Introduction: Making and Breaking Moon Using Blender

Here I will show the easiest way to make MOON in Blender software and then break it.

Blender is free software that can be used for 3D modeling, Sculping, Animation, and much more. If you don't have it in your system then you can download it from the link provided.

After the installation, you can follow the steps below.


1. Computer with Internet Connection

2. Blender Software

3. Patience :)

Step 1: Setting Up the Moon Data

So, before you start to make the moon you have to download its texture and displacement map. Luckily, you can download it from NASA's official website for free.

The texture map is the basic image of the moon where all details are available. Whereas, displacement map contains details of the crates as an image where dark and light parts are used to tell the depth of a certain part. These will be used to build the moon with all the deformities(crates) that are present.

Choose the size of the image according to your needs though for this model, I used the 4K version.

Step 2: Creating Sphere for Moon

Now, open blender and start a new generalfile. Then, delete the default cube and add a sphere. Sphere mesh can be increased to get more details to work on and further you can add subdivision surface modifier to get more fine mesh. Finally, make shade smooth to get it shaded with full curvature.

Step 3: Adding Moon Data on Sphere

Add material and rename it moon to remember it properly. Then in material settings, change displacement to bumps and displacement both. Finally, open Shader Editor and add Image texture node to base color and another to vector displacement node to get it to displacement in material output node. As shown in the image, you just have to play around with settings to get the required image you want.

Remember if you set displacement scale too high then you can even get a bizarre rock(if you want that).

Step 4: Rendering the Moon

Now go in render mode and change the light source to the sun. change light setting and play around with camera position to get a decent looking moon image that you like. Render it with the Cycle Render Engine in the blender for better results. For post-processing go to the Composting Workspace and then add nodes to your need to cover up for blur, light, glare, etc. Change the values to get the required results.

Your moon is ready.

Step 5: Breaking the Moon

Now, that you have the moon you can start the process of breaking it.

First, go to Layout Workspace and annotate the moon sphere. This annotation will decide the way you want to break your moon. Then select the object and from quick effects, choose cell fracture. If it is not showing then you have to enable it from preferences. Choose the required setting as shown in the image to fracture the object according to the annotation.

Delete the original sphere and now the most important part:

You have to choose only the parts that you want to get flown away others are to be made as a single object for simplicity. Then, in physics properties choose the required parts as active parts and the left parts of the moon as passive parts. Also, turn the gravity off as it will keep the moon to fall off.

Step 6: Adding Force Field and Finishing Up

Now, add force field to the center of the moon. It is a physics property force according to which your active parts will react. Change its settings to get the desired results.

Finally, in render mode, change camera setting, and sun to get the required image.

Step 7: Touch-Ups

Again after rendering, you can go in composting to add some post-processing in it as before and TADA, you made a MOON and also BROKE it.

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