aircraft crash-landing?

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06 June 2009   #1
aircraft crash-landing?


First off, I am total NOT familiar with dynamic or rigid body simulation, and hence looking for advices here to start with.

I want to have shot where CG aircraft (or whatever huge rigid man-made machine coming down from the sky) sort of crash-lands on the concrete/asphalt ground. The ground will be shot as live-action footage.
I am wondering how to create this kind of collision-type effect where the CG aircraft sliding forward, chunks of ground pieces spreading out, and a huge groove left on the ground?

I am thinking doing this effect in 3D and composite back into live-action. Do I need a plug-in for the effect or it's pretty straight-forward in Maya 2009?

Please, any advice will be highly appreciated!

Old 06 June 2009   #2
well theres not 2 ways about it. What you want to do is a lot of work, even if you know what you're doing. Check out for some intro tutorials on fx, rigidbodies etc.
then check out the shatter thread on here. I'd say you could do this on the cheap, meaning less work, by learning instanced particles, and dust, hand animating the plane, and hiding a lot of the rough parts with dust. If you want to do it like you dream... well you can if you put the comitment into it, realise there will be a lot of avenues that will not end up working in the end, but that's how you learn.
I say do it, but start from the "ground up" OH SNAP great, bad pun there for your fx. Learn the basics, start with simpler examples, try to get good looks from that then use what you learn on the smaller examples to get all that you want out of the plane crash. If you post your questions here there are lots of people who will help you along the way.
-- Dave
Old 06 June 2009   #3
Thank you, destruct007. Guess I was too aggressive on what I wanted to achieve at the first place, especially as an effects newbie. I'll re-design the shot or as you said " start from the GROUND UP.

Since my main focus is lighting and there are too many effects involved in this shot to me (ground cracking, debris, collision, smoke, etc....), I am wondering, to be efficient, which system/plug-in I should start learning with. There are nParticles, Blast code, Ruins, PullDownIt, Overburn, and so forth. Are they interchangeable to certain degree so that I can pick one to learn, or they account for different aspect and I have to learn them all? (nope not...)

Last edited by jasonhuang1115 : 06 June 2009 at 06:35 PM.
Old 06 June 2009   #4
nParticles, and regular particlse are very similar. You should start with any good particle tutorial. Then learn rigidBodies, forget plug-ins for now. The ones you listed for different reasons are not worth your time. Each have bugs and learning curves that make me think you'll do better shying away from them for now. At work as an FX artist, I don't need any plug-in, if I only had on I'd pick BlastCode, if I had two I'd pick nothing you listed probably syflex if I was doing a lot of cloth (sometimes it's better for things than nCloth).

Pull-it down is only a shatter plug-in that has you download a rbd solver, which you can do w/o it. Shattering isn't as hard as it once was, and it's more about shatter control than it is about how to do it anymore.

Overburn is free and is a mel script. I have a tutorial on how to do it w/o the mel script from the ground up. The tutorial might stop playing in the middle b/c my host servers not not video servers. I'm trying to figure out a better way. Thinking vimeo. Anyway....

If you can get Gnomon Dynamic DVD's they are really good. I made the Fluid ones just for full disclosure. Ask around see if someone you know has the Dynamic ones, they are old, very old but still you'll learn a lot. A lot of people have downloaded them, lol. I watched them all back in my day, some were borning others very informative. If you want to learn fluids, I guess my DVD's are still the best but mostly b/c there's nothing else out there... really I want they to be better. Maybe one day they will be. Anyway. Forget plug-ins and figure out particles, emitters, fields, then instancing. Then worry about volumetrics, cloud shading, and fluids.

Another thought for your air plane shot, is shoot all the elements practical and make it a comp only thing. Get lots of ground reaction elements make them a few different ways with the same camera angle and comp them in at the right scale. Sort of old school approch, with new technology.
-- Dave
Old 06 June 2009   #5
wow....thank you David for the super-fast and informative reply! I have better grasp on where to start with now. I'll check the Gnomon DVD and your blog, too.

As you mention using shot footage and comp all elements, I thought about this route before when noticing stock footage like Video Copliot Action Essentials 2. Didn't see footage for ground cracking and debris though...

Last edited by jasonhuang1115 : 06 June 2009 at 10:20 PM.
Old 07 July 2009   #6
Just wanted to chime in that David's Gnomon Master Class video on Fluid fx was one of the most entertaining i've seen. Your free video looks great too. Wanted to comment, but there's no option for that on your blog. Are you planning to do more videos, either Gnomon or on your Blog?

Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

God Bless you

Old 07 July 2009   #7
Originally Posted by destruct007: If you can get Gnomon Dynamic DVD's they are really good. I made the Fluid ones just for full disclosure.

David, I didnt realise you are the guy who made those DVDs! They were my first DVDs on fluids and I studied them to pieces. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and coming to CG for more of your valuable information Look forward to reading more of your posts.

