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Simulating Cutting and Cracking Effects

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Date Added: 30th December 2010
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Hi I'm a 3d artist/animator from India. I'm 18 yrs old. I've been into 3d for 2 yrs. And I work on 3dsmax.
NAME: Akash Karmakar
AGE: 18
OCCUPATION: 3d artist (games development)
SOFTWARES KNOWN: 3dsmax, photoshop, painter, premier, after effects

This tutorial demonstrates simulating cutting and cracking effects in 3d environment.
This tutorial is in text format and i've included images in numbers correspondingly where they apply.


Have you even thought of having a sword in your hand, where you can zig-zag the sword and cut and chop off things around you? But if you are an animator you might be more interested in cutting and chopping objects in your 3d software.

Well this is a tricky thing, which envolves realtime change in mesh count. also mapping them can be tricky. Suppose I cut off some thing i can even see the inside part. So here are some tricks I've developed working on my own...and I've succeeded a bit...

Here I've used 3dsmax..but same effect can be achieved on other packages too.
As per material nature objects can be brittle, hard and soft...which show different cutting behaviour.

So here i've five main sections:

1) cutting a hard object (like wood)
2) cutting a semi-hard object (like wax)
3) cutting a soft object (like bread or cake)
4) cracking of brittle objects (like earth or ice crust)
5) textuing of cutting objects.

So let's start:-


Cutting a hard object... lets cut a cylinder..

1) Create a cylinder in front or left viewport so its created horizontally. You may increase the sides segment for some smooth results though its necessary. Name it as "wood"

2) Now create some axeblade like object, using spline and extruding it. Name
it as "axe" here make copy of it and name it "axecut" for this time u can hide the 'axe'. see the image for arrangement.

3) Now we'll cut the cylinder using the axe...for this we'll use BOOLEAN. Select the cylinder and go to compound objects > boolean. Pick the "axe" as OPERAND and go to modify panel. There go to boolean sub-object and select 'axe'.

4) Then turn on ANIMATE (hotkey N) move to frame 30 and drag it down so it slices down the cylinder into 2 parts. Be sure it completly passes via the cylinder. Now you'll see the cylinder is interactively cut into 2 parts (2 elements)

Here after move the '0' key frame to 1 or 2..why?..see it the later part. At this part unhide the 'axecut' object
and animate it following the cut (same way as u animated the 'axe' in the boolean sub-object) turn off animate.

5) But still you can see they are not apart.. ie. the cut part should fall down. So for that apply an edit mesh modifier on top (don't collapse the cylinder or the animation will vanish) now go to element mode and scroll the time slider to 30 or above. Then you'll be able to select the cut separated element alone.


continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Dave on Fri, 23 November 2012 6:37am
Hi Akash, This is a great tutorial. It's simple but brilliant. Thanks for posting this !
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