View Full Version : Fire and smoke on XSI.

01 January 2007, 02:19 AM
Hey y'all.

Once again we've found a problem that needs some solving for whoever has the time (or plainly wants) to offer a helping hand.
This time around we're working on a TV ad that requires a volcano to erupt in the background. As for fluids, we've gotten to the point where it won't be much of a problem to make it look real. That leaves us, however, with the fire/explosions and smoke that are usually generated by a volcano's sudden eruption.

I have never managed to create a fire-->smoke simulation that looks even close to the real thing, nor found a tutorial that'd allow me to create a simulation that looks realistic enough for us to use it, and XSI's default explosions/smoke effects won't do. Given the time constraints involved on this project, we're looking for XSI plug-ins (such as Areteis Entertainment old 'Psunami'), or even stand-alone apps (Real Flow) to create this VFX. And I've already googled it to no avail whatsoever.

So, any suggestions/hints/pointers?

P.S. We're using Combustion for compositing.

01 January 2007, 07:29 AM
maybe these dudes could help...

01 January 2007, 10:52 AM
You might want to look at THIS ( link.
It's a brief description and development videos of the fire/smoke effects Passion Pictures did for the last Gorillaz video.

mr Bob
01 January 2007, 10:54 AM
Well there's no way on earth you are ever going to get an off the shelf solution for the volcano effects you are after.
I know lola used cloud tank shots for a volcano show they did and they use xsi Lots of cloud tank shots !


01 January 2007, 02:44 PM (

The Version 4 has what you need. And if you need a C4D license, I have a V10 license left after a Bodypaint upgrade for 750$. That is C4D V10 INCLUDING Bopdypaint a 3d Painter.



Don't look to close at the shader. It was beta at that stage.

01 January 2007, 06:22 PM
Thank you all. Your input is greatly appreciated. :D
I'll address each one of your replies separately.

oglu - We're working on a very tight deadline here. We'll be making the ad's master copy by the last week of february, and that rules out any outsourcing from what I've heard so far. I'm saving the link to their webpage for future use though. The stuff on their webpage looks awesome. Thank you.

yog - Thank you for your input, but the link you posted is broken.

mr Bob - Purchasing green/blue-screeened smoke-fire footage's one of the options we have at the time. I'll be telling my boss about these guys at Lola as soon as he gets here. Their stuff looks really neat too! I'm sure we can use their shots as reference. Many thanks!

LemonNado - I think that you've hit the nail right on the head if the higher-ups decide to go with a full-CG smoke/fire sequence. Even if I've never tinkered with Cinema4D, the 'DPI Nature Spirit' appears like a very good choice for us, so I'd say I've got to learn how to use it... should my boss decide to do so.
In any case, I'll see if I can convince him to purchase your license if we go the C4D way. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you all!

- A.

01 January 2007, 03:19 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentione the Binary Alchemy volume shaders. They can do some very nice smoke and fire volume effects.

01 January 2007, 06:20 AM
If the volcano is not the focus of the shot a 2D solution like Particle Illusion might work, it would definitely be quicker than doing it in 3D.

01 January 2007, 01:13 AM
Why not render that element in Maya Fluids? its very good at that kind of thing.

01 January 2007, 04:53 PM
Take the cheapest render nodes, this plugin, and go! It does a lot more than just smoke too BTW. This has to be one of the best off the plugin shelf solutions I've seen.

It came out last year I think, and though the rest of the prgram might be lacking (lightwave) this is one of the few areas I miss!

The fact that you can use geometry for some of these effects could make importing/exporting from XSI to LW fairly easy- esp. with Point Oven, but you can probably do it with the flavor inside of XSI. You can pick up a copy of LW 9 for around $500 US, and used ones often go for less.

Do look into the BA set though too- it's relatively inexpensive and could save you some time in the end if you're using XSI for other stuff too.

01 January 2007, 12:25 PM
Why don't you use a stock volcano eruption? sort of a matte-video-painting, hehe.
All the other solutions require you to develop a new workflow (and in one software to knock your head against the wall). You should consider it.

01 January 2007, 12:49 PM
binaryalchemy looks great
always thought xsi couldnt do this stuff.

well done guys.

01 January 2007, 09:22 PM
Here's what has been decided.

Given the time constraints, we're going tu use a mixture of the Binary Alchemy shaders and purchased footage.

Thank you to you all.

- A. :D

01 January 2007, 10:42 PM
This could be done with live pyrotechnics. Then edit it some. There are places that offer canned pyrotechnics for download and use.

01 January 2007, 12:29 AM
i hope that after all these years of focusing on character animation, now softimage could do a little more work on the effects part of xsi.

it would be great to have it on par with houdini.

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