Thinking Particles


Hey guys

I am working on a new RnD project with TP and Rayfire to try and continue learning as much as possible, I really need some opinions on my current workflow though, as it isn’t working 100% but there might be an easier way for me to do this.

Basically I have modeled a very simple Smoke Stack that I want to demolish, I want there to be two blasts up the stack that start the toppling and consequently destruction of the tower as it plummets into the ground and smashes up abit more on impact.

I think it will be far easier to just upload my scene file so someone can take a look if they have the time :slight_smile:

But for those who don’t I shall give a brief explanation as to my approach, I cut up the tower into four pieces, two of the pieces are where the blasts shall occur. Those parts are activated and then Fractured further with VB and then a force is applied to them to give them some explosive movements, in my scene however my pieces get stuck and don’t blow out. I really like some of the movement that is generated if only my pieces didn’t get stuck, although I think they are intersecting and getting stuck that way.

My File can be downloaded from Dropbox here.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to help me :slight_smile:


Making more frags at the base would probably help.


Hey man

Thanks for the help again, I added some more fragments to the bottom and it does look better :slight_smile:

However my Fractured pieces are still getting stuck in each other and all moving off in a big ball so to speak :/.

It is very annoying :/.


Try increasing the voxel resolution of the group with the frags, increasing the samples in SC or making the sampling per half frame, one of these should work:)


Thanks for the response again Glacierise, your help is really invaluable to me :).

I have updated all those parameters and adjusted lots of values and I did see some improvement :). Although not everything is being fixed :/. I think I will just need to bump the values up really really high.

Even on my i7 with 16Gigs of RAM it is very slow to preview with the values pumped up high though :/.


Trick is to increase slightly :slight_smile: big increases show something wrong. Having very big and very small pieces is a worst case scenario, you could avoid that, or just increase the voxel resolution of the group that has the very big pieces.


Thanks so much for the help man, it must get annoying sometimes having to help people with seemingly basic problems. Anyway I seem to have gotten it to work alot better now, will hopefully upload a reader of all the debris in a few days.

It really means alot though that you take time out of your day to help those people struggling with problems like these.

I am sure I will have plenty more questions as I continue to try and learn more about this topic :). It is really nice knowing that I can post to these forums and get help from professionals.



Cheers :slight_smile: :buttrock:


Hey Guys,

This is what I have managed to come up with so far, I want to stress that this is only the Tier 1 level of destruction and far from being complete.

Smoke Stack Destruction Tier 1

Obviously the movement is far far too quick, it does not seem that the tower is 30 meters tall at all. So I still need to find a way to slow the movement of the larger pieces down. I must also get the top most part of the stack to Fracture again once it impacts the ground.

I decided to go with one explosion midway up the tower and then shatter the base afterwards, as opposed to two large explosions.

Just would like to show you what I have thus far.


It’s a cool start. You’re already hitting on the big structure problem though - big things don’t behave like simple rigid bodies :slight_smile: I do that with a cage of jointed proxy particles, gives me the softbody bending look.


Oh deary me, hmm I am going to have to figure that out as I haven’t covered something along those lines yet.

Thank you so much for the feedback though! I really appreciate it! :slight_smile:

Below is a link to another version I did, however still with the same problems that you mentioned above, I was really wondering how to achieve the bending look as I had seen it in some implosion videos on YouTube.


I shall browse the net and see if I can find any approaches to making a setup as you suggested :).


I’ll make a tut for it, whenever a rainy weekend comes in :slight_smile:


Oh wow that would be amazing! Thank you so much :).

I looked around and couldn’t really find anything on it on the internet unfortunately so it will be awesome if you did make a short one.

Hell I would even pay for it!! :).


Hi all :slight_smile:

I have a question, Im trying to make a spiderweb, and as starting point I need to create a net o jointed particles, but I dont know what Im doing wrong since the joints doesnt seems to work. Any clue?


Hi Guys

Im having an issue with thinking particles. I have a bridge I have made that is falling apart as an object collides with it.

I have a omni light attached to the object that activates the geometry when it hits. The bridge is set to its own group with object to particle set to ‘none’, and ‘instance shape’ selected.

The animated object has its own group and has the same settings, but ‘object to particle’ is selected as its an animated object.

All in all the animation works really well, the object activates the geometry and it all starts to break and fall as it passes through, the problem I have is I have pecies that just stick to the animated object, when i really don’t want them to. The bridge has friction set high so its sticks together making it more realistic, and the animated object has no friction set at all. I’ve played with the Elasticity but no joy either. However even if i turn all friction off the particles still just stick to the animated object.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



You can go two directions - increasing the settings or reducing the circumstances of the artifact. You can try with more collision/contact samples in the SC, higher resolution of the colliding object. This is easy to try, but will slow your sims in the long term. Another thing to try would be reducing the circumstances, like apply some repelant force from the colliding object to the others when they hit.


Hi Glacierise

Thanks for the help. The collision forces have helped a lot upping them to a 100 each but i do have just a few left still sticking. How do i go about you 2nd idea adding a repelant force from the colliding object to the others when they hit ?



You have the hit position and normal - apply a force in the direction of the normal when a hit occurs. This will have a slight repulsive effect, the force needs to be big because it’s only being applied for a short time.



I have taken a snapshot but can i email it to you? (Personal msg me if you like) as i have been following Allan Mackays new bridge tutorial with TP but I have adapted it for a model smashing through it. The model is as an object to particle, but you can see the bits sticking in the document ill send you if thats ok?



I’m hristo dot velev at gmail