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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. Maya
Cgi

Understanding Particles and Dynamics in Maya—Part 17

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this part of the series, I'll show you how to create a thick and volumetric cloud simulation using nParticles and fluid dynamics system in Maya.

1. Creating nParticle System

Step 1

Open Maya. Jump in nDynamics mode.

Open Maya
Open Maya

Step 2

Go to nParticles > Create nParticles > Create Emitter and click on the option box. Do remember to turn on Points option.

nParticles  Create nParticles  Create Emitter
nParticles > Create nParticles > Create Emitter

Step 3

In the Emitter Options window, set the Emitter Type as Volume and Volume Shape as Sphere and then click on Create button.

Emitter Options window
Emitter Options window

Step 4

You can see the spherical emitter on the viewport grid. Press the Play button and you'll see it emitting the particles.

Hit the Play button
Hit the Play button

Step 5

Go to emitter1 attribute and set the Rate (Particles/Sec) as 5000. It increases the number of particles in the viewport.

Rate ParticlesSec
Rate (Particles/Sec)

Step 6

Go to Volume Speed Attributes and set the value of Away From Center to 5. It will disperse the particles from its origin.

Volume Speed Attributes
Volume Speed Attributes

Step 7

Set the value of Along Axis to 7.

Along Axis
Along Axis

2. Key Framing Attributes

Step 1

It’s time to animate the value of Rate (Particles/Sec). With the emitter selected, set the value of Rate (Particles/Sec) to 5000 at 1st frame. At 6th frame, set the value to 500. At 7th frame, set the value to 0

Rate ParticlesSec
Rate (Particles/Sec)

Step 2

Go to nParticleShape1 attribute and under Dynamic Properties rollout, turn on Ignore Solver Gravity option.

nParticleShape1
nParticleShape1

Step 3

Go to Lifespan rollout and set the values of Lifespan Mode to Random Range, Lifespan to 1 and Lifespan Random to 0.5.

Lifespan rollout
Lifespan rollout

3. Creating Fluid Container

Step 1

Jump in Dynamics mode. Go to Fluid Effects > Create 3D Container and draw a 3D fluid container in the viewport.

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

Step 2

With the fluid container selected, go to fluidShape1 attribute. Open the Container Properties rollout and set the value of Base Resolution to 50.

Container Properties
Container Properties 

Step 3

Set the values of Boundary X to None, Boundary Y to -Y Side and Boundary Z to None.

Container Properties
Container Properties 

Step 4

Open the Display rollout and set the value of Boundary Draw to Boundary Box.

Display rollout
Display rollout

Step 5

Go to Auto Resize to turn on Auto Resize option and turn off Resize Closed Boundaries and Resize in Substeps options. Set the values of Auto Resize Threshold to 0.003 and Auto Resize Margin to 8.

Resize Closed Boundaries
Resize Closed Boundaries

Step 6

With all particles, emitter and the container selected, go to Fluid Effects > Add/Edit Contents > Emit from Object

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

Step 7

Go to Show menu and turn off nParticles option. 

Show menu
Show menu

Step 8

Open Lighting rollout and turn on Self Shadow option. Set the value of Shadow Opacity to 1.

Open Lighting rollout
Open Lighting rollout

Step 9

Go to fluidEmitter1 attribute and under Fluid Attributes rollout, set the values of Heat/Voxel/Sec and Fuel/Voxel/Sec to 0.

Go to fluidEmitter1 attribute
Go to fluidEmitter1 attribute

Step 10

Open Emission Speed Attribute rollout and set the values of Speed Method to Replace, Inherit Velocity to 1, Normal Speed to 1, Tangent Speed to 0, Directional Speed to 1, Direction X to 0, Direction Y to 1 and Direction Z to 0

Emission Speed Attribute
Emission Speed Attribute

Step 11

Go to fluidShape1 attribute and open Shading rollout. Set the Transparency value to grey. 

fluidShape1 attribute
fluidShape1 attribute

Step 12

Open Color rollout and set the color as shown in the following image. Set the value of Color Input to Y Gradient.

Color rollout
Color rollout 

Step 13

Open Lighting rollout and set the Ambient Brightness value to 0.3

Lighting rollout
Lighting rollout

Step 14

Go to Content Details > Density > Velocity rollout and set the value of Swirl to 40 and Noise to 1. Open Turbulence roll out and set the value of Strength to 1.

Content Details  Density Velocity
Content Details > Density> Velocity

Step 15

Render the frame and you'll see the rendered cloud output.

Render the frame
Render the frame

Step 16

Make several copies of the fluid containers and spread them randomly for random clouds as shown in the following image.

Make several copies of the fluid containers
Make several copies of the fluid containers

Step 17

Render the frame and you will see a beautiful rendered scene of randomly distributed clouds.

Render the frame
Render the frame

Conclusion

I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial. In the next part of the series, I'll show you how to create smoky fire using fluid dynamics in Maya.

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