I have yet to work out how to make splashes or sparks when the sphere intersects with a water plane or a metals terrain.
What you’re looking for is particle physics simulation… which Bryce doesn’t do. You could possibly achieve splashes with lots of metaballs and a LOT of time on your hands (think weeks). But I’d recommend learning a particle physics simulator.
Particle physics simulation comes with Adobe’s After Effects, and as video editing plugins, notably from Boris, CHV and others. If you’re looking for ‘free’ (and by ‘free’ I mean a few weeks learning the basics), you could use Blender, a very sophisticated 3D modeling, animation and particle physics app, and super imposing Blender footage on your Bryce footage… in an editing program.
I also do a lot of starfield and asteriods type short movies, and two asteroids hitting and breaking up would be cool.
Do any of you, out there, have any tips?
Once again, particle physics comes to the rescue to make it look really cool (with dust and grit fragments and bouncing and gravity and all that good stuff done for you). But you can do the main separation in Bryce. Try this:
• Create a stone and enlarge it. Click ‘E’ to smooth it a little, make it solid, and in Edit Attributes, make it Positive. Duplicate it for however many major fragments you want… then add two more.
• Create a terrain, relatively low-poly, and shape/position it with a view to making it take out a chunk of your stone. Make it solid, and in Edit Attributes, Intersect. Group it with one of your stones, and call it Chunk One or something. Set this group to Locked for the time being.
• Create another terrain. Shape and position it to take out another chunk of a different stone. Ideally you want to match it it close to an edge of the first chunk, but it doesn’t have to be accurate. Group it, Locked
• Repeat this process for as many stones as you have BUT LEAVE TWO STONES UNTOUCHED. So if you have 5 stones, make 3 terrain-chunks. If you want 5 chunks, make 7 stones.
• Unlock your groups.
There are countless parenting/animation options here, so from here it’s your call on how to make this asteroid move. But here’s the technique.
• Change one of your unchunked stones to a pyramid. Then in Edit Attributes, change it to Hidden. This will prevent the pyramid from being seen during rendering.
• PARENT ALL YOUR CHUNK-GROUPS TO THE PYRAMID. Parent the last remaining stone to the pyramid as well. the Pyramid becomes your positional ‘string’ with which you move your chunk ‘puppets’.
• Create an animation where the pyramid moves from point A to B. Point B is the collision point. At point B, set beginning keyframes for your individual chunks, and the remaining ungrouped stone.
• HERE’S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: advance the time scrubber ONE frame. Set a keyframe for the remaining ungrouped stone and move it a fair distance BEHIND YOUR CAMERA’S POINT OF VIEW.
• Advance the time scrubber to… however long you want. Move the chunks radially away from the pyramid in various directions, with a little spin, perhaps.
So… The effect you get is a whole, complete stone moving forward, when suddenly large cracks appear in the stone (as the free stone covering up the cracks suddenly teleports behind your camera), and the stone splits into several fragments and they tumble away.
Now you can try simulating dust, fragments and other stuff in Bryce at the point of the collision, but trust me: You’ll be spending 90% of your ENTIRE project’s time trying to achieve 5% of the effect. You’ll be better off learning a particle physics simulator in a video editing program. Not only will this give you practical skills in an associated arena, you’ll be able to simulate smoke, fire, waves, splashes, rain, bubbles, and a whole lot more.
EDIT: On reviewing my instructions, I stupidly typed ‘Negative’ instead of the now green ‘Intersect’. Sorry about that.