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Is it possible with Blender to have a physical interaction (dealing with contacts) between objects?

For example:

  • I would like to make a sphere scratch another object and imprint a permanent plastic deformation on this object.
  • I would like a sphere enter inside a cylindrical part (with an elastic behavior) and expand it from the inside.

Is it possible to do this with Blender, or by combining Blender with external tools?

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    $\begingroup$ I believe what you want to look at is dynamic paint. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jul 13 '15 at 23:42
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Yes, Blender is absolutely capable of doing this. The feature you are looking for is called dynamic paint.

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To do this simply select the object you want to deform, go to the physics tab, click on dynamic paint, and choose canvas.

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Then just scroll down to the dynamic paint advanced rollout and choose displace under surface type.

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Next, select the object you want to use to inflict the deformation and set it as a dynamic paint brush (just select brush instead of canvas).

Then you can animate the brush object to scratch across the canvas object and it will deform it.

A few tips for using dynamic paint:

  • You will want the canvas object to have plenty of subdivisions so that it has enough geometry to get deformed.
  • You may want to enable anti-aliasing and add some sub-steps on the canvas object for a smoother deformation, particularly if the brush object is moving fast. This makes Blender sample the motion of the object between frames for smoother painting.
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You can easly achieve physically believable results by running physic simulation, dynamic paint, keyframed shape keys, molecular add-on, fluids... a mix of all... but remember that Blender is an animation-focused software, so don't expect to be asked just about some real world phisical parameters and let the software do all the work.

First example:

An interesting way to imprint plastic deformation by using a "static" cloth simulation can bee seen in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=267&v=wJFE2pb0Ri4

The object to be deformed is a highliy subdivided, cloth physic enabled, with structural stiffnes set to 0 in order to keep the deformation caused by a second object that has collision physic enabled.

Second example:

No smart idea about. Maybe a fluid simulation (if I have well understood what is your concept about). The cilinder act as a boundary and the sphere emit big fluid particles in both direction...but the interface will never be smooth as an expanding sphere has.

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