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Tutorial: MSE Plume
Posted on June 17, 2013 at 04:15pm IST
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Now let's see the procedure for creating this kind of smoke effect. There are many kinds of techniques that artist perform for creating only fiery explosions, smoke                          based explosions and or both mixture of fire and smoke based explosions where fuel plays a vital role in that process.

With every development of Fume FX software comes new set of parameters that have taken the level of Visual Effects subsequently up.

The most important thing in explosions are the set of values that you put in Fume FX GUI and the particles that your using.

Fume FX has great support from Particle FLow System(PFS) , Thinking Particles and 3DS Max Legacy Particle System for generating and simulating Effects. Also , Fume FX has good level support with VRay and Mental Ray. And the most important thing that i like to mention is the time that Fume FX take for rendering in VRay and Mental ray.

Personally i haven't checked out if Fume FX supports Cebas Final Render and Maxwell Render Engine. But again every Rendering Engine and Effects Application has their own pros and Cons.

Anyways i think we should get back to this effect.
The procedure for creating smoke effect
By:Vikas Nagolkar
Process 1
Generating PFS(Particle Flow System)
This effect has been simulated via Particle Flow. Even a small amount of particles can create great effect. It's just the matter of few tweaking.
Follow these steps carefully to achieve this effect.

Hit "6" to open Particle flow. And create a standard flow. Now remove "Shape , Rotation" from the local event.
Rename this event as " PFS_MSE_Engine"
Now select your global event "PF Source 001" and go to its parameter and make this changes.

     Emission Parameter....
     Logo size :- 10.0
     Icon type :- Rectangle
     Length = 20
     Width = 20
     Viewport Quantity Multiplier = 100.0%
     Render Quantity Multiplier = 100.0%

     System Management Parameter....
    Upper Limit (Particle Amount) = 1000000000
    Viewport Integration steps = Half Frame
    Render Integration steps = Half Frame

     Script... Leave this section alone. Well and f you can script it, you may go ahead.

Now once you have finished adding details to your global event make sure to save the file as "MSE_Plume_Start".
Now we have to create only 1 initial events which will drive our explosions.
Moving to the local event (Event 001). Rename it as "PFS_Gen" Make these following changes as instructed.

     Birth Operator...
    Emit Start = 2
    Emit Stop = 3
    Amount = 650
    Make sure Sub-frame Sampling check box is on.

     Position Icon =  Place your position icon to "Pivot".

    Speed Operator...
    Speed = 450.0
    Variation = 155.0
    Speed Direction = Along Icon Arrow
    Reverse ON
    Divergence = 66.0

     Delete Operator = By Particle Age (2 / 1).
     Display = Make sure you have display operator placed in your local event 001. You can choose any display mode you want.
    (Dots is preferable ).
Process 1.a
Setting Up  Fume FX Container
Now in order to set up Fume FX you need to create a container in which all effects is simulated (Calculated / solved).
Now let us set up Fume FX data and make it ready for visual presentation.
Go to the standard primitive and hit the drop down menu/sector and hit Fume FX.
Now create the container just like you create a box from geometry. And after you create that container , go to the modifier panel to open FFX_GUI and its related parameters.

Now make sure which version of Fume FX you are using . I am using Fume FX 3.0.1. Since there has been major changes in latest version of Fume FX. Loading your latest files in older version may prompt you few messages.

This tutorial and its file can be opened into any version of Fume FX you any have.

I have used only the very basic techniques to acquire the result. No advance system from latest Fume FX version has been used.

Now Fume FX contains 4 main and important menus and 6 very important tabs.

Simulation Tab is the main engine of Fume FX. We'll swim more into that part.

Now what I'll do is , I'll make it a simpler as it can be for you to understand this section.

I'll break this Fume FX part into 2 sub-sectors. One we'll add particle into our source  and second we'll majorly tweak settings from FFX GUI.
Process 1.b
Setting Up  Fume FX source
First of all save your file as "MSE_Plume_WIP".

Second is go to the Helper section and hit drop down menu and hit Fume FX and select "Particle Source".

Select your particle flow you have created earlier into its Fume FX source stack.
Amend these settings as given below.
     Radius = 8.0
     Variation = 10.0
     Velocity Multiplier = 1.0
     Variation = 10.0
Process 1.c
Setting Up  Fume FX GUI
Now what i'll do is i'll jot down each and every value from every tab. Rather than tweaking values from tabs in between can create confusion for you guys.

We'll start from FFX General tab. Now the general tab contains 4 sub-tabs mainly General Parameters , Output , Playblast , 3ds max script.
  
General Parameters sub-tab changes.

