Using Rigid Body Physics to Create a Falling Buttons Image

Learn how to create a scene of falling buttons image montage with Rigid Body Physics

With the release of Blender 2.66 we now have native access to Rigid Body physic simulation tools, which can be used to create all kind of effects. Using rigid bodies we can make objects realistically interact with each other just as they would in the real world.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use the Rigid Body simulation system to create a scene of textured, falling buttons that fall into place, forming an image montage. You’ll learn how to create active and passive rigid bodies, how to calculate object mass, how to model the buttons, and how to use the UV Project Modifier to texture the buttons.

View the final result:

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73 Responses to “Using Rigid Body Physics to Create a Falling Buttons Image”
  1. Posts: 2

    Great tutorial man,
    i have learned a lot and i like youre style of making tutorials.
    Thank´s man,

    Schöne Grüße vom Chiemsee,


  2. Posts: 4
    David Wende says:

    Great tutorial – thanks.
    I have one problem. The mapped image on each of my objects is not sticky on the
    object when the object moves. Rather it is as if the objects are moving through
    a “projected image space” which is the projected image from the camera.

    • Posts: 2
      Tissie Ja says:

      I have the exact same issue. I have tried using all versions of blender from 2.65 to 2.67, so we must be doing something wrong. Someone able to help??

      Thanks. And great tutorial by the way :)

      • Posts: 2
        Tissie Ja says:

        Found solution in video tutorial, Sorry!! Select all objects and press alt+C!

  3. Posts: 2
    Ayetach says:

    Any chance I can render this without cycles? My current macbook is incompatible with the hardware requirements for cycles. When I do render this in internal – the buttons are simply silhouettes of gray, what would I need to change to make Blender correctly render this out in internal?

    • Posts: 491
      Metalix says:

      You will need to set up new materials for blender internal and a light for internal.

      • Posts: 2
        Ayetach says:

        Would I still be able to keep the image and make it static to each object that is within the area that I projected it to?

    • Posts: 491
      Metalix says:

      Yes that will stay the same, just BI and cycles use different material setups.

  4. Posts: 66
    Kirill says:

    Gottfried, you’re great with investigating cool effects! :)
    And this is another good case!

    Additional BIG thanks to Sergej Reich for his great work with Rigid Body physics integration!

  5. Posts: 16
    Geoff says:

    This was a fantastic tutorial. Thank you for creating it!

    I’m creating a version of this where the image created on the falling objects has an alpha channel, and the objects themselves have their own UV maps (diffuse, normal & spec). I was hoping that the objects in the alpha channel would maintain their original look while the ones that fell in the image would contain the image mapping. But, that seems to be pretty complicated and beyond my abilities. I’ll keep working on it. :-)

    Is there any way to minimize the shaking of the objects after they land? They all seem to wiggle, well after they should be in their final resting position. I’ve tried to apply a variety of dampers to get them to stop acting like jumping beans, but nothing seems to work.

    • Posts: 66
      Kirill says:

      Increasing calculations per second?

    • Posts: 491
      Metalix says:

      Increase friction and enable deactivation below a certain velocity.

  6. Posts: 2

    Holy Moly 😉 danke Gottfried! this looks great – i’ll try this at the weekend … thx … wirklich klasse.

  7. Posts: 4
    warlord76i says:

    What do you mean that hit A and A again because after that all of my object are selected and the uv copies doesn’t works on the buttons.How come that all of your buttons became selected with CTR-L?

    • Posts: 491
      Metalix says:

      Pressing a twice will select all/deselect all, shift + L will bring up the menu to select linked, ctrl + L is used to create links.

  8. Posts: 4
    warlord76i says:

    Ok it works.But….. My buttons are duplicated with ALT-D.Second, wen i press CTR_L instead of join uv layouts i press modifiers:-).

  9. Posts: 4
    warlord76i says:

    Actually if you keep the simplified mode, and you put the projection modifier on top of the modifier stack the ALT-C works without problems for me.

  10. Posts: 2
    Akihisa says:

    Just awesome ! really great job

  11. Posts: 7

    Great tutorial!!!
    Now i’ve a question. I’d like to choose a frame i like and forget all the dynamics. I mean like freeze all and “forget” the phisics, I want create another animation but with the button “in place”
    I can’t find a way

    Please help me :)

  12. Posts: 1
    fatzebra says:

    When i grab the buttons and move it above the camera it it teleports back to the frame before i moved it when i play the animation.

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