Have you ever wondered how to make a video game asset from start to finish? This tutorial covers the creation of fully destructible crates using only the freely available tools Blender, Krita, and Unreal Engine.

Step 1 – Make a Crate With Blender

We start by creating the crate mesh in Blender. We do this by slightly insetting all 6 faces of a cube. The new faces in the center of each side have to be slightly extruded inwards after that.

When insetting faces, make sure select every face and to check Individual.
Open the context menu and select Extrude Faces Along Normals.

The crate has be hollow to support the destruction effects within Unreal Engine. Therefore we create a 2nd cube and move it inside our crate. The cube has to be scaled down to be slightly smaller than our crate. We can then use a Boolean modifier to remove the insides of the crate.

The size of the cube inside of the crate (black outline) determines the thickness of its wooden walls. Create a Boolean modifier and select the 2nd Cube as the Object. Apply the modifier to make the change to the crate permanent. Don’t forget to remove the 2nd cube before export.

Uniform meshes can look pretty boring. I recommend you to add imperfections to the mesh by creating a couple of loop cuts and moving some vertices around using proportional editing. This gives the mesh a bit of character which works great in a low-poly environment.

Adding 3×3 loop cuts (CTRL + R) to the cube enables you to slightly deform the crate using Proportional Editing – the sphere of influence can be scaled by using the mouse wheel.

Open up the UV-Editing screen and add a new image with a size of 256×256. Save that image to a file called ‘CrateTex.png’. Select the entire mesh and export the UV-Layout to different file. Create and name a material. Assign it to your crate. Link the base color of the material as a image texture to the newly created image. If you switch the shading mode of your viewport to material preview, your box should appear all black – just like the created texture.

The UV-Layout can be exported under UV -> Export UV Layout.

Step 2 – Use Krita To Make a Texture

Import the UV-Layout into Krita with a canvas size of 256×256. Create a new layer beneath the UV-Layout and fill the background with a darker brown. Select the square areas in the center and paint them in a lighter tone. Feel free to add some details like a text saying ‘FRAGILE’ or paint an arrow pointing up.

Hide the UV-Layout layer before you export the result back into the texture file.
Reload your texture in Blender (Alt + R) and verify that everything looks correct.
Export the crate into an FBX file.

Step 3 – Create a Destruction Effect In Unreal Editor

Create a new First-Person blueprint project in Unreal Editor. Import the created FBX and the texture by simply dragging the corresponding icons into the editor.

Edit the imported material and make sure that the texture is sampled. Set Roughness to 0.9.
Go to the Plugins window and make sure ‘Apex Destruction’ is activated. Otherwise, the option to ‘Create Destructible Mesh’ will be missing.

Click on the imported static mesh and click on ‘Create Destructible Mesh’.

Open up the destructible mesh and play around with the ‘Cell Site Count’ to control the size of the resulting fragments. A higher number means smaller fragments.
Create a new actor called ‘Crate’. Replace its root component with a destructible component.
Link the component to your destructible mesh. Check ‘Simulate Physics’ on the component.
Make sure to apply radius damage to the mesh

Place the box in the level by dragging the actor into the viewport. Shoot at it.

Step 4 – Make It More Interesting

Hope that helps.