Evermotion Challenge 2016: The Secret Garden

challenge2016mediumThinkinetic is proud sponsor of this year “The Secret Garden” challenge by Evermotion.

Welcome to Evermotion Challenge 2016 – the annual arch-viz contest! This year we invite you to make a visualization with greenery. We will reward great ideas and creativity among technical quality of the image. “The Secret Garden” means something different for everyone, so we count on various approaches to this theme.

You can summit your work until 17th of January, 2017

Pulldownit Pro license is one of the valuable prizes and there are plenty of them, those interested can check rules and prizes here:



Dragon Flight towards the Castle by Andres de Mingo

Andres de Mingo give some insights into the making of  this nice video, specially he explain how  the castle was destroyed using Pulldownit plugin in 3d Max.

Modeling the Environment

For modeling the terrain I started with a high tessellated plane, in order to create hills and valleys I used the soft selection tool to raise different areas, finally applying a noise modifier to get a rough look on the surface. The Lake is done with another large plane with an animated displacement, and of course a water-like blend material for rendering it translucent.  I populated the terrain with some trees,  I used a little MCG scheme to place the trees in groups and changing ramdomly its size and  number of branches so they didn’t look the same, MCG is a great tool for scattering objects ramdomly over a terrain.

Modeling the Dragon

Strictly speaking I modeled a Wyvern, this is a kind of Dragon without arms,  it was modeled in several stages. First I did was  a raw low poly version of it using just edit poly and turbo smooth in 3D Max, once I was happy with the result, unwrapped it and sent it to ZBrush for modeling the HiRes shape, I did it in two separate layers, one for the dragon body and another for the independent parts:  claws, horns, teeth and thorns. I added also surface details to the body like wrinkles and scales, finally I applied a projection mapping to texture the model. I reduced the poly count of the model by passing some of the detail to a displacement map and send it back to 3d Max where I added a SSS shader to get a translucent look on the wings,  finally I  built a basic rig with bones so I could animate it later.

Animating the Dragon

First I had to drive the overall trajectory of the dragon towards the castle, for this I used a dummy and linking the Dragon skeleton as child of it, then I did the dummy to approach the castle in a smooth way, from side to side, like the flight of a seagull. In order to refine the motion, I edited the dummy trajectory in Motion>Trajectories>Sub-Object>Keys, in this way I was able to handle it as a spline, displacing the keys in a smooth way. For beating the wings and leaning its body I did a classic “Pose to pose” animation while it was approaching the castle, finally to get a cloth-like feeling of the wings I added a Flex modifier in the rear part of them.

Impact with the Stone

The stones thrown from the catapult are modeled as simple spheres with turbosmooth and a noise modifier to add roughness.  The stones were animated so two of them almost collide with the dragon body, and the last one impact its head.

Making the third stone breaking when colliding with the dragon was very easy using Pulldownit, Esteban Cuesta shows it in this great video tutorial,

When playing the simulation the stone got broken perfectly when colliding with  the dragon, finally I just added some jagginess to the fragments to improve the look of the flying fragments.

Destroying the Castle

The castle model was purchased on Internet, it looked very nice but when shattering the tower with Pulldownit, I got strange artifacts on the arcs, checking the model I found that it had several open edges, adding a cap holes modifier fixed the issues but made it completely solid and I wanted the tower to be holed inside, so I had to edit the mesh and adding a cylindrical wall on the inside, then applying a cap holes I got the holed solid shape  that I wanted. I created a fracture body for the tower and set the dragon as kinematic with animated mesh to collide with it, in place of including the rest of the castle as static in dynamics I made some boxes and cylinders around it to act as barriers in dynamics to save computation time.

I destroyed also the roof of the tower below and the front porch, I did it in second step after baking keys for the fragments of the tower, I hadn’t any trouble to shatter those parts. For the few fragments falling into the pit in front of the Castle, I added a simple ripple effect to create some waves on the water  when the fragments touched the water plane.

This project was pretty complex for just one person, lots of modeling and animating the dragon took time aswell, but I enjoyed doing it, and Pulldownit plugin made the destruction work easy and funny.

CAR RENDER Challenge 2016 by Humster3D


Thinkinetic is proud sponsor of annual “Car Render” challenge by Humster3D.

It is the largest awards event for the car 3d modeling and visualization industry. The winning entries will be published in magazines and get maximum attention from the community. The competition, held in partnership with leading companies and 3d software manufacturers.

There are no limits for creativity: you can choose any automobile you like whether it is racing or imaginary vehicle. Think out and create your car in any 3D software and create also a nice environment around it, finally render it as beautiful as you can using your prefered renderer.

You can summit your work until November 29, 2016.

