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Blowing animated smoke off a smoking tape gun

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Nels McLaughlinBlowing animated smoke off a smoking tape gun
by on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:30:03 pm

I'm working on a shot where there is a smoking tape gun (hooray for fast shipping!) and the subject in the shot blows rising smoke off said gun. Think of a cowboy blowing the wisps of smoke off his revolver. That's what I'm working on. I've got the smoke to rise slowly off the tape gun relatively easily, but I can't figure out how to make the smoke blow away realistically when he blows it away.

The smoke I've got is using the Fractal Noise effect, which looks pretty good. But the blowing and having the smoke animate away is the part I'm having trouble with. In my head, I imagine the smoke animating away in sort of a sideways "V" shape - it blows away really easily where his breath hits it first, but then all the smoke eventually follows it. I really hope I explained that well...

Anyone have any suggestions or experience with this?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Blowing animated smoke off a smoking tape gun
by on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:40:19 pm

Got Trapcode Particular? You may have better success creating smoke with it and animating sudden action.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Nels McLaughlinRe: Blowing animated smoke off a smoking tape gun
by on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:55:42 pm

I don't actually - it's a little pricier than the 'decision makers' want to spend on something they know nothing about. Odd, I know.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Blowing animated smoke off a smoking tape gun
by on Mar 11, 2016 at 6:58:21 pm

Have you considered shooting smoke as a practical effect? Think about what happens when a candle flame is extinguished. With lights against a black background. And a way to generate a puff of air.

I don't know if it would be workable for your shot, but it's a thought.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Nels McLaughlinRe: Blowing animated smoke off a smoking tape gun
by on Mar 11, 2016 at 7:19:00 pm

It was a consideration, but I share the studio with our staff photographer, so studio time is an issue. Its on the list to shoot next week when I have time, so if I can't figure this part out by then, that's the go-to.

FWIW, Turbulent Displace may be my answer, but it's not what I had in mind initially.


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Blowing animated smoke off a smoking tape gun
by on Mar 12, 2016 at 7:04:12 pm

Unless you can use a sturdy particle system like Particular I would go for the practical effect. Pretty easy to setup and to shoot.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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