Shattering an Object in Cinema 4D with Destruction and Mograph 2

December 17, 2009

Today, I show you how to explode an object in Cinema 4D by first cutting up your object into pieces with a Plugin called Destruction. Then, we will use Mograph 2 MoDynamics to make the pieces fall on the ground.

Download the Destruction Plugin By Adam Swaab Here

Final Render

Thanks to Jonah Tobias for helping me understand the Destruction Plugin.

Watch Part 2 of this tutorial.

Tutorial Focus:  , ,
Software:  ,

  • Excellent tutorial. I will definitely put this to some destructive, I mean good use! 🙂

    • Very cool plugin and tutorial.

      Could you cover sticking textures to the fracture object in your next tutorial on this subject?

    • can you help me understand why my object keeps dissapering every time?


    • Here’s what I did to solve the dissapearing problem: (I’m on Win7 64 bit, C4D 11.5)

      DL the 64 bit version mentioned farther down in this thread, AND the older 32 bit version as well.
      Put BOTH in your plugins directory (I put them in a folder to keep things neat)

      Now it works…I think the plugin needs the TEX folder that came with the 32 bit version, since the 64 bit one only had the single .cdl64 file.

      Hopefully that will help some folks- I was getting pretty frustrated myself!

    • Awesome! One of the absolute best tutorials I’ve ever seen. Clear, understandable voice, and as you’re doing it, you don’t just tell what to do, you explain why. Three thumbs up.

    • i dont fave rigid body?
      how to make??

  • Another great tutorial Nick.
    Careful with the plugin everybody. Save your work a lot! As Nick said, it is very buggy at the moment.


  • Amazing tutorial Nick! It’s like you read my mind. I was just trying to use Dynamics in C4D for the first time on a side project and had no idea how to do this. Thanks again for all your hard work!

  • I’ve tried destruction in the past and allllllways crashed C4D for me. I got it to work literally 3 times out of 20. I hope a stable version comes out soon because it really is awesome when it works.

  • This is just brilliant Nick, you’re really demystifying the complexities of Mograph with these easy to follow and fun tutorials. So many 3D tuts are dull like “today we’re going to model and render a kitchen table”. Who wants to do that? You’re showing us how to do the cool stuff and I just want to bust open C4D and get on it right away.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Is this plugin mac only?

  • For those like me who needed a Windows 64bit version, Remo of compiled it for us.
    You can find it in his post on page 3 of this Destruction thread on CGTalk:)

    Izzy –

  • Nice Tutorial! Mograph2 is so awesome… used it for a bunch of glass shattering vfx.

  • Very cool Nick!
    I could have used this for my MoDynamics tutorial!

  • *argh* It never works for me, the object just disappears when I press OK :/
    looks so fun to use.. 🙂

  • Awesome, I’ve been looking for a plugin and tutorial like this for years.
    Thanks a lot!

  • Wow, this looks awesome. I’m still on 11.0, really need to get 11.5!

  • Do not stop Nick! Your tutorials are very useful and interesting. I work only for one week in cinema 4D, it’s first 3D application in my life and it’s fantastic!

  • Hey Nick cool stuff! Finally somebody did it! Since weeks I am visiting this site
    they are developing a similar plugin and they showing some sweet testrenders. But it seems theirs is crashing too… Here is a little tip I found out: Sometimes by dividing the polygons a lot the shape doesn´t no longer look smooth. Just delete the phong tag and it will be ok

  • You know MoDynamics isn’t very realistic for this type of work. I wish there was some kind of dynamic engine for C4D that was more realistic.

    Does anyone know?

  • Nice Tutorial as usual Nick. I thought I would share my attempt at the above done the other day. I am attempting to add a frozen in time style spin around mid shatter which I have found a way to achieve manualy which is taking forever but I’m sure there must be a way to freeze the fracture whilst timeline playback continues! Anyway here is the video

  • Really cool stuff, Nick!
    Looking forward to the next part! 🙂

  • Nice tutorial! I like the C4D-tuts!
    Keep up the good work! I can’t wait for the next part! Is it before Christmas? So my Christmas ball can fall on my Christmas present under the Christmas tree 😀

  • Cool stuff 🙂 cant wait for part 2.

