Need assistance making rocks emerge from the ground

I’m trying to make an effect where a small tower of rocks emerge from the ground, but am struggling to make it appear believable. I haven’t been able to find any tutorials like this, but maybe some of you out there know a good way of doing this!

Have you any visual references you are going by?

Yes I do, but I’m not permitted to send it out to anybody so I can’t show you. It’s just a pile of rocks coming up out of the ground, believably. I’m more interested in the technical aspects of module params to make that convincing, like fading it or shrinking it and what looks best.

Not really the same thing but look in the Elemental demo, there is an awesome landscape splitting animation, might give you some ideas?

I would pile up your rocks into endposition.
Then i would make a matinee and reverse the buildprocess so that the stones are out of vis (under terrain, or similar).

You’ll probably have the most trouble in the spot where they intersect the ground as they come out. I would use morph target animation on a dirt mesh that grows around the base of the rocks tower. You also want to use a few particle systems for 1) the dust blowing around the rocks as they emerge and 2) little rocks and dirt and plant debris crumbling off of the rocks.

My thought is that this is something that would have a large impact on the surrounding environment, so if you add little effects are like the nearby ground caving in and things falling into it, etc. you can distract from the more unbelievable bits. Sometimes it’s the little details that sell it. As for the rocks themselves I think Luftbauch nailed it.

I was actually just looking at a thread discussing this topic, there is a plug-n on usnity where it will morph the landscape around an asset if it intersects it, after a long discussion they decided it would take to much effort to do something similar to it in unreal engine. They got some sort of result, but because of they landscape sections it just looked ugly, even when smoothed