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Animated textures for smoke and fun!

Reto.BombeBo is our in-house special effects ninja! Today he emerged from a nicely rendered cloud of smoke with a blog post about…. Smoke! – Reto.Robotron3000

Today I’ll show you guys how animated particle textures are used for making fake volumetric smoke effects.

When making smoke with simple particles the result is often a little flat looking. To beef up the complexity and give the smoke a volumetric look – animated textures are the way to go.

This is an example of a generic smoke texture:

This is an example of how a sprite texture could look. This one I’ve created in FumeFX:

This is how the rendering from FumeFX looks:


Here is an example of an explosion (Aerial Bomb) with a generic smoke texture first, which is then changed to the animated smoke texture from FumeFX. The difference is quite obvious. The number of particles used with the animated texture is one third of the number used with the generic texture.


I hope you guys found this just a little bit interesting – and that I’ll see you all the next time it’s my turn to blog you again!

Bo Heidelberg (Reto.BombeBo)

  1. cRo4Ti4cRo4Ti411-22-2012

    impressive , smoke :) i like how the smoke wave proceed in the first video.

    In second on evith the bazooka, did that shows the smoke explosion onl yand whill ther efollow dust too or this smoke simulate dust too? a bit confused about smoke/dust

    • cRo4Ti4cRo4Ti411-22-2012

      and i fogot to say , jeahh th eanimated explosion looks much more sexy. Its kind more dimensional, and i quite feel the pressure of explosion.

    • reto.bombeboreto.bombebo11-23-2012

      The animated smoke is overtaken by a simple dusty diffuse smoke after a short while. So there’s two smoke effects in one so to speak.

  2. Hrafnkell123Hrafnkell12311-22-2012

    Reto PLS Make smoke for bazooka stay a bit longer! it dies out to fast!

    • Gaurav251Gaurav25111-22-2012

      nah i think its fine the way it is, leave that to smoke grenades if you want the smoke to stay.

    • reto.bombeboreto.bombebo11-23-2012

      We try to keep the time the smoke linger to a minimum to prevent overdraw issues that is quite expensive frame rate wise.

  3. SpartSpart11-28-2012

    Loved it! :)
    But shouldn’t the smoke take more time to dissipate?

    • reto.bombeboreto.bombebo11-28-2012

      Thanks and No! ;)

      Again it’s a question of keeping an eye on the frame rate – too many large particles on top of each other for too long is killing the frame rate fast.

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