User Tools

Site Tools


Nerd 3D Smokin' Flames

image_medium.jpg
Product: Nerd3D Smokin' Flames
Product Code: ps_ac4069b
DAZ Original: NO
Created By: Nerd3D
Released: July 6, 2010

Smokin' Flames Wiki Bonus Freebie

Here are 4 free bonus material sets for the Flame Emitter. Just for visiting the Flame Tool Wiki!

Smokin' Flames Bonus Pack for Studio (12MB)

Smokin' Flames Bonus Pack for Poser (12MB)

The Smokin' Flames tools

The Nerd 3D Smokin' Flames tools are designed to let you add Fire and Smoke to your renders and animations. Because these tools are so flexible you can almost always create the perfect fire and smoke for your scene. From a cozy camp fire to a blistering dragon blast and everything in between. All forms of combustion are possible with these tools.

Requirements

  • The Nerd3D Smokin' Flames Tool
  • Anything you want to burn
  • Poser 6 or newer, DAZ Studio 2.3 or newer.
  • A fire extinguisher

Important: The Poser and Studio Versions of the Smokin' Flames tools are not compatible. Even if you have both a scene created in Poser will not work in Studio.

The Flame Emitter

First load up a Flame Emitter and have a look. It's fairly simple, kind of like a poster board or simple transparency-mapped plane. But there's a twist. Select the Control. That is the transparent (green in Studio) cone above the little fire thing. Now spin the “Animate” dial. Hey look at that, it burns! Really, that's about all there is to the Flame emitter.

The way it works is by flipping through a sequence of 100 trans-mapped planes or “Cells” each one has a different frame from an image sequence on it. It works sort of like old flip book animation. Spinning the “Animate” dial flips the pages.

For still renders just flip to the frame you like best and render. In an animation you set a key at frame 1 with the dial at zero and then go to the end and set a key for is at 99. If the speed of the fire is too fast or slow you can use less frames or loop the animation.

Looping is where you repeat the 0-99 sequence several times. For example you need a 300 frame sequence and the fire will be too slow. Set the Animate dial to 0 on frame 1 then to 99 on frame 100. The next frame go back to 0 on the animate dial and then set it to 99 when you get to frame 200. Same thing for frame 201 to 300. When doing this it's best to have the animation interpolation style set to linear. That's the brown button “Linear Selection” on Poser's Animation Palette. In studio you can't control the interpolation so it's probably best to set a key at every frame.

The Flame Emitter comes with more than just fire effects. It can also do lightning, Fairy Dust type effects, and vaporous spooky effects.

Smoke Emitter

Now lets have a look at the Smoke Emitter. It has a control like the Flame. Select the control, that's where all the action is. It's quite a bit more complex than the Flame Emitter. It's is similar to the Flame in that it uses a sequence of cells like a flip book but it has 100 sets or layers of cells. As the layers rise they flip through the cells at the same time. Of course there are lots of dials to control how the layers rise and the way the cells get flipped.

The Smoke dial is the big boss here. It makes the effect go. The typical range is 1 to 10 but variations in smoke density and fade rate will affect this range.

The Fade Rate is a constant decay rate for the cells or to continue the flip book analgy the flip rate. The higher the number the faster the cells change. 50-90 is a good range but by no means the hard limit.

The Smoke Density is how close together the layers are when the begin their trip upward. The higher the number the faster the rate and the closer spaced the layers will be. 90-95 is a good place to start. The dials range is 0-100.

The inversion or Ceiling dial is the limit of the smoke layers upward travel. In real smoke you'll often see this. When the smoke reaches a certain height it just stop rising and just drifts laterally. That's what this dial does. The altitude is in PNU for poser uses (a PNU is 8.6 feet) and meters for Studio.

The drift controls provide a way to fake wind in the smoke. Their effect is exponential. That is the drift distance increases as the altitude increases. Low numbers will do you best here .1 to .5 plus or minus.

The starting scale is just the size of the smoke poofs as they start their journey.

