Quick Effect Operators

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 :)

  1. New to Blender. I just created 3 animations used in music videos to add a little something extra. Quick affects are great but I’m not sure how to define the length of the effect. Do I need to set my frames 0-500 first or is there a default length or speed that is part of the effect?

  2. How do you delete fur?

  3. Yes … the design is clearly needed to be changed :)
    What would be brighter , nebudu (

  4. Fire and hair should be added to physics and made compatible with cycles.

  5. Using mix blend mode with a density slider to 0 and density scale to 5 as default material is not helpful for newbies.

    They don’t understand the purpose of density slider and if they increase it.
    Blender Internal render the whole domain.

    I think it is logical for a demo feature like quick effects to use multiply blend mode for point density texture.

  6. awesome idea :)

  7. Ok, there is pretty much now, make clouds, make bolts, make fire, water, smoke and fur, there is only one last needed: Make Grass!

    Presets are very useful by working at high speeds and they can even be modified to our tastes, they are simply a short way to make the same thing you would do by hand in some hours. but it’s a shame using a preset as it is without any change to it’s settings, everything would became the same. I already do this into music by using some presets on the sound and making some fine works on them, much easier, same result.

  8. It seems that sooner or later we’ll see the command in Blender
    “make cool picture” :)
    It comes from game dev’s talks about the well known button “make cool!”… which isn’t exist yet :D

  9. I, hi have update your script with a Stroke Animation Effect. You can try:

    Video Demo:

  10. Thank you very much for the positive comments!

    Kernod: thank you for the video, it shows the usage very nicely!

    Daniel is right indeed, currently there’s no way to add operators to the toolbar directly from the ui, but this functionality may come back at some point. Until then you have to add the operators manually to the “space_view3d_toolbar.py” file. (Somebody could very well do a tutorial video on this too! ;)

    Mcreamsurfer: I’d love to add more preset operators and like I said in the post I think this is only the beginning :)

  11. I just love it – those presets are great and I think that’s the way to go not only for new blender users but users who want/need to create something in a fast way and then further refine it. Sometimes setting up certain effects can be tedious so a starting point is a great timesaver and much appreciated (by me at least). Thanks a lot. It would be great to have some more particle presets I think like fluids, gasses and stuff. Maybe a fast way to manually create presets or effects & share them would be interesting – but I have no idea how this could be done.

  12. When/ if they bring back the ability to add operators to the toolbar then we can simple click the ‘add’ button, search for the function and add it to the toolbar in the 3D view, until then I think it will require the editing of one of the python UI scripts.

  13. Native Bullet Physics? Make Fracture with Bullet Physics?

    Also, how about stereoscopic?

  14. Thank you for this. I’d wanted to request this sort of thing as a feature for sometime, but didn’t know where to post the request at. Thanks very much to all the developers who give of their time to make Blender a truly exceptional product.

  15. Is there some way of accessing this without knowing you have to press space? A menu item for instance?

  16. hi,

    blender is awsom, it flawlessly works with the making of models. But the collada exporter is not working well in 2.5x. As i have exported the simple cube to collada it has to triangulate faces of the objects. but its not doing it. as in 2.49 its got several options to manipulate the export but in 2.5x its not. So i am unable to potray my model in web via scripting it in flex 4 with pv3d ver 2. as i have exported the same model (cube) via 2.49. it worked. Please give a solution asap.


  17. Yet another useful approach to making these particle systems more accesible for beginners, and also saving time for seasoned users who can save time with a particle foundation being laid by this very method. Thank you Jahka!

    I enjoy checkin out the commits you make to SVN, thanks for all your hard work!

    P.S.: a quick vimeo/youtube walkthrough would be great(+1 @Kernond).

  18. Thanks, this is very nice! Maybe a walk-through of how to do something like this would be a good idea. If the community can start creating things like this and sharing them, it can only lead to great things.

    I created a quick video demo for this on my blog.

  19. This reminds me of NRK’s very nice make cloud addon. Is this built into Blender or as an addon? What build will it be commited to?

    It seems like a great idea to make the high profile effects more accesible. Thankyou so much.

  20. Thank you Jahka. UI options for these operators would be great.(for Physics section)

  21. this is anapplication of a wonderful concept. Blender can do really a lot of things. For some it just takes a lot of step. Makin a “make something” preset for often used fetures is a smart idea i think. This is why i, some time ago, made a proposal for light channels (single light add node) in the compositor

  22. That’s a terrific idea. Presets like these are much more convenient for beginners. Thanks.

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