Space ship Exhaust using Dynamics. With example Video.


So I know that questions like this have been answered but not very well or at all. Sometimes the people asking don’t have very good examples or are not very thorough on what they are looking for. So, I will do my best on asking the question in a more complete way.
I am looking for help with creating a spaceship engine exhaust type look. I have been trying to get it to look right for almost a week or so and still cannot get the right look. I am trying to shoot for something like this.

Yes, I know it is from Halo 2, but it seems to have the right look and style that I am shooting for.

Anyways, here is where I keep having issues. I cannot seem to get the right shape to the exhaust look. I am using Fluid Effects 3D Container with a Emitter in it that emits into the box, thing is that the box contains all of the particles and they do not spread in a natural way (or in a shape that looks like the one in the video). Is there a way to change the shape of the 3D Container? If there another way to get the spaceship exhaust fumes to look right? What is a (if there is one) better method for creating such as look?



Well if you like that look go for sprite animations and beef it up in comp with glows, color adjustments etc.


Ok, just wondering though. Why would you recommend Sprite Animations? Why not using Particles and Dynamics? What is the big difference and will Sprite animations look good in a pure CGI movie?


Well you are still using particles and dynamics when you are using sprites right? Plus that shot you linked to def looks like sprites to me. Dont underestimate the power of the sprite, they are still used in feature film, perhaps not so much with fire effects anymore but still they are a great way to achieve very decent results in the tenth of the time it would be in any other method, especially when it comes to rendering. If you have 3Delight you can render sprites shadows also for volumetric look, very effective.

You could do this with default cloudy particles if you know what you are doing or even map a fluid shader to cloudies which is a bit more complex to do but still quite common, though these methods are render hungry.

Having said all that though, I would personally go with fluids but as you have experienced it is quite difficult to get the look you are after if you dont know what you are doing. I would emit particles into fluid for velocity and density/temp/fuel. So essentially you are driving the fluid with particles which in turn the fluid velocity drives the particle velocity if you use the fluid as a field.

So there are plenty of options, its just based on your level of expertise and all have their advantages/disadvantages.


Any good locations on the web that would help me move fluids with particles? I am looking through the Autodesk Maya Help file and can only seem to find “Move particles with the force of a fluid” and not the other way around. Any helpful resources would be great.



you can also include velocity, have a look at the fluid emitter.


Whoops, I forgot to mention that I am using Maya 2012. So that link might not work out for me.
Does the method you are talking about still work in Maya 2012?



Yep, it sure does.

Hang-on the link I gave you doesnt take you to a specific html page or does it? Heres the path to it anyway…

User Guide > Dynamics and Effects > Fluid Effects > Creating Fluid Effects >
Emit fluid properties with nParticles


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