Impact with sand and gravel

Hello you all,

I am fairly new in Blender and facing a problem, I can’t get my head around. I am a passionate Pétanque-player and always wanted to be able, to capture the the moment of a hit (called carot) in a sharp and nice picture. Like the one below. To do this with photography is surely possible, but I thought, since I want to become used and more fluid with Blender, this would be a great project for me to evolve - like beginning with the basic modelling up to a photorealistic picture with the gravel flying from the impact.The charme would be, that such a picture could be manipulated in any way and angle. But what do I tell you, you all know, what I mean. I am pretty sure, I can handle the modelling, but what I chew on is: I would like to have the whole thing done with physics, so the steel-ball (boule) flying, hittig the ground or another boule, flying gravel and sand, and rendering out the picture(s) seperately from this animation. Can I create sand and gravel as particles, that react to an impact? Ist this even the best way? I checked on rigid bodies and that seems to be a good start, but there are - what I saw - mostly uniform bodies, but sand and gravel is not. If there is somebody, that could direct me to a tutorial that would get me on track or tell me a better way to accomplish my idea, I would deeply appreciate any hint.
Thank you
Nick

OK - This is not insanely complicated - but nor is it particularly simple. What I’m going to do is lay out the elements of Blender that I would go about doing to animate this.

  1. The ball - I’d actually keyframe animate this rather than use rigid body - but either will work.

  2. the surface of the ground - micro-displacement

  3. The particles - use dynamic paint to have the area of ground hit by the ball to emit the particles - particles are a group - care is taken to make these match the ground texture.

  4. Smoke - generated by the particles - for additional dust.

To split this up in various ‘acts’ was my strategy too, but I didn’t know the different tasks. Thanks to your help, I can now check for tuts for every step of your suggestions and try to stitch it together. Thanks very much for your effort and have a great day!
Sincerely
Nick