Breaking Suzanne

Suzanne is the name of one of the predefined objects available in Blender. It’s cartoony chimpanzee head that’s normally used as a test object for materials, lighting… or simply stress relief like I did in this video.


Well, to be honest, creating this animation was more frustrating than relieving. This was my first attempt to use Blender’s physics engine, which is part of the game engine embedded within Blender. Logic blocks, which control game logic seemed a bit intimidating at first. Fortunately the official wiki does a good job explaining everything clearly and in detail.

Truth be told, once I finished this animation I realized I had chosen the hardest way to do it: parenting all of the shards to an intact head, and set them all one by one trough game logic to lose their parenting once the intact head touched the ground, so they would freely fall apart at the right place and the right time.

Probably, it would have been easier simply run the simulation with the intact head falling. Once the animation was recorded, I would simply go to the keyframe where the head first touched the ground, duplicate it, delete the keyframes in the duplicate an run the fracture script on it. From that point on, it would simply be a matter of running a second simulation with just the shards.

Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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