“CrackTastic: fast 3D fragmentation in “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”” by Museth and Clive

  • ©Ken Museth and Michael Clive




    CrackTastic: fast 3D fragmentation in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor"



    We have developed an efficient technique for fast and production-friendly fragmentation of solid (i.e. closed) geometry. It is based on novel data structures and algorithms that allow us to employ fast and robust level set operations to generate fragments at very high resolutions and speeds far exceeding fully physics-based simulation techniques. Our tool, dubbed “CrackTastic”, is embedded into a larger Houdini framework that adds artistic control to the fracture generation as well as augments with physics-based animations by means of rigid body dynamics (RBD) of the fragments. “CrackTastic” is derived from a vision to balance fully physics-based fracture simulations and completely manual modeling since both extremes pose major disadvantages in terms of production time and artistic flexibility. In contrast, our new framework allows a single artist to produce massive fragmentations on the order of minutes as oppose to hours or even days. “CrackTastic” has already been used in the newly released movie “The Golden Compass”, but more significantly constitutes a key-technology in the upcoming movie “The Mummy, Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor” that features complex fragmentation on a very large scale.


    1. Museth, K., Clive, M., and Zafar, N. B. 2007. Blobtacular: Surfacing particle systems in “pirates of the caribbean 3”. In ACM SIGGRAPH Sketches.
    2. Nielsen, M. B., and Museth, K. 2006. Dynamic Tubular Grid: An efficient data structure and algorithms for high resolution level sets. Journal of Scientific Computing 26, 3, 261–299.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

Overview Page: