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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
Cgi

Creating Realistic Chimney Smoke in Maya

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

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1. Creating the Smoke Chimney

Step 1

Open Maya. Open the chimney smoke.mb file which has been supplied with the tutorial and available for download in the download section. I have already created a chimney by using polygon pipe primitive which looks as shown in the following image.

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

With the chimney model selected, click with primary mouse button and go to Assign Favorite Material > Lambert option in the fly out menu.

Assign Favorite Material  Lambert
Assign Favorite Material > Lambert

Step 3

Go to Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade to open the Hypershade window.

Window  Rendering Editors  Hypershade
Window > Rendering Editors > Hypershade

Step 4

In the Hypershade window, primary mouse click on Lambert2 mat and choose Graph Network option. Connect a concrete texture with it and apply the same texture map in the Bump node also.

Graph Network option
Graph Network option

Step 5

Increase the Repeat UV value in Placed 2d texture1 attributes node as per the requirement. And you get a basic textured model of a chimney as shown in the following image.

Repeat UV
Repeat UV 

2. Creating the Smoke Emitter

Step 1

Jump in the top view and create a polygon cylinder primitive inside the chimney as shown in the following image. 

Create a polygon cylinder
Create a polygon cylinder

Step 2

With the polygon cylinder selected, increase the values of Subdivisions Axis to 50 and Subdivisions Caps to 15.

Subdivisions Axis to 50 and Subdivisions Caps to 15
Subdivisions Axis to 50 and Subdivisions Caps to 15

Step 3

Press F10 key for the face selection mode. Select and delete the bottom and side faces of the cylinder as shown in the following image.

F10 key
F10 key

Step 4

After deleting the faces, it should look like this. This will act as the smoke emitter.

Delete the face
Delete the face

Step 5

Place the smoke emitter mesh inside the chimney as shown in the following image.

Place the smoke emitter mesh inside the chimney
Place the smoke emitter mesh inside the chimney

Step 6

Rename the smoke emitter mesh as Surface_Emitter in the Channel Editor.

Surface_Emitter
Surface_Emitter

3. Creating the Fluid Container

Step 1

Go to Fluid Effects > Create 3D Container and click on the option box.

Fluid Effects  Create 3D Container
Fluid Effects > Create 3D Container

Step 2

In the Create 3D Container Options box, keep the values of X Size as 30, Y Size as 60 and Z Size as 30. Click on Apply and Close button.

Create 3D Container Options
Create 3D Container Options

Step 3

You can see the created 3D container on the grid. 

3D container
3D container

Step 4

Move the 3D container up as shown in the following image. 

3D container
3D container

Step 5

Keep the lower surface of the 3D container a little bit below the upper surface of the smoke emitter.

3D container
3D container

Step 6

With the 3D container selected, go to Attribute Editor > Fluid Shape > Container Properties and turn on Keep Voxels Square option. 

Increase the Base Resolution value up to 80.

Attribute Editor  Fluid Shape  Container Properties
Attribute Editor > Fluid Shape > Container Properties 

Step 7

To enable the surface emitter, go to Window > Outliner command.

Window  Outliner
Window > Outliner

Step 8

In the Outliner window, select Fluid1 and Surface_Emitter.

Surface_Emitter
Surface_Emitter

Step 9

Go to Fluid Effects > Add/Edit Contents > Emit from Object and click on the option box.

Fluid Effects  AddEdit Contents  Emit from Object
Fluid Effects > Add/Edit Contents > Emit from Object 

Step 10

In the Emit from Object Options box, keep the Emitter name as Smoke Emitter and choose Surface as the Emitter type. Click on Apply and Close button.  

Emit from Object Options
Emit from Object Options

Step 11

Click on the Smoke Emitter1 tab in the Attribute Editor. In the Fluid Attributes roll out, change Heat Method and Fuel Method to No Emission as shown in the following image.

Fluid Attributes
Fluid Attributes

Step 12

Click on the Fluid Shape1 tab in the Attribute Editor. Under Dynamic Simulation roll out, change High detail Solve to All Grids.

Dynamic Simulation
Dynamic Simulation

Step 13

Under Dynamic Simulation roll out, change the Simulation Rate Scale value to 1.3.

Dynamic Simulation
Dynamic Simulation

Step 14

Under Auto Resize rollout, turn on Auto Resize option as shown in the following image.

