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If I wanted to crush mesh objects into a form, and show that process, (like a garbage compactor) how would I approach that?

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  • $\begingroup$ I might try randomize scale shrinking with shape key though, but the mesh should not overlap with any faces.... Cloth simulation might be the thing you want, but it might be too complex for simulation. $\endgroup$ – HikariTW May 4 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ when you say that you want to show the process do you mean that you want to see the objects during the crushing, like if the compactor was invisible? In that case I guess shapekeys are the way to go, as said by HikariTW $\endgroup$ – moonboots May 4 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you everyone for the feedback. I want to show the process of objects being crushed, but without the mechanism, i.e. no compactor visible. I hear what you're saying, making two iterations of the group of objects, one normal, one crushed. I haven't used shape keys before, but I'd like to make sure there aren't self collisions and you can watch the process over the course of 500 frames or so, not just A to B. $\endgroup$ – Mason May 6 at 17:35
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I guess the solution depends on your purpose: What is your storyboard, what is the degree of realism, etc... For example you don't say if we're supposed to see a compactor machine, it would partially hide the process.

But what you could do is create a group of objects (cans, boxes and whatever...), and prepare 2 shapekeys for each object: the basis and the contracted version. NB: To give various colors to the same object, use the Object Info node, Random output socket > ColorRamp (Constant mode) > Diffuse...

Then create a cube, give it a particle system > Hair (Advanced mode). In Particles > Render, enable Group and choose the group you've created. Enable the Rotation option and find the right orientation. Now you can animate the objects shapekeys.

Instead of particles, to avoid any objects overlapping, you could simply link-duplicate your objects.

enter image description here

And here was my try for the result only:

  • Find a frontal image of compacted garbage.
  • Create a normal (or bump) map of this picture with a software like CrazyBump.
  • Open those 2 pictures in the UV Editor.
  • Create a cube, subdivide it, bevel the edges, mark the 6 faces seams.
  • Unwrap it, in the UV Editor place each face on the garbage image.
  • Give your object a material, mix a Diffuse with a Glossy, plug the normal map into the Normal sockets.
  • Deform the cube a bit so that it doesn't look too square.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I would have a "before" and "after" shot. Before, you have many seperate garbage items, of similar color as the final cube, use physics solvers when you're crushing them all together. Then at a certain point, you reveal your seperate crushed cube model. $\endgroup$ – Sean Novak May 4 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ yes my bad I misunderstood his question $\endgroup$ – moonboots May 4 at 17:48

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