Stefan Morrell explains how the RayFire plugin helped him fragment and demolish a wall in 3ds Max
Stefan Morrell takes us through the destruction of a wall using the RayFire plugin in 3ds Max, a technique used for his image ‘City Ruins’…
To ruin this building I used a lot of manual modelling, and a plugin called RayFire, which is widely used in the entertainment industry, from game cinematics to movies such as ‘2012’ – it’s the go-to tool for destroying and generally wreaking havoc on your models!
I usually fracture the models first and then use RayFire’s PhysX connection to do the simulating; I also make use of additional demolition options that allow the models to break on impact. For this model I tried to keep things very low-poly, but with RayFire you can achieve some very detailed destruction.
Here we have a before and after of a group of bricks randomly placed, and then as they appear after the RayFire simulation
Along with RayFire I manually add some destruction; this takes a lot of time but the payoff is some very specific destruction and optimised geometry. I used basic poly modelling techniques in 3ds Max; because these were to be commercial models, keeping everything optimised was paramount.
I first cut out a basic shape from the textured building facade and then duplicated a single brick around the broken opening (stopping occasionally only to move UVs around to avoid repeating textures). When placing these bricks, I followed the applied texture map so the manually placed bricks lined up correctly. I also added many broken bricks that had been fractured in RayFire.
Here we have a detail of a manually destroyed wall created using basic poly modelling techniques
The biggest thing that will help sell a destroyed environment is bucketloads of detail. Adding lots of rubble piles and other debris is essential. The focus with these is creating a good sillhouette; my images usually have a good amount of atmosphere, so I know the piles will read better as they recede into the distance so long as the shape is interesting.
Add pipes, steel reinforcing, bits of concrete and brick – whatever you can – to sell the the destruction, as these will also be seen in close up. I use displacement for added detail.
This image shows one of the final rubble piles
Featured images: ©Stefan Morrell
Each issue of 3D Artist magazine is packed with helpful tutorials, inspiration and advice for 3D artists. 3D Artist is available to buy from all good newsagents, supermarkets and at the official Imagine Publishing online store. Digital editions of 3D Artist are on sale now through the Apple Newsstand and Zinio – save money off the cover price and get your copy immediately! Back issues and subscriptions are also available.