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I am making an animation where the character is shimming across a ledge, and the ledge starts to crumble. I would have to delete faces of the ledge to make them crumble. How can I do that?

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You could use a Mask modifier if you really want to delete certain faces on a certain frame, however I'm not sure this is really what you want to do.

Mask modifier:

If you really want to delete a specific face (or faces) on a certain frame, then you can use the Mask modifier.

  1. Select the faces you want to hide and assign them to a vertex group in Properties > Object data > Vertex groups

  2. Add a mask modifier and select your vertex group and enable Invert by clicking the button next to the vertex group selector:

    enter image description here

  3. Keyframe the visibility of the modifier by hovering over the eye icon and pressing I.

If you want more variation, try using a reversed Build modifier. This will delete all faces in the object over time, either randomly or in order.

Fracturing:

If you are trying to make a more complex/realistic You might also want to try the Cell fracture addon (see this post):

Example gif

Or the explode modifier.

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    $\begingroup$ All faces touching a vertex assigned to the Vertex Group also disappear. To get just a single face to disappear, select that face in Edit Mode, then go to Mesh > Faces > Poke Faces, and only assign the new vertex at the center of the poked face to the Vertex Group. $\endgroup$ – Garrett Apr 6 '14 at 21:12

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