Create Wind, Smoke, or Fog with Visible Lights and Noise

Photo of Darrin Frankovitz

Instructor Darrin Frankovitz

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  • Duration: 05:52
  • Views: 10837
  • Made with Release: 18
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Use Lights to Create Fast Dust Smoke and Wind Effects

Learn how to add noise to visible light in the light object to create dust smoke and haze effects super fast without particles.



- [Darrin] In this 1ON1 QuickTip, we're going to learn how to use a Light object to add some atmosphere, some smoke, fog, maybe a little bit of wind, to our scenes really quickly and easily. Now, the secret to this is really understanding the different light types and their shapes. So what we're going to do here is I'm just going to illustrate this to you. I'm going to set up this light. Please follow along, and then, in the end, we're going to copy and paste it into the provided scene file, which you can download from the description on the left of this page. I'm adding a Light object and I'm going to go ahead and check No Illumination because I actually don't want it to create light, I just want it to create visible light. I'll go ahead and render this, and you see that tiny little white dot, that's actually the visible light right there. Let's jump out of my camera. There's the visible light. Now, this is an omnidirectional light, so, of course, it's just a sphere. This is why understanding the light types is so important. What I want here for this is I want, like, a mist or a fog to be on the water. And so, I need a different light type to get that shape, and that type is a Square Parallel Spot. Now, we can see the shape here. I'm going to go ahead and render that. You can see how it's basically just that square, and it fades off. So let's go ahead and adjust some of its settings. I'm going to set its pitch to 90 degrees, so it's facing up. Okay, great. And I actually do know, so that it'll match perfectly into my other scene, I need its Y position to be negative 6100 points, 162...and yes, I'm totally reading that off of notes on another page. So, now, I can go into my camera and render this. Okay. So, there is its position and its rotation, great, we turned No Illumination on. Now, what we want to do is, it's just too small, so we're going to go to the outer radius and we're going to increase that, and I'm just clicking and dragging on the arrows, but I know actually that the number I want here is 115,000. The landscape scene is quite large, that I'm working with. So when I render this, we just see what looks like just sort of like a white square floor. It is actually the visible light, but it's not fading off over a great enough distance. So I need to go now to the Visibility Tab, and set the Outer Distance to a greater value. So, I'm just dragging that up in my view on the little orange dot. That's the Outer Distance, and that is the point at which the visible light is no longer visible It is at maximum visibility at the base. And I can actually illustrate this if I go into the side view, and I'll zoom out and render here. So, right where the axis is, it's at maximum visibility. That's the Inner Distance of zero, and we can extend that by increasing that Inner Distance, but I don't want to do that here. I just want to increase the Outer Distance so it falls off. And then, it's just too uniform, and this is where all the magic happens on Noise. So, I'm going to apply the Noise from None to just the Visibility. We don't need it on Illumination because we're not using Illumination nor do we need Both, so Visibility. We have some different Noise types. I ended up going with Hard Turbulence. And we can actually... I'll go ahead and render that so you can see that Hard Turbulence. But, there's a couple of issues here. It's just sort of grainy. The scale of this Noise is too small, and also the Brightness and Contrast need to be tweaked. So I'm going to set the Visibility Scale to 5500 for X, Y, and Z, and we'll render that, and then you can start to see that it's a larger scale. So now, we can actually start to see the variation in that visible light. And we can actually refine this and get more blacks or, you know, more whites by playing with the Contrast and the Brightness. So, I'm going to make it...let's see, negative 26 and 150, that's Brightness and Contrast respectively. I'll do a test render, and then we can just copy and paste this into the scene which you downloaded. When you render, you will end up with this very overly foggy river running through these mountains and this landscape. Now, when we render an animation, we can actually go to these Wind and Wind Velocity settings, and simply by setting the Wind Velocity to one, and then rendering our animation, then we get some motion in this Noise, and we can adjust the speed of that Noise, the Turbulence or the Velocity here. But, how fast the wind just moves on the X, Y, or Z, we can set in the Wind and Wind Velocity. I hope you guys have a lot of fun. Please explore all the different light types, and have a good one. Bye. - [Man] If you are interested in personalized training or project assistance, visit, and visit for more great tutorials and resources.
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