Procedural ground dust with Phoenix FD

by Hammer Chen

It will be a very tedious job if we have to mannualy adding smoke emitters at each hoof of horses.

Fortunately, with the help of VRayDistance map, we could generate ground dust more procedurally. Here we have one single Alembic file containing hundreds of animated horse and one ground plane.

We could apply a simple material with VRayDistanceTex to a ground plane to visualize the procedural texture. The VRayDistanceTex is a V-Ray specific procedural texture that returns a different color based on a point's distance to an object(s) specified in a selection list.

We could utilize this feature of VRayDistance and use it as a mask for Phoenix FD Source (smoke). Add ground plane in the emitter node, and in the Mask, use Texmap - VRayDistance.

With this technique, the ground plane only emits smoke when horse' hoofs touch the ground. This trick is especially useful when we are dealing with a significant amount of animated objects.