Animating rips, cuts, and related destruction (on the vertex level)

Hey guys,

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to animate actions such a knife cutting cloth, scissors cutting paper, or a sword slicing through a tree. Actually the result of those actions.

My first theory is that I before the scissors cut through the paper, the paper is one solid mesh. And by solid I mean all vertices are connected. When however the scissors begin to cut the paper, the vertices along its path need to be ripped. However in edit mode I have not found a way to animate the ripping of the vertices. In other words I can’t animate changes to mesh.

Now I’m thinking that perhaps I should take two planes, subdivide them, and parent the vertices of an edge of plane one to an edge of plane two, and animate the parenting, as in frame 1 the vertices are parented and frame 10 (when the scissors make contact) the vertices are not parented.

Would my second approach work? Is there a better way? Would my approach work with the cloth simulator?