Pulldownit Pro license is one of the valuable prizes and there are plenty of them, those interested can check rules and prizes here:



Pulldownit 3.8 for Maya 2017

Pulldownit , the destruction plugin,  is already available for Maya 2017,  you can review latest festures and demos of Pulldownit 3.8 here:


When Autodesk delayed the release of the new Maya in April, many users thought something special was coming and now after a few months indeed it is; Maya 2017 is an important landmark of this 3D application, not only because the outstanding Arnold render replaces Mental ray which has been the default of Maya for years, or the addition of MASH, a full motion graphics suite, which makes procedural modeling and animation easier than ever, but also because the number of enhancements in many areas of the application: several UI enhancements specially the new workspaces for different specialized tasks, useful character animation improvements like the new Time Editor or the Quick Rig tool or, in the field of fluids ,  the new Bifrost Ocean System to generate big volumes of water  while you can make it interact with floating objects locally and fast computing, and some other useful improvements you can read in the Autodesk official Maya site. All of this confirm the aim of Autodesk to continue pushing Maya as the first application for 3D artists in the Animation and VFX fields,  and this new Maya is a good milestone for it.

You can see some of the new features of Maya 2017 in this official video,


Pulldownit used in UNCHARTED 4

We have recently known Pulldownit plugin was used in UNCHARTED 4 throughout the game for dynamics and destruciton of the environment, from collapsing walls to books falling over.

UNCHARTED 4 is probably the most evoluted game these days, with wide polished sceneries and an outstanding game play plenty of action, look at this awesome E3 demo to get thrilled , Pulldownit was used in the bake chase final sequence to break a few of the elements the truck hit into and for the flip it did at the end, congratulations to Naughty Dog team for this awesome game.


Pulldownit Update 3.8


This update counts with a bunch of fixes and enhancements, making the plugin more reliable and quick in production environments, surely users will appreciate the fast Undo Last Shatter operation or the outstanding Jaggy feature now preserving UVs of the original faces, and other useful improvements you can read below.

But this update is specially about Wood Splinters Shatter, we have developed a new scheme for it so now you get allways long, thin fragments even when reshattering areas, adding to this a stable dynamics and the Jaggy feature to apply roughness in the inner faces, you can get quite natural wood destruction effects very fast. Here some demos and a great tutorial by Esteban Cuesta about it.


Video Tutorial: Destroying a wooden pier in 3D Max


Video Tutorial: Destroying a wooden pier in Maya


version 3.8 Enhancements:

  • Available for 3d Max 2017 and Maya 2017
  • New Wood Splinters Reshattering scheme
  • New “detect mesh groups” shatter option for shattering correctly combined meshes
  • Jagginess preserve UVs of original faces( single and multi uvs)PreserveUVs
  • Cut Material->new allows to update the material of current shatter group
  • original object is auto selected after Shatter it->Undo All
  • AutoSelect the fracture body in list corrersponding to current selected fragment
  • Improved performance drawing of fragments in 3d Max
  • Shatter Undo Last is now a fast operation
  • Support VP 2.0 Core profile mode in Maya( rest of modes were already supported)
  • Support Maya 2016 Parallel mode
  • PDI keys uses 30% less RAM in Maya getting the playback of massive rbd scenes faster.

Read the full list of fixes in the Pulldownit web site version logs



Tips & Tricks: Setting Initial States for rigid bodies

When working with groups of objects many times you would like the objects appearing in scene scattered over the ground here and there or starting at random positions, this is done very easily wiht Pulldownit by setting initial states for rigid bodies. This is the procedure:


Lets say you start with a grid of objects you have created by cloning a single one using the duplicate tool of your 3D Platform.

Now you have to select all of them and create a dynamic rigid body for each object and then open the Dynamics properties window and set an initial velocity of (4,4,4) also set random values of (200,200,200), make the same for the initial angular velocities if you want random orientations aswell.


Now set your time range to about 10 frames  and play the simulation, you can also disable gravity if you prefer.


Ok, perfect, at the last frame all the objects has modified  quite a few  its initial position and orientation, now we have just to set this configuration as the initial state for the rigid bodies, for doing this, you have to bake keys for the simulation if you havent done it yet and after that click on Delete All Pdi bodies in the Manage Pdi World Window.

Now select all objects and move the slider to the last frame of the simulation, follow by deleting all keys for the objects, and you are done.

From here you can start a new simulation to drop the objects and scatter them over the ground, for this just set a dynamic rigid body for each object as before, open Pdi Simulation Options and enable Use Grid as Ground , make sure gravity is enabled this time, now set the extend of the simulation to 200 frames or so and launch it.


Nice, at frame 200 you get your objects stacked in a natural way, now you can set this configuration again as the intitial state of rigid bodies as we did before.