rendering fluids as particles or software clouds in mental ray or hardware render buffer gives a lots more details the rendering the fluids itself. the best part you can use real 3d motionblur for fluid in Maya !.
a while ago, i did some tests for calculating motion vector from maya fluids and override the fluids color to render a motion vector pass in mental ray. i wrote python script and it work very well but the motion vector math in python took 15-40 minutes pre re. on positiv side it works with all kind of renderer, even the old school hardware render buffer.
Th result itself was good, it Fluids looking much better in motion, when they are motion blurred.
its a simple render test of maya sprites in arnold and renderman Studio. it uses a simple noise pattern on a 2d ramp with 2d ramp displacement. one simple noise plugged into a ramp can give a really complex shading behaviour. the extreme displacement come from a simple ramp, this give the smoke more depth.
for this shot i had to add extra smoke to live action smoke. the part which looks not real is actually the “real” smoke and real-looking smoke is CG. :) the smoke on right-hand side is mixed real smoke and CG smoke. the green smoke out of the mouth is real, as well.
here quick testshot with the fire demon… to see how it works in production… still there are same bugs in rig to fix and the character needs a lot of fine tunning and i have working on look… the background was created with my own particle tools in maya which i build a couple weeks ago…
i´ve started a private project… i trying to build a action scene with a heavenly fluids driven character. the Inspiration comes form concepts books of warcraft tradings card (by blizzard entertainment) and dungeon and dragons monster books. here is the rig for the character, the shape of body are complete created with maya fluids.
the rig controls every movment and extra keyable control´s for fire-speed, flamesize and extra release fire to get more expression out of the character. i´ve seperate the fire into 30 different fluids containers to keep the cache small and get more control over the character shapes, i also have reorganzied the caches-system to knock down the size of the caches files again for each shot. now, with cached fluids the character can easy animated and the viewport feedback is not too bad.
this is a test of mayafluids fire for differents projects …
its a rebuild of my old candle fire set up. the rendering is really fast with mental ray.
now i´ll start to build some scripts for perfect controll of the fire movements.
here are same screens from one of episode i´ve worked the “Captian Scarlet(2005)” show.
my job on this episode “war at end of the world” was same Particlestuff (explosion, snow) and comping 27 minutes with another friend in 6 weeks.