Auto Resize
Auto Resize

Step 15

Go to Contents Details > Density roll out and change the value of Buoyancy to 12 and Dissipation to 0.010.

Contents Details  Density
Contents Details > Density

Step 16

Under Velocity and Turbulence roll out, change the value of Swirl to 5 and Strength to 0.025

Velocity and Turbulence roll out
Velocity and Turbulence roll out

Step 17

Under Shading roll out, choose Dropoff Shape as Off and set the Selected Color shade to grey.

Shading roll out
Shading roll out

Step 18

Under Incandescence roll out, change the color of the color box to dark grey. This will affect the smoke shade. You can change it later according to your requirement.

Incandescence roll out
Incandescence roll out

Step 19

Under Opacity roll out, change the value of Input Bias to 0.150.

Opacity roll out
Opacity roll out

Step 20

Under Shading Quality roll out, change the value of Quality to 0.800 and Render Interpolator to Smooth.

Shading Quality
Shading Quality

Step 21

Under Lighting roll out, turn on Self Shadow option and change the value of Shadow Opacity to 1.500.

Shadow Opacity
Shadow Opacity 

Step 22

After setting up the various attributes, it’s time to simulate the smoke. Hit play button to simulate the animation. You will see something like this.

Simulate the smoke
Simulate the smoke

Step 23

With the 3D container selected, go to Attribute Editor > Fluid Shape setting tab. Under Container Properties roll out, keet the Boundary X and Z values to None.

Attribute Editor  Fluid Shape
Attribute Editor > Fluid Shape

Step 24

Under Auto Resize roll out, turn off Resize Closed Boundaries option.

Resize Closed Boundaries
Resize Closed Boundaries

Step 25

With the smoke chimney and fluid container selected, go to Fluid Effects > Make Collide command. This will enable the smoke to collide with the chimney.

Fluid Effects  Make Collide
Fluid Effects > Make Collide

4. Adding Field Forces

Step 1

You can add some forces/ fields in the scene to affect the smoke. With the fluid container selected, go to Field > Air.

Field  Air
Field > Air

Step 2

It creates an icon of air field in the viewport. Select and move it to the upper middle part of the smoke area as shown in the following image.

Air field
Air field

Step 3

With the air field icon selected, go to Attribute Editor and set the values of Magnitude to 20 and Attenuation to 0.5. 

Change the value of Direction X and Y to 0.500 and 0.020 respectively. Set the Speed value to 1.500.

Attribute Editor
Attribute Editor

Step 4

To make the smoke more fractal, you need to add some turbulence. With the fluid container selected, go to Field > Turbulence command.

Field  Turbulence
Field > Turbulence

Step 5

Move and place the Turbulence icon on the top of the smoke in the viewport. Under the Turbulence Field Attributes roll out, change the values of Magnitude to 10 and Attenuation to 0.500.

Turbulence Field Attributes roll out
Turbulence Field Attributes roll out

5. Creating Cache Files

Step 1

To increase the resolution of smoke, go to FluidShape1 > Container Properties and  change the value of Base Resolution to 160.  

FluidShape1  Container Properties
FluidShape1 > Container Properties

Step 2

The simulation makes cache files. So, go to Fluid nCache > Create New Cache command to start making cache files. 

Fluid nCache  Create New Cache
Fluid nCache > Create New Cache

Step 3

Press the play button to create the simulation of smoke which gets recorder in the cache files. 

Hit the play button
Hit the play button

6. Rendering Smoke Animation

Step 1

Render the animation. Click on the Render Settings button on the status bar. It opens the Render Settings window. Select Mentel Ray as the rendered. 

Under Indirect Lighting tab, click on Physical Sun and Sky button to enable it.

Render Settings
Render Settings

Step 2

Under Quality tab, choose Quality Presets as Production.

Quality Presets
Quality Presets 

Step 3

Under Common tab and File Output roll out, set File name prefix as Smoke, Image format as JPEG and Frame/Animation ext as name_#.ext

Set frame range from 1 to 250.

File name prefix
File name prefix

Step 4

Jump into Rendering mode. Go to Render > Batch Render to start batch rendering process.

Rendering mode
Rendering mode

Step 5

After rendering, you will see something like this. Keep playing with the values to get different types of result.


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