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Blowing Things Up

Hard body dynamics in LightWave 8.5 By Stephen Schleicher

Is there an action movie out there that doesnít have at least one dynamic explosion with the world crumbling down around our hero?  Real life demolition is a scary and dangerous thing. Thanks to worlds generated in 3D applications, blowing things up is a piece of cake.  In this tutorial Iíll show you how to blow apart an object and have it react realistically with the environment.

Breaking it up
In order for your object to realistically break apart, you need to break it up.  You could spend a few hours manually breaking your object into chunks, but there are two plug-ins you can use to help you along.  The first is CrackIt (http://f23.aaa.livedoor.jp/~fisjunk/plugin/plugin.php), an Lscript that breaks your object into a large number of parts. 

Lots of little pieces create a realistic exploding object.

The other Lscript is C4, a collection of Lscripts that not only deconstruct your object, but also has a script called Detonate that will create a realistic explosion for you.  http://www.informatik.hu-berlin.de/~goetsch/C4/  However, since we have hard body dynamics in 8.5, we really donít need really need Detonate. 

Both of these scripts do the same thing Ė breaking the object into smaller parts each on their own layer, but I find CrackIt to be a little easier to use and faster in the computation times.

Even though these are Lscripts, there is a problem (i.e. bug) that prevents them from running correctly in the most recent version of LightWave for the Mac (sorry Mac fans).  Perhaps some programmer type will soon fix these soon. (I have included the cracked version of the cube in the downloadable file found at the end of this article for you to follow along with).

Making it go boom
Step 1:  Once you have your object broken to pieces to your liking, load it into Layout.  Position your lights, camera, and object to your liking.

Step 2:  Not much to look at right now.  Letís load a room object and place it in the scene as well.

In this case a much larger cube was created, with the polygons flipped pointing in, along with a grid surface.

Step 3:  With the box object selected, press the P key to bring up the Object Properties panel, then click on the Dynamics Tab.

Step 4:  From the Add Dynamic drop down menu, select HardFX.



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Related Keywords:lightwave, explosion, blow up, 3d, dynamics, hard body, collision, effect, schleicher, tutorial, exercise

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