     Spacing = 0.6
     Width = 250.0
     Length = 250.0
     Height = 279.521
     Adaptive CHECKBOX ON
     Sensitivity = MIXED
     Threshold = 0.01
     Size = 417 x 417 x 466
     Simulation upto 3555MB and Render upto 1392MB are my values for final result. You may choose your own desired value. But remember do not low    you spacing too much.
    Total amount of voxels in FFX Container 81032274.

Output sub-tab changes.
     Start  Frame = 0
     End Frame = 100
     Viewport Update = 1
     Exported Channels = Fuel , Smoke (Note that if you want to further this explosion in Krakatoa, just add Velocity Channel in your Output Tab before  you Sim your effect.)
     Make sure that you set your default path to one folder for caching out the entire simulation.

Playback sub-tab changes.

     Play From = 0
     Play To = 100
     Start Frame = 0, while the rest remains the same.
Now let's deepen inside Sim sub tab.

      *Simulation Sim sub-tab parameters.
     Solver = Conjugate Solver
     Quality = 9
     Maximum Iteration = 200
     CFL Condition = 5.0
     Maximum Simulation Steps = 1.0
     Advection Stride = 0.25 (Produces smaller curls) (Animated from frame 0 till frame 20)
     Time Scale = 0.85 (Animated from frame 0 till frame 20)

     System sim sub-tab parameters.

     Gravity = 0.5 (Animated from frame 0 till frame 20)
     Vorticity = 1.0
     X Terbulence = 0.05 (Animated from frame 0 till frame 20)

     Turbulence Noise.
     Scale = 1.0
     Frame = 22.0
     Details = 5.0
     Offset = 0.0

     Blocking Sides system.
     X Axis = NONE
     Y Axis = NONE
     Z Axis = -Z Axis.

See the screenshot below.
Now let's move towards Fuel Sub-Tab from SimTab. Once of the most important tab.
     Fuel Buoyancy = -0.1
     Ignition Temperature = 100.0
     Burn Rate = 15.0
     Burn Rate Variation = 1
     Heat Production = 10.0
     Expansion = 1.0
     Fuel create smoke CHECK BOX ON
     Smoke Density = 0.2 (Much Denser smoke) (Animated from frame 0 till frame 20)
Let's see the animation we have done inside Sim tabs.
     Advection Stride Animation  (frame 0 = 0.25 , frame 10 = 0.85 and frame 20 = 0.25).
    Time Scale Animation (frame 0 = 0.5 , frame 10 = 0.85 and frame 20 = 0.85 unchanged here on till last frame 100).
     Gravity Animation (frame 0 = 0.5 , frame 10 = 0.25 and frame 20 = 0.25 unchanged here on till last frame 100).
     X turbulence Animation (frame 0 = 0.05 , frame 10 = 0.025 and frame 20 = 0).
     Fuel Expansion Animation (frame 0 = 0.2 , frame 10 = 1 and frame 20 = 1 unchanged here on till last frame 100).
     Rest of all sub-tabs remains unchanged.

Alright done till here , let's move to Render Tab, we do not want any extra details like Fluid mapping and Wavelet turbulent.

RenderTab contains again main sub-tabs , now we'll focus only the workable tabs.
    RenderTab Rendering Parameters SubTab changes.
     StepSize = 5.0%
     While rest remains unchanged.
     Smoke SubTab chages.
     Ambient Color = R,G,B = 26,26,26
     Smoke Color = R,G,B = 64,64,64
     Opacity = 10.0

Ambient Color and Smoke Color  screenshot below...
OK make a habit of saving the file.

Alright now taking final step. Go to last tab "obj/src" , there you'll find an empty stack . Add Particle Src you have created earlier. Also you'll notice that once you load  that source in FFX GUI , a newly empty stack will be highlighted below. Add you Pf Source inside that Fume FX Particle source (if you have not included earlier).

See the screenshot below.
OK now let's save our file.
If you notice my next screenshot. I have implemented lights and camera.
Now before you start you simulation , save you file and if you hit simulation button , it won't simulate. So the proper order is to save simulation file first.

Go to the Genera tab and inside output sub-tab you'll find output path. Just next to that there will be a small channelbox . Hit that box. It will open and will ask us to save our cache file. Save the file as "MSE_Plume_.fxd". Now ".fxd" defines fumefx data, which is the cache file been calculated on the overall values we have amended in FFX GUI.

Lets save our file as "MSE_Plume_Finished" and simulate out file.

OK so here is my look of final result.
All you can do is render off your animation and just drop in the rendered footage in any of your favorite compositing package and play with it. You can get really interesting effect.
Below you see the lookdev snapshot, only the first greenish look efect was inside Fusion while rest of three are comp in After Effects.

Below is the look of Fusion and AfterEffects.
Note that this file has been saved in 3DS Max 2010 , 3DS Max 2011 , 3DS Max 2012 , 3DS Max 2013.
This file has been checked in all the above version and are working fine.
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