Fractal Damage?

Ok, first of all, this post assumes that Blender is capable of a few crucial things:

1)Blender can make and render large (or small) space battles (such as those seen in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

  1. That the feature I’m describing here isn’t already doable by some other technique. (Blender 2.37a)

Here’s my idea: It’s based on “fractal damage,” which I will describe shortly, and its called Dynamic Wireframing.

So here’s what it does: Say for example, that you are creating a space battle scene. Let’s say you two ships which for the purposes here will be a Klingon Bird of Prey (BOP) vs. the U.S.S. Enterprise-A (Constitution Refit version). (I don’t know if this would work on organic s; so let’s limit this to inanimate objects for now.)

Now you’ve led your ships, and your setting up the battle. The s would have a “layer” underneath it, which would be the Dynamic Wirefram. Then, once you’ve animated the projectiles, (however that’s done, assuming it can be done,) the physics engine would track the projectiles to their targate. Here’s where the fractal damage concept comes in. I call it “fractals” because of its randomness; like lightning and other fractal shapes in nature. (Fractal damage and Dynamic Wireframes are really one in the same; fractal damage is the concept applied behind Dynamic Wireframes, but the two are really inseparable, because it has only one point: acheiving realistic damage effects.)

Once the computer has calculated the projectiles trajectory (I don’t know how this stuff works, so feel free to correct me (gently plzz ;)), and the impact point on the target, then the computer chips off the applicaple surface/faces/whatever of the mesh. (I suppose it would be something like a knife tool plus a phyiscs thing.)

This would make for EXTREMELY realistic and accurate damage, eliminating the need for expensive s. (The plastic type.)

You could even take it a bit further with facing based damage; modify Blender (I think some tools might need to be added, as if Blender doesn’t already have enough buttons;) so that you could apply bounding boxes to certain parts and program them to behave differently when hit, based on their functions.

Now I know that since I’m a new, that I should think about [i]actually learning[i/] to use Blender first. I know, but I maybe those of you who are experienced (and preferably some developers) could ponder this for addition in the next Blender release.

Note: this might only be appilicable to inanimate objects; although I have no idea…

EDIT: Just something to think about…

Sounds like what you’re looking for is ‘Shape driven keys’. New in 2.4 so I’m still unfamiliar with the technique but basically a target shape and a default shape. Set up a slider and and the amount of change is adjustable. You might possibly need multiple targets for multiple torpedo hits. The tool was, I believe, originally designed for facial animation but would certainly be useable for hardware damage.

Maybe that will help. Not exactly what you’re describing but close.

And now that I think I’m not even sure shape keys are in official release and not project Orange. The link above will get you there. (Right now the web site is down due to inordinate amounts of traffic downloading the new release.) The rest of the effects, like explosions and debris, you’ll have to put together as well and won’t probably be simple or obvious. But with practice and skill all should be dooable at any rate. The new fluid sim might help with debris . . .

Well, I don’t know enough about Blender to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to that. These are simply ideas. However, those techniques you described still seem like “cheating.” I believe my idea more closely resembles nature; when you smash wood , the appropriate amount of debris flies off. Based on what? Physics. Or numbers Since that’s how we replicate physics in the program anyway (I assume, right, through numbers?) The wireframe acts as the solid object; chipping and ing and breaking etc, accordingly.

Those other techniques seem like “workarounds” if you know what I mean; this seems a little more true to life.

P.S.: Does 2.4 have ragdoll physics?

So you’re looking for a program where you can enter values (for both objects) like Material Composition (weight/mass, lamination, weld, stress, density, alloy…), Gravity, Speed, Temp etc and then 2 buttons, Calculate and Render?


There was a game called “Red Faction” that had something called Geomods that sounds similar to what you are describing. I think one way to do it in Blender would be to script a negative boolean object to spawn at the point of bullet impact to cut into the mesh to simulate the damage. This is basically how geomods worked. I think there were several different negative boolean shapes that the script could choose from at random, and the size/rotation of the objects was chosen at random within certain parameters so the damage seemed very non-uniform. I don’t know how to script this…but in theory it should work great.