Final Major Project Help



I am currently studying BSc 3D Computer Animation.

I am in the process of deciding on a final major project and am a little stuck as in what direction to be heading, unfortunately my original Idea was to do a Houdini project but after some extensive thinking I have decided I do not know enough about it to go into this area, this means I am slightly behind.
I am looking to create a tool that deals with destruction of some kind, a bit of a large and already milked area I realize but this is the area I am particularly interested in. Unfortunately any paths I am going down I seem to be drawing blanks on Ideas.

Some of the ideas I have are as follows:

1: Wood destruction effects, probably an extension to DMM dealing with the various destruction effect with wood, for example adding extra wood shards with particle instancing and giving various options to the user as to what type of wood is being broke, for example a tree would break differently to that of a shield.

2: Dynamic rigging of a “Galleon/Pirate” ship, over the summer an Idea was had for a VFX shot of a pirate ship. This would need various tools that interact with each other to create a “procedural” effect sequence for the ship to be “destroyed” for Example DMM can be used for the wood destruction but then various other tools and developments would be needed for the dynamic rigging of the ropes and interaction of wood splintering with the sails etc.

What I’m asking is do either of these come across as FMP worthy?
On another note in the hopes of a new idea are there any tools that haven’t been designed that people would like to see done that could be very useful?

Thank you.



Mixed-mode simulations can be challenging because there is not really a standard system of force exchange that works between different sim systems.

You can get one-way mixed-mode simulation by running one sim (like DMM) and saving it out as an Alembic cache. Then load that cache and use it as collision geometry to drive another sim (like cloth, liquid or particles).

Alternatively, you can parent DMM objects to kinematically moving objects. For example, if you wanted to direct a ship mast being shattered, you might kinematically move part of the mast to stress it can cause the DMM to begin splintering. You can also use passive regions and material keying to get good results that are highly directable.

I will say that there is no better system than DMM out there for wood destruction, or for that matter, any kind of destruction. DMM simulates deformation-based fracture based on finite elements and gets results that are as close to reality as you are willing to go (just automatically increase the tet count to increase the fidelity of the simulation).

Of course, you do have to be careful about increasing the simulation tet density too high, or your sims can take a while to run. This is true of any simulation system.

A good shot deconstruction of DMM in use here: Anatomy of a DMM Destruction Shot

Good Luck on however you choose to go, and please share the results. It’s always great to see new talent.



Well the ship thing has been done a lot before by students, but usually very poorly.

I’ve been working on a realistic model of an 18th century warship for several years, and have around 700 hours in it. All the ropes I’ve made so far are just curves with skin weights and extruded geometry. I dont have an exact count on the objects, but its at least several thousand.

If you want to focus on just the simulations, it might be a good idea to try something a bit simpler. I would be happy to donate my model to your project if your interested, or maybe you can find something on turbosquid.



Hi fizzbin,
Thank you for your reply, I have currently changed my idea but am still using DMM gladly, I have taken a shine to the software and am finding it really useful and intuitive. I have decided upon a project that uses Maya fluids, or “fire” and how that can take an effect on the structural integrity of some of the materials that can be found in DMM, so the Maya Fluid weakens the DMM object and should eventually succumb to weight and stresses applied. So far it has been branded with “Procedural Spread and Destruction using Fire”. It is in its early stages so far but this stemmed from the various aspects of the above ideas and eventually came to this.
Essentially I am planning on working out a co-existence between the fire temperature/time its been burning, and the density/strength of the DMM object to aid in procedural destruction.
I will be sure to post updates of my progress throughout the development of my tool! I am setting up a blog to document this also.

I am very great full for your offer of the frigate, from what I can see on your portfolio it is absolutely astounding but as explained my idea has now changed as I have a better understanding of my current idea and goal, none the less thank you for the offer :slight_smile:

Thank you both for your replies,



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