Pulldownit 3 Review – Currently in its third release, Thinkinetic’s Voronoi preshattering and rigid body dynamics software Pulldownit 3 for 3ds Max (and Maya) boasts a speed upgrade and several new features to ease and speed up your workflow. But does it?
For those unfamiliar with the plug-in, Pulldownit allows the user to create all kinds of breakage, from collapsing buildings to broken wineglasses. It has a straightforward workflow. You start by defining your parameters, shatter your item so the fracture bodies can be defined and calculated. If needed, define the items, like ground, splines, other meshes they will interact with, and run your simulation. And tweak, utilising the plug-in’s functions.
With that in mind, the current release focuses on increased control over output. Shipping with new shattering functionalities, bug fixes and UI improvements, Pulldownit 3 doesn’t have the richer functionality of RayFire, for example, but keeping it lean and mean serves Pulldownit 3 well. It keeps the focus on what it’s good at – namely wrecking and throwing stuff about. For those who have used earlier versions, the Preview mode for Shattering is an improvement, as it now allows you to edit by point-cloud. Used together with the options in the Style dropdown, users have finer control over originating breaks, and can add several pre-shatter parameters onto the same item.
Another new feature is the Clusters panel: by letting the user group (cluster) together selected pieces of the shattered mesh, they can define the hardness of the clustered items (which affects how they break), the force of the breakage, and when in the simulation they should break, again allowing finer control over your output.
The new Crackers window also makes the generation of dynamic cracks easier, with more options and a separate menu in the quad. The rest of the new features are useability tweaks, such as a new parameter for radial shattering, an Undo Last button, Bounded Force Field optimisations and speed optmisations.
In addition, Pulldownit 3 plays nice with other simulation essentials, such as ParticleFlow, FumeFX or most other plug-ins required to create the dust or smoke needed to make your rubble look believable.
There are some niggles though. Pulldownit 3 slowed 3ds Max down in some instances of recutting on a dense wine glass model. In addition, online support could benefit from a little TLC to complement its sparse manual.
Also, should the Pulldownit license-server be down, it seems to stop working until it’s back up again – something many on a deadline won’t appreciate. Despite these gripes, which will likely be ironed out once the software gets a foothold, if you’re looking to break things with ease Pulldownit is a good place to start.
- Pulldownit for 3ds Max 2012-15 or Maya 2012-15, €395
- Standalone Pulldownit for 3ds Max 2012-15 or Maya 2012-15, €495
- Floating Pulldownit for 3ds Max and Maya 2012-15 €693
- New Preview mode for shattering: Visualise all shatter parameters before breaking the geometry
- Any shatter pattern can be added seamlessly. The number of straight edges in the shatter pattern is also reduced
- Adjust the size of the radial pattern visually
- Creating multiple rigid bodies from complex geometry is much faster now
- Bounded Force fields can break fracture bodies: Any bounded field can break fracture bodies accurately