Shattering Objects For Use In Video Copilot Element 3D
Explode, Shatter, Demolish & Blow Up 3D models using Element 3D
This was one of the first things I wanted to do when I finally got my hands on Element 3D. Exploding and shattering objects is a huge part of the fun of creating VFX and motion graphics.
However, to do this in Element 3D you first need to get your hands on some pre-fractured 3D models, as Element 3D doesn’t allow you to break up the 3D models from within the interface.
Element 3D actually comes with a couple of fractured objects – a sphere and a floor so that you can play around, animating the individual pieces using the Element 3D animation engine. Video Copilot also have a number of Element 3D model packs, which feature fractured objects to use in your projects.
How to get more shattered or fractured 3D models to use in Element 3D
**NEW** We have created a new Shatter Pack for all subscribers to VFXER.com. Just click on the graphic below and join our mailing list and we will send you a Free Shatter Pack that contains 10x Pre-shattered 3D models – Arrow, Bottle, Glass Pane, Helix, MetaCube, SpikySphere, Stairs, Star, SwissCube & Terrain. Most objects come complete with Inside/Outside materials to give that added realism to the shattering objects.
The alternative way to get more shattered/fractured 3D objects for use in Element 3D for free, is to create them yourself, using a 3D application. If you’re new to 3D and aren’t sure how best to do this, I’ve included a few tutorials below, which explain how to create shattered objects using Cinema 4D, Blender & 3ds Max.
Shattering objects in Cinema 4D to use in Element 3D
Aharon Rabinowitz created an excellent tutorial on how to break apart 3D objects using Cinema 4D, using the Xplode plugin. He used this workflow to create a series of free Element 3D shatter presets. The presets include 6 shattered primitives – a cube, capsule, sphere, diamond, cylinder & pyramid. He also offered 3 versions of each primitive split into 200, 500 & 1000 pieces, so that you have an option depending on how powerful your graphics card is. He also kindly went to the the extra effort of assigning 2 different materials to each piece, so that you can have an inside and an outside texture. This really allows you to create some cool looking animations once the objects are in Element 3D. You can get his free shatter presets here.
Shattering objects in Blender tutorial
If you don’t currently own a 3D program that you can use with Element 3D, Blender is a good option, not only because of it’s excellent feature set but it’s also completely free.
In this tutorial Daniel Kreuter shows how to use Blender 2.64’s new fracturing tools to create complex fractured 3D objects, which can be converted to .obj format for use in Element 3D.
Fracturing objects in 3ds Max for Element 3D
There are a number of ways to shatter or fracture 3D objects if you’re a 3ds Max user. One of the best ways is to use a 3ds Max plugin called RayFire. RayFire allows you to easily create complicated fractured or shattered 3D objects, with just the press of a few buttons. Other solutions involve complicated setups, which are time consuming and difficult.
Andrew Kramer from Video Copilot actually uses RayFire himself for creating shattered 3D objects. He created a tutorial on how to use RayFire here.