how to render smoke particle system?

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  05 May 2006
how to render smoke particle system?


in a short I'm working on there's a couple of scenes where I need smoke to be sprayed out of a graffiti-like spraycan. I'v set up my particle system in a way that the smoke grows over particle age and is affected by a bit of drag and wind, no problems there.
I'm kinda stuck in the way it should be rendered... atm. I'm using camera-facing rectangles with a smoke-material applied to it. (the smoke material is a couple of animated noise maps in diffuse and opacity channels)

now, first and for all, these things tend to render for ages! (camera is placed INSIDE the smoke particles, facing the emitter by the way)
and secondly, I really dont like the 'puffe little clouds' in the beginning.

So, does anybody has any knowledge to share regarding smoke-rendering and the materials I should use. Also, what's the key to remove the 'puffy' cloud sphere look?

thanks in advance,

  05 May 2006
You could try particle combustion, which is a plugin that allows fire effect to be applied to particle systems(fire effect used to be called combustion). Try blending that with the particle system you already have. Course afterburn's great, but if you don't have it pcombust's an good alternative. You can download it at
The check is in the mail...
  05 May 2006
thanks for the help Jack,

after a lot of searching on the net I found a couple of tutorials that made me reach my goal. And yes, I've seen what afterburn can do...and how quick! Seems like the perfect plugin for me. Anyway, I appreciate your help, thanks.


  06 June 2006
I made a sample file called CigaretteSmoke.max or something along those lines for the MAX CD a few years ago (it should still be on the latest version as well). It's simple but should give you a good idea about how to create basic smoke effects with PFlow out of the box.
-Brandon Davis
  06 June 2006
I think I would go the easy mile. Just tons of little spheres with a white material and a low opacity asigned to it. That's how I did it in this little animation (the part when the steam is blowing out of the bull's nose).
Two million years of human evolution and this is what we get...
  06 June 2006
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