plugins intended for dynamics effects tightly integrated inside it, so an update to Bifrost is highly demanded for those working in VFX.

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

Tutorial: Abbey destruction in 3ds Max

Some of Pulldownit users has asked us how we did the stunning cathedral destruction in latest PDI reel, so we have decided to make a video tutorial explaining it step by step, and as you can see in the video below , it isnt dificult indeed,

Thank you to Esteban Cuesta for this great tutorial and final shot, please remember to “like” the video if you liked it:)

Pulldownit 5 for 3ds Max released

Pulldownit 5 for 3ds Max brings new destruction features and important updates in performance and usability.

Fractures solver computes around 2 times faster and gets more debris in impact areas without the need of further adjustment.

A new ability to shatter along part of a curve lets user refine cracks as many as needed in a visual way, surface cracks can be bounded to create easily nice stress effects and reversing a crack involves just one click, all of this making the creation and adjustment of surface cracks easier than ever.

Jagginess, the ability to add roughness to cut faces, receives also an important update, by default jagginess now only applies to broken areas in simulation, getting lighter meshes for rendering or when exporting it to game engines.

There are several other performance and usability improvements you can review below 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 from his account and there is a demo version for 3ds Max 2022 in the Thinkinetic web site.

Shatter New Features                                                                                                 

New Extent parameter for Shatter it tool, this new parameter allows to shrink the shatter region in a visual way, making very easy to increase the density of fragments in any area of the model.

New ability to exclude part of the curve in Shatter it, simply by dragging the mouse you can select the extent of the curve to be used for shattering, as many times as needed, therefore one single curve is enough for all reshattering operations.

Jagginess applies to broken fragments only, by default Jaggines now only applies to the areas which has been broken in simulation, getting lighter meshes for rendering or exporting it to game engines.

Dynamics New Features                                                                                         

PDI Fracture Solver 2x faster, scenes involving hundreds or thousands of fragments in dynamics now computes around 2 times faster with the same stability than previous version

Improved quality of Fracture solver, cracks are now more realistic, pulling out small fragments in borders of fracturing areas without the need of further adjustment.

New bounded behaviour for crackers, user can now control the distance detached fragments can move, from making them stick on the surface to let them free and falling.

UI Enhancements                                                                                             

New ability to reverse Cracker direction, reverse a dynamic crack is now as easy as click on the panel button.

Create fracture body 2x faster, fracture bodies made of thousands fragments now needs only a few seconds to be created by PDI solver.

Create and modify fracture clusters is an almost instant operation.

Improved visualization in Stresses View, when in Stresses View all fragments are now displayed in solid colour, regardless of its material.

Stresses view “break at frame” clusters are now displayed in green color, in this way user can quickly identify clusters set to break at frame( green) from the rest.

Shatter Text Effects in Maya with Pulldownit

In this new tutorial Esteban Cuesta show us how to create appealing 3d text shatter effects in Maya using new features for destruction included in Pulldownit 5, in a few and easy to follow steps he shows how to crack letters in diferent ways or turn a 3d text dynamic to get a nice crumbling effect, worth to review it.

More news are coming in September, until then have a great holidays!

Cracking a Moai statue with Pulldownit 5

Ideaform3d has published a nice tutorial showcasing Pulldownit new bounded cracks feature. The tutorial shows step by step how to create a crack along a Moai statue all inside Maya 2022 using PDI plugin,

Project files can be downloaded by clicking in the link included in the text of the tutorial below,

Ideaform3d is a youtube channel featuring nice and easy to follow tutorials showcasing useful plugins and scripts for Maya, 3dsMax and After Effects, worth to check it!

visit Ideaform3d Channel

Pulldownit 5 for Maya released

Pulldownit 5 for Maya is here! and brings important updates in performance and usability, fractures solver now computes at least 2 times faster and gets more debris in impact areas without the need of further adjustment.

Create long surface cracks is now much easier, a new ability to shatter along part of a curve, lets user refine the crack as many as needed in a visual way. Reversing dynamics cracks involves just one click, besides surface cracks can be bounded, so broken fragments are forced to stick on the surface or fall as desired.

Jagginess, the nice ability to add roughness to cut faces, receives also an important update,  by default roughness now only applies to broken areas in simulation, getting much lighter meshes for rendering or when exporting it to game engines.

