i'm having a little bit of trouble exploding an earth. what i want to do is explode an earth. the explosion then freezes and the camera moves through the field of debris. at the moment i've (only :-)) got 2 problems!
when the earth shatters i need it to be brown on the inside but when i select "apply interior material" in the "shatter effects" window it gives back an error message and basically can't do it (not with the size of shatter i'm doing). i found a post that said it was a bug...is there anyway around this? i really can't have the earth map texture on the inside of the earth!
my other prob is how do i freeze the shatter...i can't seem to find an option for this anywhere!
if you already have the earth in pieces, just add the material you need by hand or select the objects with the earth material from the hypershade window, by right clicking in the earth material icon and select, select objects with material, theeen, just, invert the selection and apply a material to those faces.
your other issue, on stopping the pieces, I have to know how are you moving those pieces, if you are simulating them, you can stop the simulation at some time and just animated by hand from there, another way might be to bake the keyframes and animated by hand again, you could also do it with fields or even expressions but is a bit harder :D
A fun trick that allows for a 'bullet-time' sort of effect, even with dynamically-animated objects such as rigid bodies, is to insert a 'time warp' curve (just a simple animation curve) between the time node and the solver in question.
So long as the time warp slope is 1, the simulation will run normally. If the slope decreases, the simulation will slow down. If the slope is zero (flat line), the simulation will be 'paused'. If the slope increases again, the simulation will start to move forwards again.
Due to the nature of the dynamics engine, you're limited to moving forwards in time, though--you can't rewind it using this method.