Creating effects such as fur, smoke and fluid simulations were always a bit time consuming to set up. Especially getting smoke to render properly with a volumetric material takes quite many steps. Yesterday I added some nice “quick effect” operators that make it very simple to create a quick demonstration of an effect or a starting point for further modification.

To make use of these operators simply select a mesh object (or several mesh objects), hit spacebar to bring up the operator menu and write “Make Fur”, “Make Smoke” or “Make Fluid”. This will apply the selected effect with a basic set of “nice” properties, which can be adjusted a bit in the 3d view toolbar’s operator redo panel. To make things even faster you can add these operators to the actual toolbar as buttons just like any other operator.

Make Fur
Adds a simple hair particle system with child particles for the object with quick parameters for fur density, length, and the percentage of hairs visible in the 3d view. It also creates a new material for the object with some modified strand rendering options. Very nice to create quick hair too, just make the fur longer and start combing away!

Make Smoke
Turns the selected object into a smoke flow object and creates a suitable domain object around the flow object. It also sets up a basic volume material for the domain so that the smoke is ready to render instantly as soon as some smoke simulation is simulated by stepping the timeline forwards. There are three style choices for the smoke:

  • Stream – creates a constant flow of smoke from the object surface.
  • Puff – turns the whole object volume into one puff off smoke.
  • Fire – uses high resolution smoke and adds a second voxel data texture with a basic color ramp to make the smoke look like fire. Also makes the smoke rise a bit faster and start off with some initial velocity.

Make Fluid
Turns the selected object into a fluid object and creates a suitable domain object for the fluid. It also sets up a basic transparent material for the domain object and has an option to define the initial velocity of the fluid. There are two “style” choises:

  • Basic – Turns the whole object volume into fluid.
  • Inflow – Creates fluid from the object in a constant stream.

The last option is to start the fluid baking job the straight away so that the fluid simulation can be immediately seen by scrubbing the timeline.

These three basic operators are a nice start, but I have a feeling there might be some other effects that could use a simple starting point so there might be additions to these operators or new operators popping up from time to time 🙂