Now we come to the “initial Randomization” dials. These will effect the starting point, size and rotation of each layer randomly. This way each smoke layer does not start in exactly the same place or size.

The Random fade rate shifts the fade rate function so that all the smoke poofs don't begin (or end) in the same cell or the same place.

Random X, Y and Z shift the starting point of the smoke layers. These can have the effect of spreading the smoke over a larger area.

The Random Scale dials vary the starting scale of each layer. Scale as needed.

Random Rotate Z makes the layers start in different orientations. No limits here.

OK, now the “Dynamic Settings”. These gain strength as the smoke layers rise. They have no effect at the start but grow exponentially as the smoke layers rise.

Gain Scale make the poofs increase in size as they move upward. Negative or positive -100 to +500 are the limits and it's just a mater of what looks good

Gain Random X, Y and Z are to vary the amount of drift for each layer. Small numbers here. Plus or minus .5 is a place to start. This keeps each smoke layer from following the same path.

Gain Random Scale is like Gain Scale but now it's randomly applied to each layer. As with it's counter part -100 to +500 is the limit. But tweak till you see what you like.

Finally we have Gain Random Rotate Z. As the smoke rises this randomly increases the amount of rotation in the layer.

OK Now Let's Burn Something

A Flame Emitter and a Fire Emitter In the Poserverse you don't really have to have anything to burn to light a fire, at least not any more. Load up a Flame Emitter and apply the “Fire B Natural” material to it. Load Smoke Emitter and apply the “Black Chunky Medium” smoke material to it. There isn't really much to setup for the flame so we'll skip right to the smoke.

Set the smoke dial to 1 so you can see some smoke. Unlike real particle simulations, this tool updates real time so there's no need to guess at settings. You can see what you're doing. The first thing we notice is that the smoke is no where near wide enough for the fire. If you tried just increasing the Scale X it would look all stretched and ugly. We want pretty smoke. Well at least pretty where pretty means it looks real.

First set the Random X to about 0.1 this will cause the puffs to scatter side to side over the fire. Increase the Scale X and Scale Y to 50. This increases the size of the poofs. The smoke layers are too spread out now. To pack them closer, increase the Smoke Density to 95.

OK, not bad except the smoke starts about 2 feet above the fire. Just use the Y Trans dial to lower the smoke right into the fire.

Let's give it a bit more class with a 150 each of Gain Scale X and Gain Scale Y. That way the smoke will expand as it rises. Add Random Fade Rate of 25 to keep things mixed up.

Spin the Smoke dial slowly. You can see how the smoke would animate if you were animating it. So, why not animate it just to see how it will look? This is the easiest animation you'll ever do.

Set the Flames in Motion

I promise, this is really easy. In the time line thing set the frame count to 100. Make sure your frame one still has the smoke and flames tools where we left them above. Go to the last frame and set the Animate dial on the Flames to 99 and the Smoke dial to about 1.8 on the smoke tool. Click the play button to preview the animation. Really that's all. Throw some wood on that fire and you've got a scene.

Using the Point at Feature

This is only available in the Poser version of the Smoke Emitter.

When you load the Smoke Emitter you'll find a little bulls-eye on the floor near the default location of the main camera. This is the point at target. All the planes in the Smoke will orient them selves to face towards this prop. It's easy to use, just place the target near your camera and the cells will all face straight at the camera.

In some cases this behavior is not desirable or it causes problems. Then you can shut it off by setting the Point at value to zero in the control handle.

But Wait There's More

You're probably looking at that dragon promo and wondering how that was done with that little flame emitter. Well it wasn't. See, the materials for the Smoke and Flame are interchangeable. The Fire mats can be applied to the Smoke Emitter and vice-versa. The Dragon fire is 2 Smoke Emitters. One has the Flame Thrower Natural (Which is the “Fire A Natural” with a few tweaks) material. The Second which is actually playing the role of smoke has Black Chunky Heavy applied.