  • Love your tutorials, Nick. Keep up the good work.
    However, with this one it’s a bit annoying for me as the viewer when you’re continually moving windows, the Viewport, etc. for no apparent reason. Just my 0.02c….

  • Thank Nick, I was trying to make this on my own. But had some small bugs. This is really handful.

  • Hi Nick, Great tutorial as always. Just one question. At the point you render yours before the destruction your cube look perfect but mine looks deformed with some of the fracture showing! Any ideas? Mark

  • you should probably credit Adam Swaab for making such an amazing plugin.

  • Thanks Nick for this tut.
    I try an other thing, in fact I would like that the cube explode when it touch the floor, no before, rrrr, I don’t succeed !! (we don’t use the sphere)

    • I wish someone would’ve answered this, i’d like to achieve the same effect. I’m attempting to have a beer bottle fall and shatter when it hits the ground… but gravity doesn’t seem to be working until it shatters

  • Nick,
    I have C4D 10.1 with mograph.
    Will destruction work for me, or is it only a C4D 11/mograph 2 thingy.


  • This plugin rocks and the tutorial is fantastic and easy to follow. Downloaded it and tried it out and its fantastic. ty for the great find and great tutorial

  • Jiiihaa like John Wayne would have said!! thnx nick iv been waiting for this soooo loooong 😀

  • I made this one

    by Destruction Plugin after watching this tutorial.

    Nice work!

  • When I press OK in the plugin, delete the cube, but the null object is empty, why is this happening ??

  • Does Adam’s plug good for PC? or it’s Mac only

  • It looks cool but it worked 2 or 3 times, then it stopped workin and cinema4d keeps shutting all the time :/

    Is it possible to use this plugin on a text?

  • Hey I have a serious question. Will this work with Windows? If it can please tell me how. Maybe if there another alternative for Windows, I have looked everywhere and I can seem to find where to get this. 🙁

  • Hey I’m having trouble getting this to work on objects other than the standard shapes…. is there a certain way I need to group my objects in order for this plugin to work more than 3% of the time?

    I did get it to work on some type after about 2 hours of opening and crashing c4d. Check it out here..

  • Hey Nick,

    Gr8 tutorial, however when I try with this tea pitcher, I dont get solids on all of my chunks,

    Take a look:



    This guy can make things shatter!!! I emailed him and he basically uses a terrain object to give his “breaks” that rough edge and fill the interior with rough boolean surfaces. He uses 3Ds max though and thinking particles but v3 not v2 that C4D has.

    Great PlugIn Adam!!!

  • Nick, your tutorials are perfect 🙂 I love them! I am beginner and it is really nice you present everything step by step 🙂
    But I have a question. How to install the plugin? I have cinema 4d r10. Does it work in this version? I found some solutions in google but I cant manage. Could you tell me what should I do to use plugins?

  • is this just for r.11.5?

  • anybody know where i can find a tutorial on this for v11?

  • Great tutorials GreyscaleGorilla, working my way through them and they have been a great help.

    People who are having trouble with the cube disappearing its because i presume you are using the win 64bit version.

    Use the Win 32bit version instead and that will work fine.

    Follow the link Izzy posted above and its on Pg1 posted by Bandini himself.

  • I already saw some tutorials made by you but this one right here made me to subscribe to your feed! ll try it instantly!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Is it possible to get the whole backwards?
    I mean, what I want to have is like the effect from Terminator 2. All piece come together as 1.

  • Hey Nick

    Every time I devide a cube with the destruction plugin, the chunks remain visible… I have follow your tutorial step by step, but when I hit render, I se the chunks.. What am I doing wrong? Have anyone else had that problem?

    All the best


  • Hi,
    I’am new with C4D,
    Thank’s a lot for all

  • Is there a way to cause the object to explode on R11? Since it’s only Mograph 1, there don’t seem to be rigid body tags. I’m new to the program so I’m probably being stupid but I can’t seem to find a way for the object to react.