There are several other performance and usability improvements you can review below 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 from his account and there is a demo version for Maya 2022 in the Thinkinetic web site.

Shatter New Features                                                                                                   

New Extent parameter for Shatter it tool, this new parameter allows to shrink the shatter region in a visual way, making very easy to increase the density of fragments in any area of the model.

New ability to exclude part of the curve in Shatter it Draft Mode, simply by dragging the mouse you can select the extent of the curve to be used for shattering, as many times as needed, therefore one single curve is enough for all reshattering operations.

Jagginess applies to broken fragments only, by default Jaggines now only applies to the areas which has been broken in simulation, getting much lighter meshes for rendering or exporting it to game engines.

Dynamic New Features                                                                                        

PDI Fracture Solver 2x faster, scenes involving hundreds or thousands of fragments in dynamics now computes at least 2 times faster with the same stability than previous version.           

Improved quality of Fracture solver, cracks are now more realistic pulling out small fragments in borders of impact or detaching areas without the need of further adjustment.

New bounded behaviour for crackers, user can now control the distance detached fragments can move, from making them stick on the surface to let them free and falling.

New Add Particles option “Visible Faces Only”, when combining fragments to emit from, this new option spread nParticles only over the visible faces of the combined node.

UI Enhancements                                                                                                

 Load PDI scenes 2x faster, massive destruction scenes now load at least 2 times faster in Maya.

New ability to reverse Cracker direction, reverse a dynamic crack is now as easy as click on the panel button.

New option to update Cracker Path when user changes reference curve.

Create fracture body 4x faster, fracture bodies made of thousands fragments now needs only a few seconds to be created by PDI solver.

Stresses view “break at frame” clusters are now displayed in green color, when in Stress View  user can differentiate easily clusters set to break at frame( green) from the rest.

Create fracture cluster is now an almost instant operation.

                                                                                                                 

Ancient Bridge earthquake by Andres de Mingo

Andres de Mingo,  author of this striking shot, kindly explains us how he did the dynamics effects using Pulldownit plugin inside 3ds Max.

I love those ancient bridges in Center Europe, with its old stones and statues plenty of history, I thought it would be dramatic seeing it being affected by a earthquake and tried to depict it in this little VFX project.

Cracking the bridge

The platform of the bridge is actually a large thin box textured with a combination of paving stones  and a grass shaders, I drawed a long 3ds max spline over the box and then used Shatter it tool to generate around 1000 shards around it, I added a second set of shards but this time making shatter width smaller and changing the Shatter Seed value to get a different pattern, finally I added an Uniform Shatter pattern of around 200 fragments to get rid of  too large shards appearing at both sides of the spline.

I created a PDI Fracture Body for the platform and a PDI Cracker along the spline, to speed up testing I set Local Propagation for the fractures, also to prevent fragments flying away too much I set a low value for the Cracker multiplier.

Making paving stones exploding

After I was happy with the main crack, I started adding more destruction on the bridge, for blasting  group of cobbles I reshattered the platform in different areas near the spline, this time using PDI Local Shatter, 200 shards per exploding area was enough,  following by creating clusters for each area, PDI Increase Selection tool is great for this, setting the cluster Hardness  to 0 and adding  a low break energy to get the exploding effect. Then I had just to set the break frame per cluster at the correct time to get the explosions happening one after another.

Crumbling the Statues

There are 5 statues on each bridge border, that’s makes a total of  10 models to shatter and destroy, this can be quite a lot of work, but I managed to speed up things by using some clever Pulldownit features.  I started by drawing a spline over the statue surface and creating a cracker for it,  then shattering the model with PDI path based style in around 300 shards, and adding an Uniform shatter pass of around 50 shards to get rid of large fragments on the model,  finally I added also a couple of small  PDI Local shatter shards in some borders of the statue.  By creating a fracture body and setting it to static and only break I got the statue crumbling nicely without breaking it completely.

But for the statues in the background I did it much simpler, I  made the model adquiring the shattering of the version in close up view, using PDI Adquire shatter style, then creating some cluster to make the statue starting crumbling at the desired frame , that’s did the trick perfectly.

Conclusions

This shot involved several models to be damaged and cracked, thanks to the easy of use and clever features of Pulldownit  I was able to have all destruction effects done and adjusted in a short time. I like specially  PDI Jagginess , this feature add detail to inner faces so cracks looks rough and more realistic when rendering the scene without having to create complex shader for them.