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Fracture modifier development update


I had a chat with Dennis Fassbaender, who is part of the team that is working the Fracture modifier. He has some awesome things to show, like fracturing along a path!

What is the Fracture modifier?

Right, the Fracture Modifier has been in development since one year. Martin Felke (scorpion81) is the man that does the magic.

It is a voronoi-fracturer that is coded in c-language and is by far faster then methods based on python.

Fracturing a default cube with 1000 shards takes just 1,5 seconds! In example try 1000 shards with cell fracture - it took 114 seconds on my 3x3,6 GHz AMD CPU. This means - the Fracture Modifier is about 100x faster!

Another very important thing is: Its a modifier! You can make changes on the fly - all out from a fracture menu. Once fractured, you can setup the simulation very quick and easy. In example the rules for breaking constraints according to their angels in motion - and that just by changing a value. No setup work needed.

We also made a python-based "Fracture-Helpers"-Addon. It helps to make advanced fracturing stuff on the fly! In example fracture along the path in a few steps. (Beginners can work with it!) We means, i have the ideas, Martin make them true!


What are the main features?

  • Its a modifier (changes on the fly)
  • Coded in C (amazing speed)
  • Advanced breaking-rules (angle, distance, percentage) on the fly (constraints), and much more!
  • Autohide (you can render prefractured glas, but only see fractured shards when they are moving) - aweseomness pure!
  • Triggered Rigidbodies: Just touched shards will move- others stay in position
  • Baking to keyframes (except autohide, sorry)
  • Helper Addon (Make smaller shards for collision objects or use path in example)


Who are on the team?

So -yet- we are a 3 persons team:

  • 1st: Martin Felke, mainperson, coder, known as scorpion81
  • 2nd: Dennis Fassbaender, Visual Effects Artist, Tester, Ideas, Tutorials and some commercial, known as DF VFX or dafassi
  • 3rd: JT Nelson, documentation (WIP), known as JTA

I (Dennis Fassbaender) help Martin with new ideas, features, intensive testing, and making demonstrations of his work to show its amazing results. JTA is going to write a documentation and helps publishing Martins work.

We are skypeing EVERYDAY for many hours, till deep in the night and discuss about how to fix problems or what features could make sense!


Can you show us something?

This time i want to show you the result of new Fracture-Modifier features.

  1. Fracture-Helpers-Addon: Fracture along a path. Realy easy! Select object and path -> choose object -> click! Finish! Its true, you should try it ;)
  2. The object that drives along the path (to fracture the cube/wall) has the new "trigger"-feature enabled (automaticly set by the addon). Trigger enables the disabled "animation" property in physics-tab on collision. That means all other untouchd shards will stay in position (because the whole mesh is an animated fractured rigidbody).
  3. I baked the animation to keyframes. So i was able to use an other Blenderbuild (Octane)

How can we get a build with this feature?

You can download a build from All builds have the addon already inside. You can download the addon seperatly if needed for an older build.

And of course you can report bugs or requests here.


How can people help?

I made a thread "FractureReel: You make it - i break it! Call for content". I'm searching for "simple" models from you blender-artists out there to fracture them and use them in a demo video (fracture-reel). If you would like to help scorpion81 and me please post them on the BlenderArtists thread.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Great job and good to see effort is still ongoing! Also thanks for providing a Linux build, much appreciated :) hopefully this will eventually be added to trunk.

  2. gonna give it a try tonight.sounds veeeerrrryyy promising. been a long time,for the developers working on this, and thanks for stickin with it.

  3. I cannot start Blender build with Fracture Modifier because it says my computer is missing MSVCR120.dll - why is that? All other Blender versions are running fine on my pc.

    • you have to copy /paste all llb's from any new blender builds (thier in the blender folder) into the fracture modifier file , and it'll work. just had the same issue.

        • Aww, i forgot... usually you might have to install the Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable for x64 from Microsoft. I didnt notice because if you have Visual Studio 2013 Express installed for example, all necessary dlls are there automatically.

          • Well, I had Visual C++ 2012, and there's only a file called msvcr120_clr0400.dll... Now everything works fine and from the first tests I'd say: I love it :-)

          • What I just don't get done is baking the animation. When I try to "Bake To Keyframes" Blender tells me: "Object 'Cube' has a fracture modifier, use 'Convert to Objects' before 'Bake To Keyframes'."

            But where do I find 'Convert to Objects'? On Alt + C, my cube becomes a fractured mesh that doesn't split into shards when hit by the sphere. If I separate the fractured mesh in edit mode by loose parts, baking the animation results in the cube starting to fall into pieces without waiting for the sphere to hit it.

            I guess I'm just to dumb for all this physics/animation/baking stuff, that's why I mostly stick to still images *g*

          • Hi, there are two operator buttons in the Fracture Physics Panel under the Experimental section... one is "Convert To Objects", with this you can convert (most) parts of the sim to regular objects but have to simulate again and convert to Keyframes as you said.... OR... you use "Convert to Keyframed Objects", which converts all of the modifier (well, except autohide) directly to keyframed / animated active rigidbodies. (so they both are animated and still can collide)

            Hope this helps.

          • Okay, it's under Experimental, didn't see that. But now I've got another problem - somehow the "Convert To Keyframed Objects" didn't work out very well, after converting the shards start... well, like spinning around themselves when I run the animation and suddenly they fall to the ground.

            So I tried "Convert To Objects" and that looked better. Only that the sphere jumped from rest position to hit position in only one frame which made the cube seem to explode. I thought I made a mistake with baking the sphere. But after I tried it again, I couldn't remove the original cube anymore. Blender crashes every time I delete it. I reloaded the file, started Blender over and over again, loaded another file... always with the same result. After converting to objects Blender crashes when I try to delete the original cube - but not when I delete other objects in the scene.

          • I found out that Blender doesn't crash if I move the original cube to the side, run the animation again and delete the original cube afterwards. But the "Triggered" option is not working after conversion - the shards start to fall apart immediately. This link is my blend file before conversion:


            The next is after conversion:


            I cannot upload the "Convert To Keyframed Objects" file because it exceeds the file size limit. This is what happens: The animation runs 150 frames. On the first frame all shards are in there initial position. On frames 2 - 44 (in frame 44 the sphere hits the cube) the shards are spinning and flipping around wildly, frames 45 - 149 the fracturing runs as expected (before conversion), but on the last frame 150 the shards jump back to some weird constellation.

            Of course I can copy the keyframe from 1 to 44 and delete those inbetween and extend the animation to 151 frames to get frame 150 right. But in frame 44 I will lose the first impact of the sphere because I only copied the initial position.

    • Erm... yes, there is a linux build. Atleast under Ubuntu 14.04 or Mint 17 x64 it should work... but there is a little catch, unfortunately i used the gcc 4.9 to compile... and you will have to install it as well to get the according libgcc and and newest libstdc and glibc.... but it should be all in the repos...
      (But you dont have to compile, actually :) )

      In Detail, you have to do...

      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test

      sudo apt-get update

      sudo apt-get install gcc-4.9 g++-4.9 libboost1.54-all-dev libglew1.10

      And you will have to run blender via ./ shellscript !!!

      It just sets the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable accordingly so the libararies compiled by me are found.... and then starts blender.

  4. How do you install it? I downloaded it and from the zip file it looks like a complete copy of the Blender program files.

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