  • I would really like to make the render in slow motion. Adjusting the project time scale slows down the time but amplify the dynamics. What’s up with that?

  • Awesome tutorial man! Very easy to follow. I have always wanted to know how to explode things in 3D apps and it is fairly easy (thanks to your thorough guide) with Cin4D and that plugin.

  • Got to the part where you click OK…crashes everytime…

    I’ll have to wait for a stable version…

    Cool tut though!

  • man this is great- actually lifesaving for the project i’m working on. thanks so much!!!

  • Hi Nick,

    Is there a way to import an AI spline, extrude it and then convert it to a polygon object so this plugin will work on it?

  • I tried this tonight. I think it is safe to say that any model with some detail will crash C4D. Thats why a cube works so well. Thanks for the tut Nick.

  • please help me.. i dont have rigid body on mographs tag..

  • Thanks for another awesome C4D tutorial, here’s my version:

  • AWESOME Cinema 4D Plug-In (for creating debris & destruction):

    It seems to be more reliable than the well known destruction plugin by Adam Smith

  • Yo Gorilla!

    Great information, thanks a bunch.

    I was wondering if you have come across this problem…

    I have a similar set up to your cube destruction only my cube is a sheet of glass and my ball is a bullet. The bullet shoots through the glass and continues on its path. The glass smashes.

    My problem comes when I try to cache the animation. When using the Mograph cache tags my bullet decided to bounce off the glass instead of going through?.. everything else works fine.

    Have you encountered this problem when caching?

    Thanks again.


    Melbourne, Australia.

  • Same thing as Rayfire Tool for 3ds max, just less expensive (since its free, lol) and with less attributes….
    but still cool…thanks for the find bro…

  • Yo, Gorilla
    Great tutorials!
    One question about this destruction thingy:
    Say I want to have a logo falling out of the sky and destroying on impact. Whats the way to do this?
    Because, of course, if you set the object to destroy on impact, its uneffected by the gravity.
    The only way I found, was setting an initial velocity and basicly throwing the object onto the floor plane. Which is a bit of a hack because the Text does not really fall, it always looks like it gets thrown.
    Is the only way to keyframe the velocity?

    • Not even the trick with the velocity works.
      Objects seem to shatter as soon the are moved…

    • Still trying to figure this one out. Some of the newer destruct plugins do a better job in making a cleaner break.

      Try out this new one. It may allow you to drop it better.

    • Neil, be sure and post your findings. I too am looking for a similar dynamic and having the same problem – once the fractured object is set to break on impact, gravity fails.

      (Unfortunately I’m at work and can’t test this out myself. I’ll definitely try out that Pariah plugin once I get home.)

      Gorilla, great site man. Thanks for the knowledge.

    • Tried Nitroman’s Xbreaker plugin, but the gravity problem still exists for me. I’m trying to have a small text object fall to a floor and bounce, and then a large text object fall on top of the smaller one and crush it.

      The fracture in my case needs to happen based on the force of the collision… or at least clever keyframing. Doing this stationary is easy. Once we add in gravity, things seem to get lost.

      Will let you know if I figure it out. If anyone else does, please share it with the group.

  • Hi nick, im from CHILE (the earthquake country by now) and i have this
    question about this tutorial.
    How can i shatter the sphere in this case, when it crash in to the cube, like it was made by steel and the sphere of rock or something that could broke.

    Great tutorial by the way, and great website

  • I am using C4D 10 on a mac and can’t get the plugin to work at all.

    I downloaded version 10 on CGTalk, install it in the plugins folder but nothing shows up.

    Anyone have any experience with this and can point me in the right direction? I really want to explode something!


    • I’m having the same problem. win7 64-bit and runing 11.5. I did a test with the olx pluggin folder and that shows , so why dont the disruction folder show?

      Help needed…

  • I´ve downloaded and install Destruction_013_R11_Win64bit but the cube disappears.
    Coop, you says win32bit version will fix the problem but in CGtalk forum there is not destruction win32bit plugin for download, only the mac32 bits. (I´ve already downloaded and tried)

    Can anybody help?
    Thnks soo much!

