View Full Version : FXWars! NUKE!: tool2heal, Freeform.

02 February 2010, 12:08 PM
Alright, there's no better time then now I guess to finally enter one of these FXWars.
I always feel like I don't have a fighting chance, but I have even less of a chance then not entering at all I guess.

I'm going to be using mainly FumeFX.

The toughest part I find using FumeFX for large plumes is making the Fuel/fire linger long enough to have it reach the full height of the grid without it dissipating to fast, even turning burn rate way down to lets say 5, it still burns way to fast.

Will update soon.

02 February 2010, 02:35 AM
Here's a preliminary playblast of the first sim I've done.
obviously much needs to be worked out. timing needs to be slowed, either with time scale, or in post.
The smoke shaft I'm probably going to generate with the shockwave to get that "sucking" motion.

shading and smoke amounts and all that stuff, plus adding better turbulance and upping the res will come soon.


02 February 2010, 11:07 AM
Here's a second sim that I just finished, I'm liking the movement and look of the mushroom better now.
Keeping in mind that most of the start and end of the sim is going to be cut out so I'm not to worried about those areas.

Again time scale is set down to .6 now but you can still see that it's rising way to fast.
Ahh the heartships in Fumefx.
I got the Fuel/fire lasting long enough now that I think it should work. A lot of secondary detail is going to be added with seperate sims.
I'm going to try either now turning the time scale way down to say between .1 - .3 to see what that does (I heard sims lose details when time scale gets turned that low) or start cranking up the velocity dampening, to see what I get.

Next update soon.

02 February 2010, 03:43 PM
A few quick renders.

I added a simple shockwave, it needs work, but so does everything.

Things I need to work on.
: randomized small and large sizes in shockwave.
: Light falling of debris/smoke from inside main plume.
: shading, lighting of smoke.
: environment

I always have trouble lighting my fume scenes nicely so there are not major black areas (like what you see now directly under the main plume)

More updates will come when I get them. (

02 February 2010, 05:45 PM

looks promising so far. Concerning the black self shadowing you mention, I thought fumefx had multiple scattering? Doesn´t that fix that problem (though with so thick smoke multiple scattering may not be the right candidate as it has more impact with higher albedo and lower density smoke)? An ambient term should also help out there. Or simply do it in post. :)

looking forward to more.

02 February 2010, 10:35 PM
Ok, here's a quick render of what I have thrown together in the last day.

As for the multiple scattering yes fumefx has it. most of my problem is probably centered around the fact that I only have one light in the scene right now, and it's lighting both the main plume and the shockwave and it's positioned to be the sun so its high in the air therefore making hard shadows on the underside. I also have the atmosphere shadows turned up at 100% right now aswell.

I'm probably going to either rework the shockwave or add a secondary maybe even third shockwave.

From what I get from the research footage, by the time the "blinding light" fades out and you actually see the explosion the plume is hundreds of feet if not thousands of feet in the air already and the shockwave is pretty much spread out to it's furthest point and pretty much stationary.
As stated only about 30% of this render is actually going to be seen due to the blinding light. I slowed it down considerably in post so far.

So I will update again when I get something new.
Thanks for the input and any crits or ideas are more then welcome.

02 February 2010, 05:52 AM
the movement looks good. my main crit is that there isnt enough detail so it maks it look small. what about a much higher res sim of exactly what you have now?

02 February 2010, 02:12 PM
Well here's the problems with that.
my main plume grid is sized at 350x350x500 with a spacing of 2.5 which makes it 140x140x200
and my shockwave grid is 720x720x370 with a spacing of 3.5 making it 206x206x106
each using a max 170mb to sim.

Firstly, anything over 300mb and my sim will just crash, only having 3gb ram under vista 32 is the cause.

I will be trying to up the resolution to as much as my machine will handle, but then comes the greatness of Fumefx when I up the Res everything will change. the motion, the size, the burn rates... and so on. forcing me to re adjust all the settings to get back to what I have now.
I notice in other fluid simulators that this is not so much the case, that once you have what your looking for, you can up the resolution and resim and still get relatively exactly what you started with, with just added details.

So yes, I will be saving out and lowering the spacing of my grids and resimming but I really don't know what I will come up with.

Updates will be presented when available.

02 February 2010, 11:15 PM
I notice in other fluid simulators that this is not so much the case, that once you have what your looking for, you can up the resolution and resim and still get relatively exactly what you started with, with just added details.

