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Got a question about how to accomplish realistic piles of dirt in Blender. Look at the design sketch below. See the dirt falling from between the cracks of the fingers? I remember seeing this add-on a year or so ago but I forgot the name and couldn't figure out the right keywords to search. It did something like randomly drop particles where you wanted them. In the demo they were dropping fruit in a bowl I believe. My main questions.

  1. How should I approach the piles of dirt? I tried experimenting with a particle system and couldn't get the piling up effect. Should it just be one object with a dirt material? It needs to be quite realistic for my client.

  2. Same question with the dirt in the hand. I imagine it could just be a textured object but I'm worried it will look bad towards the bottom as it becomes falling particles. However if I fill the hand with particles that's a LOT of data.

I think you get the point. I need help wrapping my head around how to best approach the dirt in this design where realism is the goal. Thank you!

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Hello :). Just to save time - what have you tried so far and why exactly it didn't work for you? Do you need to do an animation, or a static scene? Also - you mentioned realism, could you please add a photo of such dirt chunks? :). $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Dec 11 '20 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is the addon you are looking for! Does Molecular Script ring a bell for you? $\endgroup$ – Olivier Wierda Dec 11 '20 at 13:19
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    $\begingroup$ I would advise two very different approaches depending on whether you need an animation or a still image. Which one are you interested in? - - - In short, I'd use sculpting, materials and hair particles for a still image, and the molecular add on for an animation. I won't have time to post an answer but if you make your goal clearer someone might $\endgroup$ – Nicola Sap Dec 11 '20 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ I can reopen the question if the goal is clearer (see questions asked in the comments). $\endgroup$ – Robert Gützkow Dec 11 '20 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ blender.stackexchange.com/questions/44606 $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Dec 12 '20 at 19:25
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The addon you are talking about is probably Molecular (Sand sim with Molecular)

Simulating everything will take a beefy PC and huge amounts of simulation time, and will only look good if you got the settings right before hand, but if you do its very rewarding.

You maybe want to look into techniques like

Particle Dirt

Displacement and bump mapping with PBR textures

To shorten your time and gain more control

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    $\begingroup$ Link only answer are discouraged in Blender Stack Exchange. Please provide concrete information directly in your answer. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – lemon Dec 11 '20 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ hm .. sry if you feel like this is inapropriate. I elaborated on all ideas and different techniques to the topic that came to my mind. Off topic: I also think a lot of questions this tend to have not too mutch comunity value.. and are not a good fit for stack exchange like answering... because there is often no right and wrong. But i think how to make flowing sand is actualy a pritty god question and would like a nice and easy answer in a gif myself... as i can only think of complicated things :D $\endgroup$ – J.Doe Dec 11 '20 at 20:58

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