    I´m working in C4D r11.5 windowsxp64bits

  • I’m on Leopard and it keeps dissapearing too!
    plugin version 0.1.3.


  • I keep trying to use destruction to shatter text
    but everytime i apply it destruction crashes my cinema 4d

    • Lower the amount of iterations (to something like 3 or 4). Then run. They’ll be bigger chunks, but you can go into the large chunks and run destruction again. Make sure you save every time you destruct


  • Do you know if this would work with text,
    I hope i don’t sound like a c4d noob

  • hey is there any way to put that rigid object tag to particles in an emitter?

  • Thanks a lot for your tuts !

    big up from France !

  • Hello, you are the best but i have a problem.

    Sorry for my english, i`m from brazil.

    Look, i`ve done one object, but i`ve used glass texture and the particles with glass are strange. Do you know if i use glass texture with fracture will be problems always ?

    Can i fix it or impossible ??thanks

  • Hey nick, i need help,
    I downloaded this Plugin, but it dosent work,
    I have Windows 7 64bit,
    Error: Application Error caused by plugin “C:\user…plugins\Destruction.cld”!
    More information can be found under “C\….bugreports\_BugReport.txt²!



  • THX for u help nick!.
    u are the best 😀

    great from germany

  • Cool tutorial. I cant install the plugin in my cinema 4D 11, i tried copying the Destruction folder in maxon\cinema 4d r11\plugins and it doesn´t work. What i do?
    Thanks, any way.

    • I have an object I’m trying to smash apart using a piece of text in a Sweep Nurbs and it doesn’t respond to breaking up on Trigger On Collision in either plug-in.

      I’ve tried making the Sweep Nurbs editable, but that just freezes the animation at that point in time. Using 11.5 & Mograph 2. Anybody got an idea where I’ve gone wrong?

  • I have an object I’m trying to smash apart using a piece of text in a Sweep Nurbs and it doesn’t respond to breaking up on Trigger On Collision in either plug-in.

    I’ve tried making the Sweep Nurbs editable, but that just freezes the animation at that point in time. Using 11.5 & Mograph 2. Anybody got an idea where I’ve gone wrong?

  • Mr. Gorilla,
    I loved this tutorial so much.. I attempted to take what I learned and apply it to my own project. However I am experiencing a problem. I was attempting to destruct a sphere instead of a cube… and once I split the pieces up using the plugin it renders with little square faces on the sphere vs. being a perfect sphere then breaking to pieces… any ideas?!

  • Excelent Tutorial Nick u help me a lot to understand C4D.

    I really Thank U for your effort.

    Thx from Venezuela.

  • Hi Nick

    I wanted to know if the plougin xbreaker was working on windows or if it’s exclusively for mac.

    thx for your response and congratulation for your tuts

    great from france

  • hey i use c4d 11.5 and tried both 64bits and 32bits version, and the objects(text,cube etc) keep disappearing everytime i use destruction…. can someone help please ?

    it’d be really appreciated tnx

  • Hello can anyone help me please? im new here and to C4D so your help would be very much appreciated.
    I have C4D 11 not 11.5. Do i need 11.5 to get MoGraph 2? and does MoGraph 2 come within C4D 11.5. sorry im a complete noob lol. Thanks in advance.

    Kind Regards,

  • Yo peeps.
    Baking issue. I’ve got the destruction set up with a cloner object and have the mograph rigid body added to that. I have sphere, also with the mograph rigid body tag, growing inside to make the cloner object explode. All of this is working fine, but I’m having issues getting it to cache. I’m hitting the bake button and getting a red icon. Anyone have any idea why?

    • Ignore comment about red icon. It is green like it has cached something, but it’s a filthy little liar. 🙂

  • hi, Nick.U are my supperstar!I love your toturials. and I ask your a question:
    can you help me understand why my object keeps dissapering every time?

  • i have a question: how can i achieve the effect of falling cube that hits the floor and than shatter. i used the plug-in, than apply dynamics, lift the cube up in the air thinking it will fall however i didn’t managed to make it work. the cube just stood frozen in the air and shatter any thoughts?

  • Destruction Plugin
    is there a one for win7 ? 64bit …. ?

