Smoke in C4D

We've been fortunate to receive some very good examples and tutorial information on how to use visible lights to make wispy, smoky smoke in C4D. It's a straightforward process, and looks very good in general, but at the moment it isn't clear how to easily make this kind of smoke catch light and cast shadows. (Although there may be some ideas on a technique for that, which will bear fruit shortly). But visible lights still won't make thick, toxin-laden, billowy, tire-burning smoke.

I set out to try to make smoke using regular "solid" objects. In this example, a very thick, black smoke is modeled using a particle emitter and spheres. The resulting image looks like this:

Click here for the animation. (540K) (Squeezed tight, but with some compression artifacts).

Here is a C4D project file and texture map you can use to duplicate this scene:

To make this smoke:

  1. Start with a couple of spheres (sphere1, sphere2). Make 'em small because the smoke will grow a lot as it rises.
  2. Make them "smoky" by adding a wispy, smokelike texture (SMOKE.PCT). Here's the one I used:
  3. Use this texture as a transparency map, too. (Note that the smoke won't get much transparency unless you crank up the raytracing depth (see Preferences>Render>Options), but that will kill your rendering time. The above image was done using the default depth=6).
  4. Make an emitter object and rotate it so "Z" points "up"
  5. Drop the spheres on the emitter object in the Object Manager -- so it becomes their parent.
  6. Smoke billows grow as they rise, so crank the emitter scaling up to 200 or so. (Double click on the emitter properties icon in the Object Manager to open the settings dialog).
  7. I played with the other settings, as you can see in the project file, to get the smoke to generate and rise at the right rate.
  8. Where there's smoke, there's fire ... so I added a couple of fire planes, using a material constructed with the 2-D shader Fire.shc. It seems to look good with the shader applied to color, transparency, and luminosity pages in the material settings dialog.

What do you think ?


Patrick Johnson

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