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Making Of 'Fumes FX'

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(Score 4.33 out of 5 after 3 Votes)
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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Hi guys, in this tutorial we'll be using Fume FX with 3ds Max to make a cool fire effect. This is the first tutorial I have ever made so please forgive me for my mistakes.

Fume FX is basically a fluid dynamics simulator for 3ds Max. It can be used with geometry, particles or without any of these. It can be used to make a lot of cool effects like fire, gas, etc. This tutorial being of the first ones for Fume FX on the net, I'll keep it simple.

So lets get started.........
A large portion of this tutorial is similar to the Burning Teapot tutorial supplied with Fume FX. The geometry that I have used as the source of the fire is just a sphere that has been modified a little. Instead of making it yourself you can import the object named 'bottom' from Tut_04_finished.max which is supplied with Fume FX..

If you don't have the file or you want to make it yourself, all you need to do is make a sphere. Apply a FFD 2x2x2 modifier. Then select the points at the top and drag them down till the sphere appears to be flat. Then rotate the object a little in the Y axis.

At the same time add an Omni light at the top right corner in the Front view port. The position and settings of the light will affect the appearance of the fire. In this case we'll use the default settings.

Once you've got your object in place we can start working with Fume FX. So go to the Create Command Panel, select Fume FX from the dropdown list, then click on Fume FX. From within the Top view port, draw out a Fume FX Grid as shown below to roughly match the size of the simulation area around your object.

Finally, open the FumeFX UI floating dialog by clicking the Open FumeFX UI from the Parameters rollout. Now under the General tab set an output path for the simulation. I'd suggest making a different folder for the output.

Next we'll setup some parameters for the simulation. Still within the General tab, under the General Parameters change group of controls, change the Spacing value to 1.0 to provide a nice, dense volume of voxels to simulate with.

Now click on the Simulation tab within the FumeFX UI floating dialog.Under the Simulation group of controls, set the Quality value to 5, Maximum Iterations to 300 and Time Scale to 2.5. Within the System group of controls, set Gravity to 0, Buoyancy to 0.7 and Vorticity to 1.0.


Now go to the Fuel rollout and set the following parameters:
  • Ignition Temperature spinner to 0
  • Burn Rate spinner to 10.0
  • Burn Rate Variation spinner to 1.0
  • Heat Production spinner to 30.0
  • Expansion spinner to 5.0

After those are set, click on the Rendering tab in the FumeFX UI floating dialog.
Go to the Fire rollout and then right-click on the Fire Gradient color swatch.

Choose Key Mode to turn it into a gradient. Change the Fire Gradient colors to roughly match the image below. This will give the fire a nice warm color. The values for the first to keys are:
  1. R-229, G-155, B-25
  2. R-119, G-23, B-10

Let the next two keys remain black.

Move further down the Rendering tab to the Smoke rollout and change the Smoke Opacity spinner value to 20.0.

Now go to the Illumination tab, click on the Pick button and then pick Omni01 as the light source.

Scroll down and make sure that the Multiple Scattering checkbox is activated so we can manipulate how the lighting will blend into the smoke and fire.

Next, change the Multiple Scattering parameters as follows:
  • Maximum Depth spinner to 5
  • Fire Strength spinner to 0.7
  • Smoke Strength spinner to 0.01
  • Falloff spinner to 5.0


continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Skoville on Sun, 22 September 2013 6:35pm
Thanks for the tut. I'll have to re-do it. I have no color, just a white plume. Thanks Trevor. All I had was a white blob until I changed the Gravity to 1.
Trevor on Tue, 27 December 2011 10:48pm
Gravity should not be set to 0, perhaps it is just because I am using a newer version and the old one was illogical. Fire burns entirely differently in zero gravity conditions and hence it does likewise in the simulation.
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