Help With Realistic Building Destruction

So I’m trying to combine cgi with real life footage. I was wondering how you would simulate a building breaking so that it would look realistic when overlayed with the actual film. The only thing I can find so far is buildings falling apart as if their made from jenga blocks. That only looks realistic on a large scale skyscraper type building. I’m aiming for stuff like the corner of a building being blown out where the materials behave like they should. For example the glass windows would shatter, concrete would crack, wood would splinter. What would be the best way to simulate this and make it as realistic as possible?

Wow, that’s an ambitious one, but I would suggest modelling the different parts of the building separately, and use Explode modifiers and particle systems as necessary. also, the hook modifier might help in come areas. If you can get it to work, the Smoke simulator would work for simulating clouds of dirt and particle systems for the rubble. Just model some rubble and have a particle system emit it.
Using Blender’s physics engine and having it write the physics to IPO will help with large chunks of the video.

Otherwise, I hope what I have said will inspire you to think of ways to do anything I may have forgotten to mention.

Ok thanks for the info. You gave me several good ideas. Are there any scripts that shatter objects in a random fashion or would I need to do this manually?

I think there is a script somewhere… I thought the explode modifier did just that.
Try looking in the script/add-on repository on They should have something there.

Sorry. My computer created an error, so I thought it didn’t post right.
Please ignore this.

There’s a Fracture script in Blender 2.59. Go to User Preferences -> Add-Ons -> Objects, and click to enable. Then select your object, hit spacebar, and type in Fracture and select the script. It should appear in the Object Tools bar. It has a couple different parameters to specify, but it’s pretty self-explanatory.