Create smoke?


Whats the best way to create a smoke effect, like smoke coming off a cigarette.


wiro has a nice tut on how to do smoke


well it depends if your looking for realistic smoke or not. But there is a free smoke sprite animation that a/w bundled with maya inside the gifts/smoke directory. Attach it to particles. Its pretty simple and fast and looks dcecent


im looking for the type of smoke on this sites splash


Why don’t you ask the guy how he did it?


i guess i could but he uses lw and i think it would b pretty different. wouldn’t it?




Yeah you coulds use fluids most of the fluids stuff looks omfg good !!! but slow render times :frowning:


checked the site you posted - looks just like an non animated image plane with a painted smoke texture on it moving up + a ramp to change the smokes color (maybe another smoke plane layered in). take a close look, the smoke itself is not moving . great time saver (no big simulation, render friendly) and imo quite good effect (didn`t realise it at once myself) - if you don’t need to interact with the smoke you might give it a try.

apart from the opening screen, same technique was used in the other animations, too. i would do it in post as you’ve got much greater control - don’t know what’s the exact effect you’re after, though.

very cool link btw. :wink:

cheers, carsten


There’s a shader on Highend3D for Maya…

Made by Hwee Kok. Toward the bottom. It’s a procedural/expression driven shader you apply to a plane or other geometry, and it’s easily animatable, and renders very fast, and looks EXCELLENT. I can’t give you the exact URL, because I’m on dialup, and it would take me hours, as slow as Highend can be sometimes.

Just look in the Maya shaders.



<cough> all this talk about smoke.
yeah, it is a still image being moved with a ramp.


take it easy guys.


for smoke off the end of a cigarette, you really don’t need t go with instanced billboards as the smoke isn’t very thick (such as smoke from a burning tire). And it tends to brea off into tendrils and is often heavily influenced by local air currents (turbulence).

I prefer the straight ahead, brute force particle method. Churn out a shite-load of multi-particles. Use tight radii as you are literally mimicing smoke sized particles. Give the emmision an initial direction (Y-up) and attach no less than 2 turbulence fields. One should represent the larger air current with a low frequency and a slowly animated phase (phaseY = (time/5)). The other should be of higher frequency and higher noise level, also with animated phase to cause the smoke to boil and break up into twisting tendrils as it’s opacity begins to fade.

You’ll need to use a large amount of particles but it’s no big deal. Hardware renders smoke and look just fine for such things. And you’ll get that nicely defined complexity that doesn’t often happen with billboard sprites.



hi melon,

I’ve been using this brute force method for creating cig smoke. It seems to be working really nicely - tho I can see me doing more than one setup of particles!!
the prob I’m having is that I’m playing back the particles using realtime25fps and is seems to wisp nicely. now when I particle cache them I get an entirely different movement which is a shame.

Is the only method for me to view the particles using the ‘play every frame (1frame)’ option in order to get the same cache as my playback?

any response on this would be great.


Whenever you are working with simulations you must use the play every frame option because the nature of simulations is to base what happens in the current frame on the results of the previous. If you then tell Maya to do whatever is necessary to keep a 25fps frame rate (which means dropping frames to keep up the rate), then you are never going to see what your simulation truly looks like in the world views.



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