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Release Your Inner Chemist With Maya: Part 2 - Finalizing the Scene

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This post is part of a series called Release Your Inner Chemist With Maya.
Release Your Inner Chemist With Maya: Part 1 - Scene Setup

Today, Alan Monroig finishes walking us through his chemical mixing scene in the second part of his awesome Maya fluids tutorial. After modeling the objects and setting up the initial fluid states in part one, today's part goes on to complete the fluid animation itself and add some smoke to the scene. It's time to release your inner chemist!


Step 1

At the dynamics menu, go to "Fluid Effects > Create 3D Container with Emitter”.


Step 2

A container should appear in your scene.


Step 3

If the container is too small or too big, go to "Fluid Effects > Extend Fluid (option box)”.


Step 4

Change the value to extend the container as big as you want, and click "Apply and Close”.


Step 5

Now the container has a correct size.


Step 6

Go to "Window > Outliner”.


Step 7

Select the emitter of the fluids container.


Step 8

Position the emitter.


Step 9

Inside the active view menu, go to "Show > nParticles” this will hide the water, and let us work easily with the smoke.


Step 10

Play the animation.


Step 11

You will see the smoke looks really bad.


Step 12

Go to the Attribute Editor of the fluids container.


Step 13

Change all the options you see in the image below. You can find those options inside the "Contents Details” section.


Step 14

Scroll down to the "Shading” section, change the "Dropoff Shape” to –Y Gradient, and the "Edge Dropoff” to 0.400.


Step 15

In the "Lighting” section, activate the "Self Shadow” option, change the "Shadow Opacity” to 0.830 and uncheck the "Real Lights” option.


Step 16

Rewind and play again the animation to see how it looks like.


Step 17

You can see the smoke is still looking bad, this is because the container has a very poor relosution.


Step 18

Go to the "Container Properties” section, and increase the "Base Resolution” option to 160.


Step 19

Rewind the animation.


Step 20

You will see the floor of the container with more squares than before.


Step 21

Play the animation.


Step 22

The smoke looks much better, but the movement is not how we want it.


Step 23

Rewind the animation.


Step 24

Select the fluids container, and then the flask. It is very important that you select them in that order.


Step 25

Go to "Particles > Make Collide”.


Step 26

Play the animation.


Step 27

Now the smoke will interact with the container and the animation will look more realistic.


Step 28

Select the smoke emitter.


Step 29

Inside the "Basic Emitter Attributes” section, keyframe the "Rate” attribute.


Step 30

This is how my keyframes look. The purpose of this keyframes is to start the smoke just when the water from one container hits the other container.


Step 31

Rewind the animation and play it.


Step 32

Now you can see how the smoke starts later on a more appropriate time.


Step 33

Rewind the animation.


Step 34

In the active view menu, go to "Show > nParticles” this will make the water visible again.


Step 35

You should be able to see the water particles.


Step 36

Play the animation.


Step 37

Make sure the smoke starts on the correct time.


Step 38

Go to "Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade”.


Step 39

Create a new "Lambert” material.


Step 40

Go to its "Attributes Editor”, change the color to white, and the "Ambient Color” to a dark grey.


Step 41

Apply that material to the background.


Step 42

Go to "Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager”


Step 43

Make sure the "Matatomr.mll” plug-in is loaded, and close the window.


Step 44

Go to "Window > Rendering Editors > Render Settings”.


Step 45

Inside the "Render Settings” window change the "Render Using” option to "mental ray”.


Step 46

Go to the "Quality” tab, change the "Max Sample Level” to 2, the "Multi-Pixel Filtering” filter to "Triangle”, and activate "Jitter”.


Step 47

Scroll down, activate "Raytracing”, change the reflections and refractions to 6 and the "Max Trace Depth” to 12 (The Max Trace Depth option, should always be the sum of all reflections and refractions). Also change the "Motion Blur” option to Full.


Step 48

Go to the "Indirect Lighting” tab, click on the create button of "Image Based Lighting” and add any HDRI image, activate "Final Gathering” and decrease "Point Density” to 0.100 (this will increase the rendering speed, with very low quality decrease).


Step 49

Go to "Create > Lights > Area Light”.


Step 50

With the area light selected, at the active view menu go to "Panels > Look Through Selected Camera”.


Step 51

Position the light, and go back to the main camera of the scene.


Step 52

Go to the "Attributes Editor” of the light, and increase the "Intensity” to 2.400.


Step 53

Scroll down to the "Raytrace Shadow Attributes”, activate "Use Ray Trace Shadows” and increase the "Shadow Rays” to 15.


Step 54

Go to "Create > Lights > Point Light”.


Step 55

Select the point light, and position it in the middle of the scene.


Step 56

Go to the "Attributes Editor” of the light, and decrease the "Intensity” to 0.600.


Step 57

Render the scene.


Step 58

You will see how my scene looks really bright, this is caused by the HDRI image.


Step 59

Go to the "Render Settings” window.


Step 60

Inside the "Indirect Lighting” tab, click on the small button on the right of the "Image Based Lighting” delete button. This button will open the "Attributes Editor” of the HDRI”.


Step 61

Change the "Color Gain” to a darker color, this will vary depending on your HDRI image.


Step 62

Render the scene.


Step 63

You will see that the lighting looks great, but the water is not visible.


Step 64

Select the water particles.


Step 65

Open its "Attributes Editor”, scroll down to the "Render Stats” section, and activate the "Visible in Reflections and Refractions” options.


Step 66

Render the scene.


Step 67

Now you can render the animation.


I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!


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