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How can I make a Ridged body simulation mesh so that it's solid under normal conditions, but if a heavy object collides with it, it bends as the force is transferred? (i.e. like a ball through glass or a bullet through steel)

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, dynamic fracturing/destruction is not truly possible yet. Though there are some interesting experiments:

However, you can fake fracturing with the Cell Fracture addon (which is bundled with blender, you can enable it in CtrlU> Preferences > Addons > Cell Fracture) and rigid-body contraints:

  1. It's not necessary, but you can get finer control over how an object is fractured by using the Grease Pencil:

    enter image description here

  2. Fracture the object into separate objects by pressing Cell Fracture in 3D view > Tool Shelf:

    enter image description here

  3. Make them rigid-body objects and constraint them using another addon called Bullet Constraints Tools:

    enter image description here

  4. Use the Calculate Mass tool to calculate and set the mass of all selected objects based on volume. I used the Glass (Broken) preset for the shards and the Bronze preset for the monkey:

    enter image description here

  5. Manually animate the render visibility of the original and fractured objects in the Outliner (camera icon), so that the original is used until it is fractured by an impact, or use post processing. (see related post)

enter image description here

You can simulate bending with soft-bodies, however tearing is not possible. (though again there are some tests)

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where is the greasepencil panel by the way? I can find the draw buttons and such but I can't find the panel with the checkbox and options for it. –  ZCoder Feb 2 at 0:30
    
@ZCoder With your object selected, press N in the 3D view to open the properties region, then click new layer in 3D view > Properties region > Grease Pencil. The options should appear. –  gandalf3 Feb 2 at 1:35
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