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Creating small scale fire and smoke with the help of FumeFX

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(Score 4.5 out of 5 after 24 Votes)
Date Added: 24th February 2014
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General settings

Within the FumeFX Container (SSF Container), there are six key sections that we are going to modify. These are under the Gen ? General, Sim ? Simulation, WT-P ? Wavelet Turbulence, Rend ? Rendering, Illum ? Illumination, and Obj/Src - Objects & Sources headings.

First, under the Gen ? General heading, set the following parameters:

General Parameter
? Spacing - 1.5
? Width - 571.564
? Length - 266.512
? Height - 272.391
? Adaptive - On

? Start - 0
? End Frame - 150
? Exporting Channels - Fuel, Smoke, Velocity and Extra Detail. As a small tip; Extra Detail means Wavelet Turbulence. You don't need to add Extra Detail through the Exporting Channels, just go to the Sim Section and at the very bottom you will find the Extra Detail section. Just click on the Wavelet Turbulence option.
? Output Path - Click on small button next to the output path, make a new folder on your storage drive and save your cache file (fxd) as SSF_test_ in that folder.

? Play From - 0
? Play to - 150
? Start Frame - 0

The FumeFX panel that you can make adjustments to


Next, under the Sim-Simulation heading, you will need to make the following adjustments.

? Quality - 5
? Maximum Iteration - 200
? CFL Conditions - 5.0
? Maximum Simulation Steps - 1
? Advection Stride - 0.5
? Time Scale - 2.0

? Gravity - 0.65
? Vorticity - 0.8
? X Turbulence - 0.6

Turbulence Noise - This setting is very important to define the hugeness of smoke.
? Scale - 0.5
? Frame - 1.0
? Detail - 3.8

Blocking Sides
? X : None
? Y : None
? Z : Both

Simulate Fuel
? Ignition - 25.0
? Burn Rate - 5.0
? Burn Rate Variation - 1
? Expansion - Animated
? The default Expansion Parameter is 1.0, and you can keep this as it is. I don't want to make the fire appear at a constant speed or density though; I want a bit of variety, so right-click on the Expansion Parameter and select the Show in Track View function. You'll see that the graph editor has appeared and the Expansion Button is selected. Now just right-click on that button and select Assign Controller; a new window (Assign Float Controller) will appear. From there, select Noise Float. This will generate one more window (Noise Controller: SSF Container/Expansion) and you can adjust the settings to the parameters shown in the image. After these changes, the expansion parameter will become more animated, and cause the fire to develop at different densities. You can use this option or just animate it frame by frame.

Extra Detail

? Go to the Extra Detail section and select Wavelet Turbulence.

Don't Change any parameters from the Smoke or Temperature sections. Keep those settings default.

The parameters you should apply in the Simulation panel

Wavelet Turbulence

Under Wavelet Turbulence, the Grid Detail Scale is 2.0, which means that it will simulate twice the detail simulation than its current spacing. Keep the Output Path the same as the main path we used in the General Settings section. We aren't changing anything from this tab.

Some of the settings shown in the Wavelet and Post Processing section

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
J Lebowski on Mon, 03 July 2017 4:48pm
"This will generate one more window (Noise Controller: SSF Container/Expansion) and you can adjust the settings to the parameters shown in the image." What. Image?
J Lebowski on Mon, 03 July 2017 4:34pm
You need to include what your units set up is for 3ds max as part of this tutorial. It does make a difference as to the sim result you will get.
Tronmole on Sun, 05 October 2014 4:16pm
So to make this work do the following. Increase the strength of the noise modifier that is applied to the expansion. It should vary between 0 and maybe 5. Secondly make sure the plane is contained within the fumefx grid. move it up to about Z: 0.05 Also make sure your units are set to generic.
Emil on Fri, 12 September 2014 10:55am
I'm sorry , why i follow all the steps but still didn't see any result kust like MPeter, Black Screen and finish the simulation within 1 mins, please help
Vikrant Dalal on Tue, 08 July 2014 7:54pm
My new Blog Address is - You can watch more tutorials. My Showreel Link -
Chris on Thu, 29 May 2014 11:38am
I'm like Lawrance, Jim and JB : the final product IS NOT the same, though I followed to the letter the tuto. Flames are very small and ridiculous, and we can see the plane during the render. (sorry my english is bad) The tutorial is clumsy. Jackie and MPeter : the source (plane) is below the grid, move it up
Tmqvnf on Sat, 10 May 2014 8:43pm
oh.. It's nice tutoria l..!!! I wish I buy this program FumeFX.. I remember this
Jackie on Fri, 02 May 2014 4:54am
how come i don't see anything in my simulation? I really need some help. I did the tut twice already... (
Vikrant Dalal on Tue, 01 April 2014 7:43pm
Hello JB, I'm Really sorry that I forgot to add Noise controller Image.
JB on Wed, 26 March 2014 10:11am
Whilst i got the tute to work, the final product is deceptive. Perhaps its the noise modifer which makes the flame turn into a fireball ish and the smoke to plume around? Mine just looks lack luster. You say refer to the diagram for the noise modifier but there is no picture for it =P. I'd of liked to have seen a tute where you talk a little bit more about the parameters. Or what major ones are best to change for different effects etc.
MPeter on Thu, 13 March 2014 7:14pm
I made the tutorial also 2 times and everything I get is a black simulation screen. The Simulation only takes 1 minute...
Jim Mallard on Wed, 26 February 2014 1:27pm
I've done this several times and I am like Lawrence, not getting anything close to what you are getting. My flames are very small. Smoke isn't too bad. I did get the texture to emit OK. I used generic units.
Vikrant Dalal on Tue, 25 February 2014 12:11pm
Use generic units & keep z value of plane position is 5.0 it will work definitely. still if you have any problem, reply here. Good Luck... :)
Josh Purple on Tue, 25 February 2014 12:24am
Thank You :) !
Lawrence on Mon, 24 February 2014 6:04pm
Identical settings (done the tut 2 times from 0) , and the result I get its not even closed when comes to animation , it just burns a lil on the ground .... What units setup ? Generic units?
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