View Full Version : Create a swirling cloud Vortex

07 July 2010, 03:48 AM
Hello, I have been wracking my brain on this one for a while, but I need to create a "swirling" dangerous cloud vortex for my latest project.

The project would start with a spline, then the spline would be given a radial thickness... This will be the tunnel.

My issue I am running into is, I need particles to circle "almost uniformly" around the polygon tunnel. I will then throw in afterburn to make it look like clouds. I have achieved the effect with stand still poly's but I am pulling my hair out with trying to get the particles to simply swirl across the surface of the tunnel.

Here is an example of my inspiration:

I want to use afterburn to achieve something similar.. My only problem is the particle movement. I have experimented with moving then on a spline, a helix, speed by object... I am just too new with it to dig deeper and I am sure its a weird combination of forces or something I am over looking.

Again, any and all help is GREATLY appriciated! If you maybe know something but aren't sure - say it anyway! Every little piece of information helps! Thanks so much in advance!

PS I do have FUME FX but very limited knowledge of it. I think if I could get fume FX to follow along the edges of the tunnel with a liquid smoke effect... It could pull off an awesome result. Is that even possible with FUMEFX?

07 July 2010, 06:31 AM
Use a vortex force.

Or, attach them to the surface of a cylinder, and rotate the cylinder. You can have it twisting, and noise mods on the cylinder. its the way I would do it and would work.

07 July 2010, 08:18 AM
Actually it's much easier :) Make them in a straight cylinder and use a vortex to swirl them. Then cache in Krakatoa, put a Path deform WSM modifier on top and pick your spline :) Then load this up in PFlow with the Krakatoa birth and file update, and use that as a source in Afterburn. It can also be easily done with referenced particles and orbit in TP.

07 July 2010, 12:41 PM
there's a great tutorial about clouds whitout plugins and powerful cpus:

07 July 2010, 03:46 PM
And just in case you want to just model the clouds in Krakatoa (e.g. create a tube with some thickness, convert to particles using PRT Volume and drop the MagmaFlows posted on our page), here are the basics:

07 July 2010, 04:15 PM
All of these are really great suggestions, and deserve an equal amount of time to look into. The one issue with the first suggestion JonathanFreisler is that I did this and it caused alot of "Popping and jumping" in the clouds and their shadows. I have been trying to do that without these issues for about 3 weeks now to no avail. It might just be an afterburn issue that causes that effect.

I am definitely going to try the Krakatoa approach and see how that works out, and possibly do the clouds in Krakatoa as well since they seem to put a closer effect to the clouds I had posted in the video.

Thank you all so much for these awesome suggestions!!! I will get to work and post progress!

07 July 2010, 07:38 PM
Ok so firing off noob question here. I blew the dust off of Krak but I completely have no idea where the Schematic Flow is... Of course I am probably staring right at it but don't see it.

07 July 2010, 07:42 PM
Nevermind... I ninja rigged a new UI

07 July 2010, 09:25 PM
Nevermind... I ninja rigged a new UI

In v1.6.0, it will become more obvious as we added both a Krakatoa menu to the 3ds Max main menu bar and some shortcuts to the Krakatoa GUI to open all additional tools. You don't really need the Schematic Flow for doing the clouds though.

In fact, I have put together a Max 2010 scene with a quick example. Not great, but a start.
Will try to post it soon.

07 July 2010, 12:41 AM
Thanks bobo!

I have tested this so far on a cylinder, and it looks good. Not great, but its a start hehe :) I am still wondering where are the best resources to read up learning material on this particle system... Such as I need to adjust the size of the particle clouds, the noise in the clouds, and maybe animate the particles to swirl and tumble as they rotate around the cylinder edge... But I must say that the clouds look better than I can pull off in after burn - thats for sure.

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07 July 2010, 12:41 AM
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