  • What I can’t quite understand is why doesn’t the knife tool do the same thing? You can turn off visual elements only set it to line mode and just slash away at the mesh. It’s still connected afterwards, but it doesn’t work the same way in a fracture object, but I don’t know why.

  • I wanted to ask for opinions on how to go about breaking apart a slab to reveal a line of type within. How would I have various parts of the slab explode out/off so it was a dramatic reveal? You can see the dilemma, I don’t want to break up and explode the whole slab at once, so how do I isolate and control those different parts of the whole? curious.

  • It’s a shame there’s still the disappearing issue in the 64bit version. Tried pasting it within the 32bit version folder but to no avail. Would’ve loved to put more detail in the shattering..

  • hey! do you have the destruction plugin for c4d r11.5?

  • Hey there Nick…
    I was wondering if there is a new/fresh plugin for shuttering…

    As you said the old one was buggy and not yet released, some links around there from people werent working…

    Any idea for a new maybe better one?

  • Hi guys, i’m using c4d r12, and neither Destruction, neither Xbreaker works, someone knows what i can do?! i’m working in a windows 7 64bits machine. thanks for any help.

  • hey man when using the plug in on my Mac it tells me it is an unknown format…do you know why this is?

  • anybody getting this to work in Cinema r12 or have a solution?

  • id also like this for r12. any solutions?

    • Great! I watched this tutorial and got so excited to try it out, but I, like a few others, am using C4D R12 and Adam’s plugin doesn’t seem to work in R12.

      Do you know of any other plugins that will function the same – free or otherwise?

  • hi my cinema 4d not load the plugin
    i use cinema 4d r11.5..
    plz help me

  • Too bad this plugin doesnt work with Cinema 4D Version 12


  • It wont let me install the plugin
    I drag it into the plugin folder but nothing shows up in cinema even after i install it
    ive installed other plugins before so this makes no since

  • Hey Nick, i was wondering, what if i want to make this cube semi transparent? Every peace of chunk will be displayed in my render, right? Any suggestions how to make not to?

  • Is there a 64bit download for the Destruction plugin? Please reply!

  • Nick thank you for the tutorial very much.
    I used the technique mentioned here and did some reverse destruction.
    Those who are interested can check it out here:
    Looking forward to some critics.
    Best of luck to everyone.

  • Adding a color material shows no cuts in the cube, I added a glass material and I see all the cuts. How can I make it look smooth like glass, then fracture apart?

    • I’m also having the same problem…the only thing I can think of doing is to make one version that is unbroken and one that is and then comp the two in AE. Does anyone else have a suggestion on this?

  • Hello! Is there a plugin for version 12? If not, when will be?

  • is this work on cinema 4d 12? and 12 64 bits? i try but NADA!

  • Hello, Nick. I have problems with installing plug-ins for Cinema 4D R12 on Win 7. I just copy plug-in destruction into plugins folder and then restart Cinema. Nothing in the Plugins menu. What does it mean?

  • Thrausi plugin that A-LX have linked above work great and replace Destruction plugin for C4D R12.

  • I have an issue I need help with if anyone is game. I’m trying to fill a sphere with “marbles” and have it fall to the floor and break so the marbles spill out. I’m going for something between glass shattering and an egg breaking. I’d like big enough chunks of the sphere to remain so there are a couple pieces of the ‘shell’ rocking and interacting with the marbles as they roll across the floor. For the life of me I can’t figure out how to do this. Someone please help out? 😀

  • thank you man..

  • I need help i install the destruction plugin but when i reload cinema 4D it doesn’t show up in the plugin directory 🙁

  • Guys, for Cinema R12 and higher, there’s a new plugin called Thrausi. It works almost the same way as Destruction presented by the Gorilla but it doesn’t crash. So I really really recommend using that plugin. You can download it here, there’s also a quick tutorial on how it works and how to install it to your maxon folder. Hope you get it working and get cracking at this.
    My problem is, when I use Nicks tutorial, my cube doesn’t fall, it doesn’t wait for something to hit it, it just shatters like crazy. I’ve tried bunch of stuff and I simply can’t make it work like it should, like shown on the video. Hope someone can help me out here. Thanks guys 🙂

    • Actually I’ve finally got it working. What I did was, well what I didn’t do was, I didn’t um, merge all those fractures in a cube section together. I’ve just added fracture tag and then add dynamics to that and bam, it worked like a charm. Thanks for another great tutorial Nick! 🙂

      • Btw. You could’ve told us you were using that beta method of making slices 🙂 with clear edges. This way you don’t get those nasty sharp and almost flat slices. ^_^

  • Hi,

    here is our shatter effects. We use Thrausi in C4D R12 for this little animation.