You cant be talking about Maya because once you change the resolution, wham, start again.
One method I tried for testing purposes only was to work at my final resolution but reduce the size of the container as if it was almost 2D, 300,400,50 for example and allow the fluid to escape on both z and -z boundaries. It works to a point but you lose so much velocity out the sides that it starts to affect your simulation anyway and turned out to be a day of wasted effort.

02 February 2010, 11:58 PM
Here's a new test render, I lowered the grid spacing (upped the res) based on prior crits.
No shockwave here because I have decided to rework it considerably because right now it looks nothing like the references.

It's tough getting the shockwave look right with fumefx. I might actually have to just set something up and sim and then set the time scale to either 0 or say .1 to stop it completely, Cause all the footage I have watched you really don't see the moving shockwave, you just see everything that was kicked up and it's just sorta sitting there stationary.
Large random clumps of dust/smoke If i had afterburn I would just use that, but for now im trying particles and may move onto some sort of geometry solution.

Next update whenever.

02 February 2010, 12:11 AM
Well I saved a fumefx preset and everything went haywire so im still working on it but no updates cause i cant get it looking right again.

updates when i get there.

02 February 2010, 06:52 AM
tool2heal, this is pretty good man :) all the best

02 February 2010, 04:18 AM
Well since everything went downhill after I saved the preset and lost what I had I have been testing different ways to go about and have come up with a new beginning.

I'm going for a more dramatic close range camera angle. One that let's you see the explosion, and resulting inner suction and forming of the cloud.

I have a lot of my grids and elements already plotted out in the scene.

here is a test render of the Inner shock wave, (basically the dust/debris that gets sucked back up into the cloud. the debris pebbles, rocks. has yet to be added.

There will also be an outer shock wave. the larger clumpier one that remains somewhat stationary, that one will blow by the camera and therefore you will be watching from ground zero basically.

Note: the camera angle might change a little this way or that way and I may decide to animate it slightly panning up and moving around the explosion.

Help: I need some tips.. It basically has to do with rendering passes for compositing. since i have really never rendered out seperate fume passes and different grids to comp together later.
I see many breakdowns where the layers are showed on totally black backgrounds and then comped. how do I go about doing this while keeping shadows?
And I also believe that at least what im coming across here is that the illumination from the fire in one grid, cant light the smoke from another grid? and possibly the shadow from the smoke in one grid, won't cast a shadow on the smoke in another grid, unless I render them both in the same pass?

Sorry for the rambling of questions but I really have no idea how to comp and if i try rendering out all the passes at once it will look like garbage and my computer might explode.


More updates to come.

02 February 2010, 08:18 PM
No multiple grid interaction with lighting is not yet possible. A cheat or work around for this is creating a very low rez fire sim within the grid. I'm talking low rez. And set that to light your smoke if you like. Or you can actually light it. Put some variance in the intensity of the light and you're good.

02 February 2010, 05:35 AM
Here's a Fumefx preview of the mushroom cloud and its basic motion.
some settings have already been adjusted I just haven't resimmed yet.

I'm still figuring out the best option for the stalk, I already have something set up but it's just not flying with me right now.

More updates whenever I get them done.

02 February 2010, 09:00 PM
Here's a few renders of what the mushroom cloud is looking like right now minus lighting and shading.
I'm pretty happy with the look I have I'm continually lowering the spacing until I get to the breaking point.

Right now the grid dimensions are 500x500x540
With a voxel resolution of 167x167x180
Spacing at 3
using 216mb memory

I should be able to bump it close to 300 before it crashes out so I will give it a go.

so here's the few renders.
A big difference from what I started with. ( ( (

What you see in the render there below the cloud is not the stem I'm working with, that's just the remnants/backdraft of the explosion that's left behind. It would be nice if that stayed around a little longer or even followed the cloud upwards but I have no luck doing that right now.

02 February 2010, 10:18 PM
looks very cool. Has a cool ring of fire look to it.

03 March 2010, 04:27 AM
Great! This is the best mushroom cloud with actually creats hallow space by heat and pushing it up with swril action in it.

May be you can add little density to look thicker.
Once the center stem with smoke/dust added, I believe this will look good.

03 March 2010, 07:49 PM
Very nice. How much RAM you have? Sounds like you're fighting stability over a low res containers.

