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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
Software used:

Now we must add our object in the Fume FX simulation system as the source of the fire.

Within the Create Command Panel, go to the Helpers section; choose FumeFX from the dropdown menu, then select Object Src. The FumeFX Object Source simply informs the FumeFX simulation engine of an object you want as part of the sim, it doesn't need to reside within the FumeFX Grid volume therefore the position of the Object Source doesn't affect the simulation. Within the FumeFX Object Source Parameters, click the Pick button, and then select sphere01 as your Object. Make sure it shows within the FumeFX Object Source as shown below.

Select the Obj/SRC tab in the FumeFX UI floating dialog and click the Pick button. In the 3ds Max view ports, select the FFX Object Src01 you created earlier as your Source.

With all of the objects / sources present, we need to make some final adjustments to the Object Source by applying an animated map to the Fuel and Temperature channels.

Make sure the FFX Object Src01 is highlighted within the list window.

Next, within the Temperature group of controls, change the Amount spinner to 650.0.

Now, for both the Fuel and Temperature groups of controls, click on the buttons labeled Disabled in each, and choose Source From Intensity from the pop-up list. This will activate the map slots for both.

Click on the Map slot for the Fuel and choose Noise from the Material/Map browser. Open up the Material Editor and drop the map from the FumeFX UI floating dialog into one of the sample slots. Choose Instance.

Once the map is in the Material Editor, change the Noise Type from Regular to Fractal. Click on the Size spinner, and adjust its value to 3.0, then grab the Phase spinner and change it to 4.0.

Next we need to animate the map.

Turn on the Auto Key button and drag the time slider from frame 0 to frame 150. Back in the Material Editor; change the Phase spinner's value from 4.0 to 16.0.

NOTE: Make sure the animation track is linear and not bezier. You want to make sure that the noise animates evenly over time and doesn't start and end slowly.

With the animation now in place, drag the map from the Material Editor back into the FumeFX UI and drop it into the Temperature Map slot. Choose Instance so that both maps work identically.

Now its time to run a test simulation.

Open up the preview window by clicking the Preview Window icon (first icon from the left).

To run the simulation, press the Start Simulation button (third icon from the left).


At this point, the simulation begins and you will see a progress dialog pop up.

The time required to complete the simulation depends on the hardware you possess. The whole thing may take several minutes to complete.

If everything goes right you must have a result that looks similar to the image below.

This concludes the tutorial. I hope you liked it. You can have different results by changing some parameters like deleting the lighting in the scene and changing the key colour. All you need to do is play with the settings.

Here is an image of the same simulation without the Omni light.

You can have a look at a small video produced by the above simulation. To watch the video follow the link:

Please feel free to contact me for any further help regarding the tutorial. You can contact me at

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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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