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2D All the way! / Looking for puff of smoke animation

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Plotinus
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Joined: 28th Mar 2009
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Posted: 5th Jan 2010 15:18
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to find a 2D, greyscale animation (or, better still, a series of frames for such an animation) for a puff of smoke. It doesn't have to be anything complex - just think of a small cloud of smoke that comes out of a funnel or chimney, grows, and quickly dissipates. A simple thing but I can't find one anywhere! Does anyone know of one here or elsewhere, or even have any advice on making one?
Van B
Moderator
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Joined: 8th Oct 2002
Location: Sunnyvale
Posted: 5th Jan 2010 16:06
For smoke there is no better method than alpha particles. I'd just load up an art package and plonk some gray blobs down, blur it, and make the layer alpha 50 percent or so.

Then, in DBPro I'd fade them and recycle them - maybe have 32 smoke particles, and spawn one every half second. You could even fade out depending on the smoke particle number - one less thing to worry about. Personally I'd just position a plain at the smoke emitter chimney or whatever, and use an incrementing object number each time. Keeping track of that object number, you could say that object number is alpha 100%, then the next one would be 97% or whatever - so by the time it gets to the 32nd smoke object, the alpha is 0. You could rotate the particles slowly and have them react to a wind direction and speed quite easily.

The top benefit is in the looks though - negative ghosting is still an additive effect - but when you use alpha transparency, well it's still additive - but only in the alpha channel. This means that 1 particle might be translucent, but lots of particles together would be solid. As the smoke billows up, it would dissipate and widen, giving a very natural look. Alpha particles are much more volumetric, and it's really the best option for smoke - it's actually pretty hard to make gray with ghosting.

If you add this to an explosion effect, then it just looks superb - maybe with shorter lives on the explosion particles, but when you see the flames fade out leaving thick dark smoke that dissipates - well it's a great effect that costs little.


Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!
Van B
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Location: Sunnyvale
Posted: 6th Jan 2010 02:40
Here's an example, uses DBPro and is 3D, but shows what you can do with just a simple particle system.


Health, Ammo, and bacon and eggs!

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Plotinus
13
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Joined: 28th Mar 2009
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Posted: 6th Jan 2010 11:56
Thanks very much for the help, Van B. I shall try this.
chafari
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Joined: 2nd May 2006
Location: Canary Islands
Posted: 7th Jan 2010 15:39
awesome !! ...I´ll keep it.



learning every day

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