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Use maps as target for smoke?
Hey guys,

i'm trying to recreate movie posters (pictures) with smoke, the concept is smoke coming out of a Oil Lamp (jin lamp....Aladdin lamp) and it spreads to shape into part of movie posters. Is there any way to to use black and white maps at least as target for the smoke or to restrict a bit the path of the smoke to specific areas defined by a map that could be projected onto simple geometry to get enough depth while still keeping the realistic dynamic properties of the smoke?
So far i'm stuck at simulating the smoke using 3d geometries, either as collision objects or as emitters, but it's obviously not as flexible as if i could use a map i can create a lot more easily than recreating my movie posters with modeling 3d geometries! :$
Any idea or suggestions are welcome !


Anybody? Anything?
First thing that comes to mind is Particle Flow and Find Target operator...
But I'm not sure if I understand what you're trying to do.

Maybe you could post a sketch of it? That might make it easier to see what you need.
here's a simplified version of the storyboard, it will give you an idea of the effects that needs to be achieved, ideally i would have liked a way to achieve this by using 2D maps, not 3D geometries...


Hmm... I'm not at my pc right now but of the top of my head I would say that setting up a pflow with a fumefx follow where the particles follow a splinepath from the lamp to where the image is supposed to appear.
Then in a new event use use a grayscale map of the image to spawn particles. Maybe use a splitt amount to make some of the particles miss the grayscale map.
Mind you I am no expert but I'll be happy to try it out and let you know how it works out.
I did not get the Pflow idea to work but you might want to experiment with opacity maps in the obj/src smoke map slot.
Here's a lowres. test I did with a plane as obj source and a black/white image as the smoke map.
You would still have to find a way to make this appear as the smoke rise from beneath. Maybe you could use fire or temperature from the smoke coming from below to ignite the image?
Maybe in combination with a gradient ramp to gradually let the image appear?
Thanks a lot for sharing your test. but the first thing that comes to my mind is that i could re-create the same kind of effects in AE with particular and probablt get the same result without having to deal wit the cache management and simulation time, as there is no collision involving real fluid/gas dynamic in this process. Mostly it's just masking part of the smoke cloud. (??)

I kind of gave up using maps. I figured that the only way to get the result i'm after was to use geometries as collision objects and draw splines along the main lines of the shapes i wnat to draw with smoke and throw some simple ffx sources on those. This way i get the dynamic motion of smoke along the shapes and can keep the continuity of the flow of the smoke around the shape also (as seen on the storyboard/concept), and also even though the spines are drawn and locked to a sepcific 2D camera pint of view i still get a bit of depth. Heavy sims as i need quite some emitters to redraw the shapes, but Mixing it with other simulations in which i use the collision shapes as emitters this time i manage to compensate and fill in the rest of the shape in 3d depth (mostly using the fire emission with a smoky shader). I'll post some tests soon.

CHeers, A.
You're absolutely right about it probably being faster and easier to produce the mapping result in AE.
Sounds like you've found the solution...
Would you mind sending me a copy of your scene?
I never thought of what you're describing and would like have a look so that I might learn a thing or two Smile
No problem sharing the scene afteward when the project is delivered to my client, for now i'm bound to some confidentiality and copyright terms for some models i use, so i can't spread it around. But i might make a little tut about it, not that it's so ground breaking as a method, but maybe some people indeed could use the trick. But it's heavy in Sims and works well only with mixing different types of simulations using objects alternatively as emitters and as collision shapes.


Great! Looking forward to either scene or tutorial Smile

Good luck with the project!

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