Making clouds with Phoenix FD


by Hammer Chen

Do you know you can create realistic cloud by simply budding off smoke from a single plane? The key is using the right mask and scattering setting.

Here we have one 3dsMax plane primitive as Fire / Smoke source. (Please note that Phoenix FD doesn't like non-closed geometry. If you having any trouble emitting fluid from a plane, add a shell modifier to the plane can fix the issue)


Here is the key step. Add a Gradient Ramp texture in the Mask. Set the mask type as "Texmap"


Here is my setting for the Gradient Ramp. This will create a noisy Radial shape on the plane. As the image below:


Animate the outgoing velocity of your Fire/Smoke source a few frames, allowing smoke puff out from the plane, forming cloud-like shape.

Here is my Dynamics setting of the Simulator.

For the rendering, it is important to set your Scattering as "Ray-Tranced" to get realistic cloud rendering.

Left: approximate + Shadows; Right: Ray-Tranced scattering


You could generate different cloud by using different texture as a mask.

Enjoy making clouds with Phoenix FD :)

For a more detail, steps by steps tutorial, please check this link on ChaosGroup official help page.

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