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Exporting Blast Code Slab Geometry (or how to keyframe everything)
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Author: writeAuthor
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This procedure requires blast code megaton.

Blast code generates two types of geometry: debris and damage. Debris geometry can be keyframed, elliminating the need for the blastcode plug-in, and then exported to any other platfrom. However, this is not the case for damage geometry. Damage geometry requires the blastcode plug-in, because damage geometry has changing polygon counts and deformation. Unforunatly, there are currently no standard formats for defining this type of geometry that we are aware of. To get around this problem, we convert everything to debris.

The following method will allow you create keyframed geometry independent of the blast code plug-in, and still use much of blast code's functionality in your simulation. This is a two step process.

Step 1 - Converting everything to debris geometry

Setup your slab with the desired fracutre map, and set the following parameters found under Primary Debris attributes:

Debris Tensile Option: Pressure
Debris Damping: 0
Debris Random Rotation: 0

Attach a pressure explosive. We use a pressure explosive, because we do not want to deform any of the geometry. Make the pressure explosive big enough so effects the entire slab. The goal here is to convert all the damage geometry into debris geometry. Run the simulation, all the slab damage geometry should become debris geometry and stay stationary.

Record the simulation, and then Keyframe the debris geometry. This will create a new group called PrimaryGroup. This is found under the Layer Debris group. Run the simulation until all debris is visible, and then duplicate the group, without the input graphs. You will now have a new visible group of debris objects without attached animation curves completely independent of blastcode. Then delete the keyframed PrimaryDebris groups found under Debris. This is necessary because of name duplication issues.

Step 2 - Use debris as glue objects

One of the big blastcode myths is that it can only be used with Nurbs. Nurbs are used as control surfaces, because they can convey more information to the simulation than a polygon surface.

First perform some house cleaning.

1) Set the scene record mode to off
2) Create a new target layer, and hide the original slab layer.
3) Convert your explosive into a deform explosive

Select all your debris objects and attach them as glue objects. Run the simulation, and tweak your explosive as necessary. You should now have exploding debris. Once you are happy with your sim, record, and then keyframe the glue objects.

The keyframed glue objects do not rely on the blast code plug-in and can now be exported at will.

This procedure has been successfully tested on Blast Code "Megaton" 1.5

Last update: 10:52 AM Friday, October 27, 2006

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