Cheers Jeremy
Old 07 July 2009   #8
Hah, thanks guys. You know how I made those DVD's? I emailed Gnomon telling them they should make Fluid DVD's because it was really hard to learn. They said, you know Fluids? Great! Want to make them? I was like um, ok. I made them very seriously, and "proper". Then they turned out so boring I could barely rewatch them for quality testing. Then I saw some (most) of the video tutorials and they were fun to watch. And I thought that's how to do it. Less with the boring proper and more with the sarcastic and have fun with it. I have a bunch of tutorials on my site that basically you can't download (unless you get lucky) since the server they are on, will stop the connection, b/c it's not a video server or I guess even big file server. I'm going to get just put them on vimeo HD so people can check them out.

When I was newer to CG I was afraid to share the secrets to FX. But then I realised, techniques are not the hard thing to get. The hard thing to get is an artistic critical eye, problem solving abilities, and brute force tenacity. There's very little in the way of secrets. There are tricks that make things faster, and people can copy settings but settings don't even copy for me from shot to shot. Directors and CG sups don't like this, that, the other. They want this, but not that, bigger, faster, but not bigger, or faster.
So with that, I feel like I'll share whatever I know, because you will be good or not, and what I tell you is only a sword not the battle. <- doesn't that sound wise? lol.

So yes more video tutorials to come! I'll get the ones I have up for easier viewing this weekend.

and @ jasonhuang1115 you'd have to film those elements yourself. There's not short cuts, only easier ways of doing it the hard way
-- Dave
Old 07 July 2009   #9
David, how and where did you study MayaFluids? When those DVDs came out you seemed to know quite a bit already as if you had been using them for years. Ill check out your website very soon
Old 07 July 2009   #10
Thank you, David, for sharing the "sword". I am really fortunate getting respond from a master the first time posting question here.

Regarding the tutorials on your site, I only found two which are related to using "overburn" and "emitted softbody" respectively (on agent fx). Did I miss several post or I go to the wrong site?
Old 07 July 2009   #11
Im agree with David in theis suggestions to Jason having in account he is a beginer. The effect he is looking for is really complex and need of many technologies involved, rigid bodies, soft bodies, particles, fire, smoke, dust, almost everything but characters animation.

However I think David havent still considered pulldownit seriusly and when he does it, Im quite sure he is going to be surprised, for instance:

- Please somebody tell me if it is possible to sim 1000 rbd falling on the ground using Maya dynamics and how much it takes( probably maya cracks before end). With Pdi you can do this in minutes.

- All the veterans know the usual procedure in Maya to simulate a fracture object is replacing the single model for a prefractured one in the time of impact, with pulldownit you dont need this mess anymore, Pdi authomatically handle this situation by using only the prefractured version.

and there are more amazing things that you can do with PDi easy, realiable and fast.

Old 07 July 2009   #12
Aikiman: I felt like I wasn't advanced enough to make those DVD's so I research for a long time to get to know all the settings and how they are used/useful. If you go way back you can find my questions to Duncan on Highend3d. He answered so many questions since there was no other sourse at the time. I had seen the Digital tutors DVD and it made me mad since I felt like he just read the docs to you, with no undertanding or insight, hence my initial email to gnomon. I also went to the Siggraph Master class on Fluids, which was a huge help. The one Duncan and Neehar Karnik did. So I worked hard to learn what I did, both full time at work and after hours, but probably only had a year+ production experience with it at the time, I think it shows in the explosion one. I think I had less insight on that one, than I would if I made it now.

jasonhuang1115: Yeah I took down a few tutorials b/c people kept complaining that they couldn't watch them all or the download would stop. I'll get them up and working this weekend.

DynamicBoy: Hah, I applaud your defence. pulldownit is actually really cool. I don't know it well, obviously. I see that it's improved too since I saw it earlier this year. Who doesn't want a fast RBD solver? It's great, add a shatter algorithm and that could be a 1+2 punch depending on the shatters art directability. Make it for Maya 2009 64bit linux and I'll get Asylum to buy it right away!
-- Dave
Old 07 July 2009   #13
@destruct007: how things going? I have been waiting for your uploading. I wonder if you are going to upload your video on so that people can download and watch it anytime they want without internet.

@Jason: I have been learning dynamic for 2 months and I think digital tutor has good tutorials for the start. You should check them out. If you want to get into Fluid, play with the examples in the Visor. If you think it's too complicated. Then, you should dectruct007's fluid DVDs. I haven't seen them but I think he is the only one person out there make tutorials about fluid. But I highly recommended that you should play with dynamic and if you get stuck, ask people around here. They will help you to improve.
No.1: Teakiz
Old 07 July 2009   #14
Hey David, I agree with your new approach. Watching the videos you made for the gnomon masterclass were very entertaining and fun to watch. More like those would be great.


God Bless you

Old 07 July 2009   #15
Hey Jason, Sorry I feel like the thread was hijacked. I don't have any into or beginner tutorials on my site. You can still watch them but I talk assuming the watcher basically is already familiar with most things FX. I'll start a new post for the video tutorials I'm doing.
-- Dave
Thread Closed share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.