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hello people of the houdini world

i am trying to make objects break as if hit by bullets!!!!

i know houdini hasn't really got a shatter solver (not yet anyway!), how would i go about creating such a thing?

...or should i try and use maya!?? which would be better?

any suggestions would be cooooool!


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Hey there,

That sounds like fun - but what type of material is getting hit? Plastic? Metal? Plaster (walls)? Do you have any reference? It'll need to look and behave very differently for different materials, right?

How close do we have to be? Are you rendering with Mantra or Renderman or should it be a geometry thing only?

Houdini is gigantic solver for such a task - there is no other package more suited to such a thing!

There are a hundred ways to do this and I believe we could have a great Challenge here :)

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thanks jason for ur reply!

i'm actually making a short film which happens to have some gun firing mixed with martial arts in. the misfires will be hitting objects in the room, at the moment it will be walls (i have solved this one) and objects such as computer monitors!

As a test I was using maya to shatter a simple sphere on impact, but i would like to learn how to create a system like this in houdini since i believe it is a more powerful package when u know what you're doin :P

for a starter if i could create a drinking glass (simple object) to shatter when a bullet hits it, i will need some advice on this one tho

for now i'll be using mantra since i don't have renderman or even mental ray for houdini

thanks jason for ur interest in this


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Forget about Maya's shattering tool. It is hopeless - extremely slow and inacurate.

If you have resources i will remaind you this one: www.blastcode.com - it is a kick-but system - very open and flexible worklflow. I used it hard in production and it works exactly as expect.

If you cant spend additional 1000 $ for your project, then google for C4 - simple and free of charge shattering tool for LightWave. It has amazing modelling capabilities and is very fast. We used it to shatter super high-res meshes and it did the job just fine.

Use it, bring the chunks :P in the main application and let the fun begin.

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I think a glass is the only thing in a room that'll shatter like that when hit by a bullet. Most thing get messy holes punched in them - t.v's, walls, tables, books and cd cases and such. And you may only have one glass in the room too. I think you should attempt to set up a system that'll first cover the general case and not the exceptional case.

So, what are your shots? What range will you see this at? All shots real-time or some slow-mo? i.e. What can you get away with? The likely hood is that you can get away with some procedural re-modelling, some displacement shading and surface shading and particles flying out of the hit to add the feeling of impact and to confuse the eye.

If you have a hero shot of a slow-motion glass being hit then you should consider it a hero shot instead of expecting a general bullet-hit system to sort it out... unless you want *everything* in the room to shatter like glass ? ;)

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