softbody particles.

Hi everyone, this question has been asked a couple of times (2010 and 2014) but has never received an answer. I would like to define a softbody object and then have that object emitted as many particles using Blenders Particle System. What I am hoping to accomplish is a splat effect.

This is my first choice in a realistic approach to create something that looks like many spitballs hitting a blackboard.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Pretty sure it won’t work because all particle Objects are instances of the same single object, which is where any physics interactions must take place in order for it to show on the instanced particles. Individual particles do not react to soft-body physics as individuals, only to the particle physics defined in the particle system parameters, which do not include soft-body reactions.

However, with patience, it might be possible to fake your spitball effect by using particle death on collision and placing separate splat objects at the collision points, keyframed to appear at the proper time.

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Another, more resource intensive method, could be to create an individual soft body object for each particle you need and then group them together. Then set up a particle system and under the emitters render settings, set it to display a group of objects and then select the group of softbody objects you created. Then set the mode to “count” and use 1 of each object in the group in the simulation, to ensure all particles are indivdual objects and not instances

So if your particle system emmitted 300 particles, you would need to make 300 soft body objects :/… Wouldn’t take long though, using duplication, for 300 i would just set up 3 objects with slightly different softbody settings and then duplicate them.
Then just keep the group in a hidden layer (unless this effects the physics of the soft body, in which case just place them out of view of the camera in the layer the simulation is running on)

This would be intensive depending how many particles you needed, but if it isn’t thousands upon thousands, it should be alright?
I’ve not tested this method myself, but in theory it should work… i think

Would this be the case, though? I’m not disputing, just interested, I wasn’t aware this was an option, if it is.

I’m not fully sure to be honest, I might test it actually to see if it works.

The group objects using count definatley work, and the individual particle objects become instances of the corresponding grouped object. So i imagine all particles would behave in a unique way depending on their individual velocity/rotation and mass combined with the soft body physics.

But still, im not 100%, thats why i made sure to tell him i have not tried this method before.

If they are still instances, even if “selected” as singlets from a group by the parameters, I think the SB physics of the instances will fail, it has to happen to the source object. Same with using shape keys on particle objects. Instances can only display the behavior their source objects experience. Easy enough to test in any case.

The count of spitballs needed is crucial I think. For low numbers, say 10-20, traditional keyframing, though tedious, is quite the best way to go. Jiggering animation curves for timing and velocity purposes is rather straightforward, so you could use duplicates and not have to actually keyframe every one individually. For more numbers, if the scene mechanics allow for it, you might think about using compositing to visually clone a basic set of animations. Much depends on a lot of other factors, though, that would be specific to the scene.

I just tested it, and you are right… its very glitchy and does not respond to collisions well. And i think it does just try to replicate the physics of the source mesh, so it doesn’t actually interact with the world well at all, random spasms and sometimes just launching thousands of meters into the air! same result with cloth too, just much more extreme! :spin: lol.

Another problem with it is due to the fact that particle collisions are based on there origin point, so the soft bodies always end up emerged into the floor or floating underneath the surface. It was worth trying though, would have been great if it worked, could have opened doors for a lot of interesting uses :slight_smile:

But yeah, in conclusion i think your proposed method is the best way for him to go :slight_smile:

Thanks guys,

I appreciate the input. I’m not sure I care to pursue the individual object approach, I’m kinda lazy that way. But if I come up with a good approach with the tools available I’ll post it here.

Thanks much.