The point? Mix up those materials. With nearly a hundred you've got a lot of potential for effects with these tools! From the spectacular to sublime the range of this set is only limited by imagination. This tool was designed to make fire effects but that is just the surface of what is possible. Lighting, magic spells, dust devils, steam vents, burning oil wells, and who knows what more.

Rendering

When it comes time to rendering there are not really any special considerations. As with any set the uses multiple transparent planes there will be an increase in render times. In poser this can be helped by applying one of the shading rate poses. These will reset the shading rate for the cells in the smoke and can increase render speed.

Studio uses should be sure to apply the “Hide Controls” pose to make sure all those ugly green handles are hidden before rendering.

FAQ

Why doesn't any thing show when I apply the Fae Blast or Fae Dust material to the Flame Emitter? These materials are blank on the first and last cell. Set the Animate dial on the Flame Emitter in the 10-90 range to see sparkles. Use the Animate dial to choose the size and shape of the effect you want for still renders.

Why is DAZ Studio is very slow after applying a material? This has to do with the way Studio process images. It's is handled by a background process but each texture on this set is really a hundred! Give it a couple minutes to get the textures all processed and Studio will begin responding normally.

Why is there no smoke when I load the Smoke Emitter? You will need to dial the “smoke” dial to about 1 before any smoke will show.

How can I change the speed of the included Animations? Poser has a built in function to speed or slow animated sequences. Select the figure that you want to change and choose Animation > Retime Animation …

Features

  <ul> <li>Flame Emitter <ul> <li>100 Cells</li> <li>Easy controls <ul> <li>Height</li> <li>Width</li> <li>Twist</li> <li>Skew</li> <li>Animate (Operates image sequence)</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li>Smoke Emitter <ul> <li>100 Smoke &quot;puffs&quot; each with 100 Cell sequences </li> <li>Point at target keeps effect puffs pointed at the target (Poser Only) <ul> <li>Place the target near the camera to keep puffs pointed at the camera</li> </ul> </li> <li>Easy Controls <ul> <li>Smoke (Makes the smoke do it's thing)</li> <li>Initial controls <ul> <li>Smoke Density</li> <li>Smoke Fade</li> <li>Celing (Inversion layer height)</li> <li>Drift (X, Y, Z)</li> <li>Scale (X, Y)</li> </ul> </li> <li>Randomization <ul> <li>Drift (X, Y, Z)</li> <li>Scale (X, Y)</li> <li>Rotation</li> </ul> </li> <li>Gain (Effect smoke as it moves away from source) <ul> <li>Drift (X, Y, Z)</li> <li>Scale (X, Y)</li> <li>Rotation</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> <li>15 Image Sequences <ul> <li>100 Cells each <ul> <li>Fae Blast (An explosion of Pixie dust, or maybe a star)</li> <li>Fae Dust (A Cascade of sparkles)</li> <li>Fire 1 (A single intense flame, maybe a torch)</li> <li>Fire 2 (A line of flames for a campfire or burning objects)</li> <li>Fire 3 (Fire Jet could be a dragon blast or a flame thrower)</li> <li>Lightning (A horizantal point to point lightning blast</li> <li>Lightning 2 (A vertical strike with no end point)</li> <li>Smoke (6 variants)</li> <li>Vapor 1 (A sideways moving spooky vapor)</li> <li>Vapor 2 (A vertical vapor, spooky</li> </ul> </li> <li>1,818 Textures in total</li> </ul> </li> <li>47 Material Flame Presets</li> <li>39 Material Smoke Presets</li> <li>3 Sample Smoke Animations</li> <li>7 Utility Poses <ul> <li>Shadow ON/OFF</li> <li>Controls ON/OFF</li> <li>3 Shading Rate Adjustments (Speed renders up)</li> </ul> </li> <li>Smoke and Flame materials are interchangable</li> <li>Poser 6 and newer or DAZ Studio 2.3 and newer</li> <li>Complete discreet versions for Poser and Studio</li> </ul>