This tutorial will teach you how to create a twirl of smoke in blender.
PART I: The Actors of the Sequence
Step1: First, launch Blender, erase the default Cube and then add a Grid. Space Bar > Add > Mesh > Grid (32 x 32). Go bak to Object Mode : Tab.
Next, with the grid selected, switch to Weight Paint mode: Ctrl + Tab.Then paint your grid in order to get only one reddish orange point, and the rest from yellow to blue. Use the Paint tab, in the Edit panel (F9).
* Mix, Add and Multi > used to mix, add or multiply the painted weight.
* Sub > allows subtracting some weight.
* Blur > very useful for smoothing the weights.
Step2: Add the deflector object. (Deflectors interrupt the movement of active particles, Software Bodies, etc.)
Place an Empty (Add > Empty) just below the corner of the Grid where the weight is at its maximum.
Enable the Deflection, Physics Button (F7), then set it up like this :
* Wind with a low Strength : between 0.010 and 0.020
* Enable Use Max Dist, then type the maximum distance you need. This will limit the wind's influence to the area within this distance.
Step3: Give some softness to our Grid. Thanks to specific adjustments to Software Bodies, we will achieve the illusion of a software and aerial material.
Select the Grid, open the Object panel (F7), and the Physics sub-panel. Next, access the Software Body tab and set it up like this :
* Mass to 0 (or, extremely low).
* Very low Speed (tip: you can increase it for the preview then decrease it for the final render).
* Enable Use Goal > Group (to take your painted vertex weights into account).
* Enable Use Edge and decrease it to the halfway marque (the edges can now stretch according to the needs of our simulation).
Now, for the testing step. In order to launch a preview animation in our 3D window, set the view to the active camera (0 Numpad key), then press Ctrl + A while in the 3D window. Adjust the Software Body or deflection settings accordingly.
PART II : Ethereal Material
Our settings should simulate a fairly realistic smoke, with fast render times.
* Give a material to our Grid.
* Shading panel (F5), then Material tab,
* Add New, then test the result (F12) while setting up the options.
In the Mirror Transp tab, activate the Ray Transparency with:
* IOR at 1.0 (no deformation due to refraction of light)
* a bit of Fresnel, moving the Fact slíder to lower it's influence
* decrease the Gloss to 0 in order to skip some useless computation, and set the Samples to 1.0
* Depth value will be between 5 and 10 (depth of transparency).
* In the Material tab, decrease the Alpha to between 0.0 and 0.25
* Open the Ramps tab (next to the Material tab) and enable the Show Col Ramp button
* Set a blend from white to black, with Normal as input for ramp, which will give you a silky effect.
A “new” function can be used here.
* The Map input > Stress button will vary the blending of a texture according to the deformation of a mesh.
* So, add a Blend Texture in the Texture panel (F6) > Add New > choose Blend in place of None.
Go bak to the Material panel. Add this texture with Map Input > Stress with Map To > Col and Alpha buttons checked.
Now, you are ready for the final render. You can start the rendering of the sequence: In the Scene panel (F10) choose your file format (AVI or QuickTime for video, for example), and finally, press the Anim button to start the rendering.