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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
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Destructing Elements in Maya With PullDownIt: Part 1

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

Preview

In the first part of this tutorial series, I'll show you how to work with PullDownIt plug-in for dynamics in Maya

PullDownIt is a one of the best and leading plug-ins for dynamics simulation in Maya. I'll cover the different aspects of this plug-in and show you how to create destruction, demolition, breaking and wrecking of objects in Maya.

I'll show you how to download and install the PullDownIt plug-in in Maya and how to start working with the plug-in to create your very first dynamic destruction.

1. Setting Up PDI plugin

Step 1

Open a web browser and go to www.pulldownit.com.

Open a web browser and navigate to the PullDownIt website
Open a web browser and navigate to the PullDownIt website

Step 2

Click on Products menu. Download the plug-in for Maya. You may also wish to download the demo version of the plug-in from here.

Navigate the PullDownIt website
Navigate the PullDownIt website

Step 3

After installing the plug-in, open Maya. Go to Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager.

Navigating to the plug-in manager in Maya
Navigating to the plug-in manager in Maya

Step 4

In the Plug-in Manager window, turn on Loaded and Auto Load options for pdiMaya2x.mll. Click on Close button. The plug-in is now ready to use.

2. Breaking an Object

Step 1

Create a sphere in the perspective view port as shown in the following image.

Creating a sphere
Creating a sphere

Step 2

With the sphere selected, go to PulldownIt shelf menu and click on the ShatterIt feature icon.

Select the ShatterIt icon
Select the ShatterIt icon

Step 3

In the ShatterIt feature window, set the value of Num Shards to 120 and click on Shatter It! Button.

Set the Num Shards value
Set the Num Shards value

Step 4

Within a couple of seconds, the sphere shatters into 120 parts. Check it by selecting and moving each broken part individually. 

Moving shards
Moving shards

Step 5

Open the Outliner window. You will see the different broken parts of the sphere inside the pdiShatterGroup.

Broken parts
Broken parts

Step 6

If you want to make the shattered parts react with the ground, you'll need to convert these parts into rigid bodies. 

At the time of shattering the object, turn on Create Rigid bodies from fragments option first and then click on Shatter It! button.

Shattering the object
Shattering the object

Step 7

When you press the Play button to see the simulation, a dialogue box appears asking for turning the grid into the ground. Click on Yes button. Now the grid acts as the ground.

Making the grid the ground
Making the grid the ground

Step 8

You will see a ground plane in the view port as shown in the following image.

The ground plane
The ground plane

Step 9

Press the Play button to see the simulation. The sphere hits the ground and gets broken into pieces. 

The sphere is shattered into pieces
The sphere is shattered into pieces

Step 10

Once you are satisfied with the simulation, click on Bake Pdi simulation icon. It opens the Bake Pdi Simulation window. 

Click on Bake Pdi Simulation button. 

Bake Pdi Simulation
Bake Pdi Simulation

Step 11

Press the Play button to see the baked simulation as shown in the following image.

The baked simulation
The baked simulation

3. Breaking the Ground

Step 1

Create a box in the perspective view port. It will act as the ground. Create a sphere and put it above the ground box. 

Sphere above the ground
Sphere above the ground

Step 2

With the box selected, go to PulldownIt shelf menu and click on the ShatterIt feature icon.

ShatterIt
ShatterIt

Step 3

In the ShatterIt feature window, set the values of Num Shards to 120,  Shatter Style to Local, Num Centers to 3 and click on the Edit Centers button. Place the three centers at different places on the box. Finally, click on the Shatter It! button. 

Creaing centres on the box
Creaing centres on the box

Step 4

Within a couple of seconds, the box gets shatters into 120 parts. You will notice that there are three broken centers on the box.

Shattering the box
Shattering the box

Step 5

With the sphere selected, click on Create Pdi Body icon. In the Create Rigid Body window, select the Type as Dynamic and then click on Update Transform.

Transforming the sphere
Transforming the sphere

Step 6

Press the Play button to see the simulation. The sphere hits the ground and breaks it into pieces.

Sphere hitting the box to break it into pieces
Sphere hitting the box to break it into pieces

Step 7

Once you are satisfied with the simulation, click on Bake Pdi simulation icon. It opens the Bake Pdi Simulation window. Click on Bake Pdi Simulation button.

Bake Pdi Simulation
Bake Pdi Simulation

Step 8

Press the Play button to see the baked simulation as shown in the following image.

Viewing the baked simulation
Viewing the baked simulation

Conclusion

In the next part of the tutorial, I'll show you other examples of destruction using the PDI plugin.

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