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How To Render Large Scale Smoke



Become a Blender Smoke Pro with this videotutorial.

Jonathan L writes:

It turns out there are only a couple really important settings standing between you and some great looking large scale smoke! Unfortunately, they increase the render time quite a bit, but can give some really good results.

Here are some helpful comparisons that demonstrate the light cache and density scaled.

I would love to see what you can make with this!

Scale Comparison

Cache Comparason



  1. PromethiumInduced on

    Hah wow it really is funny i was wondering how to do this just last night now i come here and there we go blender nation saves the day yet again.

  2. Another nice tutorial on Blender Smoke and how to make it looking hi-res!

    If you watch his video, he mentioned about Adaptive Domain "bug". That is actually not a bug, I figure it at some point:

    With Smoke Adaptive Domain, make sure you turn on the Map to Bound in the Texture of your Domain Material so that you don't get weird result in the rendering.

    When you do Quick Smoke, Map To Bound in ON. But if you are creating Material + Texture for your Smoke from scratch, the Map To Bound is default to OFF.

  3. winnertakesteve on

    Nice! I actually had done some similar stuff for a TV show recently. Did a massive volcanic eruption sequence. I can't post any images obviously, but rest assured you can get some nice large scale smoke effects in blender!

  4. It is an academic example. Haw to render white thick smoke with alpha cannel for the compositing in the instance? We would not have the grey alpha adge around the smoke at that case? I fear we will.

  5. Not necessarily. The black line is just a result of the color ramp (whether it is enabled or not) fading to black. You can set that color to be whatever you like, and better match your material.

  6. i did a pretty good large scale smoke and fire scene a while back. put it on blend swap . its called new island project. rocks flyin around ,lots of smoke and fire to .check it out.

  7. p.s. forgot to mention i got the origonal file from a tut on blender cookie i think it was ward , but its been awhille. happy blending :)

  8. Nice tutorial. One aspect about large scale smoke that would be good to cover though is the actual size of the domain. If I'm working on within a large scale world, lets say a wide shot of a smoke stack or volcano opening and want to see thick smoke for kilometers, how do you deal with it in blender? Do you create a separate scaled down world to create the sim in or is there a way to scale it up after simulation?

  9. Thanks for the awesome tutorial. I was able to get an idea on about 6 settings. Because of render times with some of the settings, your advice probably saved me a few weeks, and enabled a decent quality output.

    I used the result for an article I was writing on color. The writing inspired me to make as good of a color picture and video as I could given a reasonable amount of time. I ended up with a picture and video of smoke clouds with black, white, red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, and magenta.

    The article can be read on my blog. The featured images is the result, and at the end of the article is an embedded video

    If you just want to check out the video on Youtube, it's at:
    Smoky Color Video

    Jonathan, if your interested in the .blend model I'd be happy to share it with you, although you could probably make such a video in no time with your knowledge.

    Also, the fairly large video appears to be embedded in the comments from adding a link. If this is what is intended, that's great. If not, let me know how to add the link without embedding it. I tried a simple "http://video url" and an actual tag.

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