You lose a lot of details if the highest voxel resolution you do is around 180. Things start to look much better in 350-500 resolution.. When I had 4GB I couldn't get to that without max taking all the RAM pretty fast so simming over HD swap memory turns everything much much slower. Now that I have 8GB that problem is solved.

I also found out it's worth giving up on fluid mapping and adding more resolution instead since it gives better details instead of the fake details fluid mapping gives which is also huge RAM consumer.

Do you use max x64bit on a x64bit system? You shouldn't have so many crashes if you do.

Good luck!

03 March 2010, 08:45 PM
Ahhh tell me about it. I have 3gb ram. I actually have another 1gb stick but my 32bit vista fails to even boot up if i stick it in.
Yea I was fighting with max using up all my memory and then just crashing when only getting to around a 300mb sim.

But now I have found the 3gb/switch It's made a considerable difference in the max res, now i can get close to 500mb sim without max crashing out.
I haven't bothered with fluid mapping with this project (knowing it takes way more memory)
But i have output velocity to use for krakatoa follow op's but that also has not gone well.
I think it has something to do with the fume particles being locked to the underlying geometry.
pflow just does not want to let the particles follow at all.

A few more updates are about to come, stay tuned.

03 March 2010, 09:18 PM
I'm impressed your able to do that with 3GB.

03 March 2010, 01:20 AM
Alright, since I pretty much finished it I guess I can update with a couple renders.

There were a total of 3 grids used.

Main Blast:
Grid dimensions: 550x550x620
Voxel resolution: 220x220x248
Spacing 2.5

Smoke shaft:
Grid dimensions: 315x315x400
Voxel resolution: 185x185x235
Spacing 1.7

Grid dimensions: 2000x2000x120
Voxel resolution: 500x500x30
Spacinig 4

Particle counts were
Main Blast: 20,000
Smoke Shaft: 50,000
Shockwave: 100,000

Theres going to be only one camera but surprisingly it looks good from pretty much any angle, which i like because besides the shockwave I can pretty much use it in any way.

So, here are the renders. ( ( (

One wish I want on my list For fumefx 2.0 is to be able to color based on Source instead of based on grid.
I did learn a lot with this challenge though and that's really good.
All this was done on 3gb of ram, vista 32bit.
the whole scene was rendered as one render, no passes. No comping besides the Flash at the start.
roughly 14hours to render.
And I can also crank up the voxel resolution dramatically on these grids aswell
At one point I was maxing out at 950mb memory per grid.
I owe it all to the 3gb switch too, before I found that little gem, my sims would barely reach 300mb before max would crash.
No sim took more then 2 hours. and I used a total of about 15gb of disk space. (5gb per grid)

Thanks for all the comments and crits.
If anyone wants to know any more info don't hesitate to ask.

03 March 2010, 05:26 AM
looks great. cant wait to see the vid.

03 March 2010, 01:49 PM
Wow ho hooo! man this looks preatty good , are you posting a video anytime soon? I like to see this in motion...


03 March 2010, 11:37 AM

YouTube Link (
Vimeo Link (

Here's my entry.
stats and stuff was pretty much discussed in the post above but I will reiterate.

Total of 3 grids used.
main blast, smoke shaft, and shock wave
All simulations were driven by particles main blast used 20,000
smoke shaft used two flows, one was 3000 particles and one was 200
(large clumps, and small ones) Shock wave used 100,000 particles.
All particles were "stuck" to underlying geometry.
All elements were rendered in one pass no comping.
"blinding light" and intro were all that was added in after effects.

Thanks to everyone that was interested and that had something to say along the way, it was fun.
I learned a boatload and that's all that really matters.

03 March 2010, 01:33 PM
Nicely done. Finished on time too.

03 March 2010, 02:43 AM
Nice burn rate and shape, looks really good ;)

03 March 2010, 03:14 AM
Thanks man, not much to it... adjust settings...sim...adjust settings...sim.....cont.
just wish I knew more about rendering passes so I could have done some color adjustments and stuff in post. and added some debris and extra elements.

03 March 2010, 04:25 AM
Wow, this is a good entry.

You got one more week to tweak it if you wish, either way you get a mention for finishing ON TIME.

03 March 2010, 12:04 AM
really nice, the only thing I see would be to start the animation with the landscape scene then the bright flash and fireball instead of starting with the flash

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