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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
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Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 7

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

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1. Basic Shatter

Step 1

Open Maya.

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

Go to Create > Polygon Primitives > Sphere and create a sphere in the perspective viewport. 

Create  Polygon Primitives  Sphere
Create > Polygon Primitives > Sphere

Step 3

Go to Create > Polygon Primitives > Plane and create a ground plane in the perspective viewport.

Create  Polygon Primitives  Plane
Create > Polygon Primitives > Plane

Step 4

With the sphere selected, press F9 key to jump in the vertex selection mode. With all vertices of the sphere selected, go to Edit Mesh > Detach Component.

Edit Mesh  Detach Component
Edit Mesh > Detach Component

Step 5

Press F11 key to jump in the face selection mode. To check whether the faces of the sphere have been detached or not, select any of the faces of the sphere and drag it out. You will see the face has been detached. 

Face selection mode
Face selection mode

Step 6

Jump in the nDynamics mode. With the sphere selected, go to nMesh > Create nCloth.

nMesh  Create nCloth
nMesh > Create nCloth

Step 7

With the plane selected, go to nMesh > Create Passive Collider.

nMesh  Create Passive Collider
nMesh > Create Passive Collider

Step 8

Press the Play button to check the simulation. You'll notice that the sphere gets shattered quite before getting hit with the ground plane.

Hit the Play button
Hit the Play button

Step 9

With the sphere selected, go to nucleus1 tab in the Attribute Editor. Set the value of Air Density to 0.

Attribute Editor
Attribute Editor

Step 10

Now hit the play button. You will see the sphere gets shattered after getting hit with the ground plane.

Hit the play button
Hit the play button

2. Volumetric Shatter

Step 1

Create a plane in the vertical position in the perspective viewport.

Create a plane
Create a plane

Step 2

Jump in the Polygons mode. With the plane selected, go to Edit Mesh > Cut Faces Tool.

Edit Mesh  Cut Faces Tool
Edit Mesh > Cut Faces Tool

Step 3

With the help of Cut Faces Tool, apply several random cuts to the plane as shown in the following image.

Cut Faces Tool
Cut Faces Tool

Step 4

With the plane selected, press F9 key to jump in the vertex selection mode and select all vertices of the plane.

F9 key
F9 key

Step 5

With all vertices of the plane selected, go to Edit Mesh > Detach Component.

Edit Mesh  Detach Component
Edit Mesh > Detach Component

Step 6

Press F11 key to jump in the face selection mode. To check whether the faces of the plane have been detached or not, select any of the faces of the plane and drag it out. You will see the face has been detached sucessfully.

Face selection mode
Face selection mode

Step 7

Jump in the nDynamics mode. With the plane selected, go to nMesh > Create nCloth.

nMesh  Create nCloth
nMesh > Create nCloth

Step 8

Go to Create > Polygon Primitives > Plane and create a ground plane in the perspective viewport.

Create  Polygon Primitives  Plane
Create > Polygon Primitives > Plane

Step 9

With the plane selected, go to nMesh > Create Passive Collider.

nMesh  Create Passive Collider
nMesh > Create Passive Collider

Step 10

Create a sphere and put it behind the vertical plane.

Create a sphere
Create a sphere

Step 11

With the sphere selected, go to nMesh > Create Passive Collider.

nMesh  Create Passive Collider
nMesh > Create Passive Collider

Step 12

Animate the Transform Z value of the sphere so that it could pass through the vertical plane.

Transform Z
Transform Z

Step 13

With the vertical plane selected, go to nucleus1 tab in the Attribute Editor. Set the value of Gravity to 0.

Attribute Editor
Attribute Editor

Step 14

With the vertical plane selected, go to Edit Mesh > Extrude to extrude the faces of the plane a little bit. This gives a bit depth to the faces of the plane.

Edit Mesh  Extrude
Edit Mesh > Extrude

Step 15

Hit the play button. You will see the plane gets shattered after getting hit with the ball.

Hit the play button
Hit the play button

Step 16

The only drawback is there that the chunks are not falling down on the ground plane because there is no gravity in the scene. You need to apply the gravity field in the scene.

There is no gravity in the scene
There is no gravity in the scene

3. Applying Gravity

Step 1

With the vertical plane selected, go to Fields > Gravity.

Fields  Gravity
Fields > Gravity

Step 2

Go to gravityField1 in Attribute Editor and select Cube as the Volume Shape under Volume Control Attributes tab.

Volume Control Attributes
Volume Control Attributes

Step 3

Scale up the gravity cube shape and start it at the starting edge of the vertical plane so that only broken chunks get affected by the gravity.

Scale up the gravity cube shape
Scale up the gravity cube shape

Step 4

Hit the play button. You will see the broken chunks of the plane are now falling down on the ground plane due to applied gravity.

Hit the play button
Hit the play button

Conclusion

With this method, you can only break the shapes made by plane. To shatter different random shapes, you need to use another method which I will show in the next part of the tutorial.

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