The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics
Cell Fracture

The “Cell Fracture” tool affects the selected object in the 3D window. Parameters are entered in the window's panels. Clicking the “OK” button at the bottom of the window activates the subdivision of the object into “Shards”. With the “Next Layer” button checked the selected object is reproduced and subdivided and placed on a different scene layer. With the “Next Layer” button unchecked the “Layer Index” determines the layer. For example, when working in layer 1, with index layer 0 and with the “Next Layer” button checked the reproduction is placed on layer 2 (The next layer). If the  “Next Layer” button were unchecked and the index was 3 the reproduction would be placed on layer 3.

To demonstrate the tool have the default “Cube” object selected and positioned above a  “Plane” in the 3D window.

Demonstration 1- Cell Fracture Using Verts

With the default “Cube” selected in the 3D window click the “Cell fracture” button in the “Tools Panel”. In the “Cell Fracture” window, select “Point Source”, “Own Verts”. In the “Mesh data” panel change the “Margin” value to 0.06. Leave all the other values as default. Click the “OK” button.

Demonstration 3 – Cell Fracture Using Grease Pencil

Delete the default “Cube” in the 3D window and add a “Plane” object. Rotate the plane 90° to stand it on edge. Use the “Grease Pencil” tool and draw a line on the plane. Make sure you select “Data Source” = Object” in the options. In the “Cell Fracture” window make “Point Source: Grease Pencil. Enter “Mesh Data: Margin = 0.02. Click the “OK” button.

The “Cell Fracture” tool performs a similar function to the “Fracture” tool. The difference is, there are more options  available for controlling the subdivision of the object into “Shards”.

To activate the “Cell Fracture” tool, activate the “Object: Cell Fracture”, “Add-on” in the “User Preferences” window under  the “Object” category. The “Cell Fracture” button will be displayed in the “Tools Panel” at the left hand side of the 3D window.

To display the tool click on the “Cell Fracture” button in the “Tools Panel”. If the button is missing grab the edge of the “Operator” panel and move it. Clicking the button displays the tool in a new window.

Cell Fracture Panel

The number of subdivisions into shards is determined by the number of “Points”.

The default cube is deselected and you will observe that an object is indicated on layer 2. Go to layer 2 and you will see the cube subdivided into eight parts (Shards). The shards are actually cubes since we did not enter any “Noise” or “Scale” values. There are eight shards since we selected “Own Verts”. The cube object has eight vertices.


Demonstration 2 – Cell Fracture Using Particles

Go back to layer 1 and select the default cube. Add a “Particle System” and make the “Emission – Number = 12. Click the “Cell Fracture” button and in the “Cell Fracture” window select “Point Source – Own Particles”. Uncheck “Next Layer” and change the “Layer Index” to 5. Click “OK”.

On layer 5 you will see the cube subdivided into 12 shards (The number of Particles).

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