Airplane Crash VFX (Animation)

A full featured test of the new fracture capabilities coming to Blender, including fire & smoke simulation, dynamic ground surface displacement and more. Thanks to Martin Felke for his coding efforts and cooperativeness.

Some details:

  • Rendered in Cycles
  • 100 GB of smoke data, generated in 6 hours
  • Two weeks of rendering
  • The airplane model has 1.850.000 vertices and 2.300.000 triangles

100 GB of smoke data??? What kind of computer was this rendered on?

100 GB on disk for 500 frames. Blender doesn’t require to keep the entire dataset in memory for rendering, only the current frame.

Impressive work with the fire and smoke. But the way the fuselage currently disintegrates makes it look as if it’s been made of something brittle and not from metal sheets.

It looks excellent, but anuraag has a point. A soft body or cloth simulation might be better suited for most of the plane exterior. We really need a better better solution for these types of materials.

Thats pretty awesome!!! Great job :smiley:

Very impressive animation, I’m curious if a lot of constraints were used to keep sections of the fuselage together. I loved the parts of the animation that showed inside the cabin.

It would be really interesting to see some screen grabs or a making of video to see how you went about setting this all up. In anycase, really well done.

Thank you all.

Regarding the soft body idea, it’s technically very difficult to make a soft body out of a 2 mio faces mesh (try it yourself). But in the end an airplane appears to be less bendable than you might think, check this reference:


It’s definitely a complete simulation of internal stresses, there is nothing keyframed or otherwise animated by hand.
Although it has a somewhat scientific basis, it’s not really something to be used for forensics and the like. Therefore it’s to arbitrary.


Yes, internally rigid bodys and breakable constraints with different thresholds were used to keep things together.

Thanks. Interested to see how your model is ‘wired’. Do you have any plan on laying out a process or at least show some wireshots.
Shell looks as if it should be stiffer. Are there plates only? Are they riveted (pined) to a frame? Is therein a frame? Everything seems too brittle. Some less fuel & fire, higher res., turbulence, more smoke, thicker volume… maybe in this direction:

But they also don’t shatter/splinter like your animation.

Smoke and dust are really convincing but the airplane looks like broken lego or something.
Nice physics but it needs improvement (even if I’m not able to say how it works at all :o)

The link seems not to work. A small video showing the process is planned.

It’s difficult to compare airplane crashes anyway. It depends strongly on multiple factors how the result will look like. The size of the flames depends on the amount of fuel in the wings and the type of destruction depends on impact speed and angle. There are enough examples of airplane crashes were only small pieces of the fuselage were left behind. The above examples of real airplanes have very low vertical impact speed, lower than in my example, so there is less destruction, right?

But I agree, there is still room for improvement, as always. Thanks for the comments. :slight_smile:

I too think it breaks into too many little pieces but man, great work!

I just finished the promised breakdown video with some details about the creation process.