  • hey in my cinema 4d plugins dont work
    i dont know
    my cinema 4d version is 11.5

    please reply

    • I can try to help. Can you give me a bit more info? What plugins are you trying to use. Also, maybe send a screenshot of the error? If they are plugins from Greyscalegorilla, please drop us an email under “Support” at the top of the page. Thanks.

  • smashing a sphere get really blocky when you connect the children… Any tips?

  • how to use this plugin for cinema 4d R13?
    please help me!
    sorry for my enghlish. 🙂 because i come from vietnamese!

  • hey nick i have C4D12 and i didn’t found that plugin pliz do u have any site to download that plugin .tnx

  • hi Nick,

    first thanks for all your great tutorials !
    For me you are one of the best c4D tutorial maker ! yep, really dude !

    So, for technical reasons I use actually cinema 4D R10,
    do you think this plugin works with it ? Do I put it in the plugin folder ?

    Cause I have tried but the plugin does not appear in c4d !

    Anyway, have you an other idea to make an objec destructed or in lots of pieces in c4d r 10 ? (the others plugins like xbreaker or thrausi does not work for r10 version)

    again : thanks man !

  • Hello lovely Nick,

    You tutorials, and you are all great, but most of us could not get the Plug-in working. I am using C4D R12 and I would be happy if anyone could help us share a plug that will really help us following the teaching.

    You are great, thank you for the effort you are making to do all this staff!!

  • Hello Nick, I love the tutorial but. It doesn’t work at C4D R13 🙁
    Is there another plugin for C4D R13 ??

  • i can not find plugin for r12?
    please help me…

  • the plug in destruction is not shown on my plug ins. how to install it correctly pls.

  • hey nick, how can i apply random effector after using thrausi? i want the shattered pieces to ramdomly placed around a specific object. please help me… thanks

  • Yeah I too would love an update of how to do this in R13.

  • I love the tutorial but. It doesn’t work at C4D R13 or C4D R12 it’s probably i didn’t know how to install the plug in or it does not work ,aether way do you know any other plug-ins that does the same work

  • Víctor Guerrero Vila September 11, 2012 at 8:08 am

    I’ve been trying to something like this with extruded type and I really don’t get it u_u Any tips or advices?

  • hi gorilla

    I have a project to build a cracked glass cube and Melting around it
    so i am wondering that you can help me ?

    The glass cube does not move and already cracked

  • *Feeling way late for just getting around to trying this* I can’t get the Destruction Plugin to work…at all. It’s in the plugin folder so maybe I’m missing something. Help?!

  • Hi, guys! I’m new to C4D-) I’m trying to install plugin r15. Even after restarting, there is no plugin. Is it compatible with 15 version?

    • What plugin are you trying to install? One of ours? All of our stuff is compatible with R15.

      • Hey,

        I am having the same problem.. I am fairly new to C4D. I have tried copying the whole downloaded folder into the plugins folder (I’m using R15) but it does not show listed in the plugins drop down menu after I restart my mac.. I may have done it wrong, would you be able to help me out, pretty please 🙂


  • yeah.. so, im just learning the Cinema 4D tutorials from the very beginning and these plugins dont work with R16.

  • I copied and pasted the destruction folder inside cinema 4d -> plugin …I closed and opened Cinema 4d again put i did not find the plugin under Plugin menu ..

  • Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this info.

  • And it is nothing but rubbish. Thanks for the info.

  • Amazing tutorial Nick! Thanks again for this. We really want to used this plugin in our Explainer video video.

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