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.

                                                                                                                 

Pulldownit 4.5 for Maya released!

banner4-5

Our focus in this new update of Pulldownit plugin for Maya is making  user experience smoother and more responsive for FX artists and freelancers, we realize Maya is broadly used for animation so we have gone deep into the solver code and got a much faster update per frame of deforming meshes, so now there is almost no performance penalty for character skins or nCloth shapes included in PDI dynamics as kinematic objects.

Besides as any realistic destruction effect needs dust around we are glad to introduce a new tool “Attach particles to fragments”, by using this little utility you can stick Maya nParticles to faces per material and therefore emit easily fluids or additional debris from inner faces only, removing the need to go to another DCC tool to paint a white and black map as guide for emission, of course you can still use this classic workflow in Maya, this new tool is just an alternative a fast way to emit from selected faces only, actually this tool can be used for any task you need to attach particles to faces in Maya aside PDI itself.

Esteban Cuesta has done this great tutorial showing some of the enhancements inside Pulldownit 4.5 and featuring how to emit dust from fragments using this new PDI tool along with Maya fluids.

Also several fracture parameters can now be animated if you need to, and we have added a new event to switch cracks propagation mode at desired frame, so you can make your model getting damaged locally for some time and then destroy it completely at specific frame just by enabling this event.

And there are more enhancements regarding usability, a new tool for easier fragments selection when creating clusters from small shards, generation of different takes for standing models getting damaged is now an easy task with the improved behavior of “Static-Only Break” fracture option and quite a few annoying bugs of previous version has been fixed.

Below listed the most relevant highlights in Pulldownit 4.5

 NEW FEATURES                                                                                    

New Tool for adding particles to faces per material, this little utility spread Maya nParticles over faces per material, so you can later emit easily extra debris, dust or smoke only from chosen faces.

emmitMayaParticles

Hi-poly animated meshes 3x times faster update in dynamics, animated or deforming meshes such as character`s skin are now updated very fast during simulation providing a smoother experience when including them in destruction scenes.

New “increase Selection” option for easier clusters creation, selecting groups of small fragments is much easier now using this new tool which select neighboring fragments in the same area just with one click.

“Only Breaks” fracture option captures larger cracks and detachments, this useful feature forces the model to stand while being impacted, its behaviour has been improved so now it can generate larger cracks and detachments when they doesn’t jeopardize the overall structure, this effect is more noticeable when using it in conjunction with Clusterize level.

onlyBreak_clusterizePlates.png

Fracture body Friction, Bounciness, Sec cracks and Damping parameters can be animated, get more artistic control over your fracture simulation by animating these parameters if needed.

Rigid body Friction, Bounciness, and Mass parameters can be animated, get more artisitic control over your rigid bodies simulations by animating these parameters if needed.

Added ability to change propagation scheme at frame, user can now damage an object only locally for some time then change to continuous propagation at desired frame to break it completely.

local2continuosFracture

New option to show/hide/select all disabled rigid bodies in scene, it is easy to lost track of disabled rigid bodies, with this handy new option you can select all at once to enable or delete them or hide from the viewport all disabled rigid bodies with just one click

Adquire Shatter can transfer animation from single shape node to multi shape nodes, transferring fragments animation to nodes with multiple combined shapes is now supported by Shatterit tool.

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

Breaking Letters Demos by Esteban Cuesta

These are the  breaking letters demos Esteban Cuesta made  as a final example of his tutorials on shattering text with Pulldownit plugin, you can find this tutorial a couple of articles below. Esteban Cuesta kindly explains some details about the making steps.

 

 

I wanted to make a video as a final demostration of my breaking letters tutorials with Pulldownit 3.7, I designed demo #1 as a classic letters intro, quick and lively, the motion of each word is animated until it touch the word below, then I activate the fracture bodies so pieces of letters start to crumble and fall, I used a Wind field to stress the debris falling effect. The final destruction was as easy as animating the word “Pulldownit” so it pass through the whole text and set it is a kinematic rigid body but I switched to “Convex hull” Bounding Volume to speed up the testing, the dynamics looked good anyway so I used it for the final shot too.

Doing the first shot wasn’t difficult at all and pretty funny, this encouraged me to make a longer one. This time a decided to add a plate showing the different shatter styles of Pulldownit with letters, all styles except “Wood splinters” as I think this style doesn’t make sense for letters.

 

All sets are done in the same way, using the 3D Max text tool to generate each word and making the endings fit each other simply by adjusting text size and kerning, and then collapsing all the words in a single poly object. At this point I applied the intended shatter style and create a fracture body for all pieces. For the Radial style plate I used an animated sphere to trigger the destruction, I simply hid it when rendering the scene, for the Path style I used the great crackers objects of Pulldownit as triggers, the rest of plates uses a Wind field to trigger the destruction, animating its Strength in order to get a increasing amount of falling debris.

Rendering was done using Mental ray in 3D Max, applying a high reflectance material to the letters and a less polished glossy material with the same colour to the inner faces after breaking.

Pulldownit worked very well , I haven’t any issue aside tweaking the parameters to get the dynamic behavior I wanted, It was very intuitive and fast computing using it.